Costume Journal 2012 // Lady Mechanika

3 Jan

Happy New Year friends! Hope you’ve all had a relaxing and inspiring break – or not! For those of us who work in retail or hospitality, it’s usually pretty exhausting! But now here we have a brand new, fresh-out-of-the-box year… some assembly required.

This is a big one for me – I’m starting my third (and final) year of costume school, and while at this stage I’m not exactly sure how that is going to run for me, I do know that I want to devote more time and energy to my own personal sewing goals. After all, this is what I love doing, so why let procrastination ruin the fun?

So here it is, the big one, my personal Holy Grail for 2012. Something I can sink my teeth into, that will stretch my craftiness, my niftiness, my powers of fabric-persuasion:


Lady Mechanika

Lady Mechanika Cover #4


This is the cover of Aspen‘s Lady Mechanika #4, which is yet to be released. For those of you who haven’t come across this graphic novel yet, it’s a steampunk detective story in which the imaginatively, but not always very practically, clad Lady Mechanika leaps from one adventure to another in an alternate reality, steam-powered world. While the stories are fun, the real attraction for me is the art and the costumes. For each issue there are usually four alternative covers, each featuring our heroine in various states of fantasy dress (or undress).


Lady Mechanika #0


She’s a typical Aspen heroine complete with highly improbable figure and gravity-defying attire. While all of her outfits are pretty amazing, I’ve picked the top one (from Issue #4) as being one that I might pull off successfully. Although it is revealing, it allows for me to build a corset into the ‘dress’, which I think is vital in achieving Lady Mechanika’s pneumatic proportions. The fabric components of the dress are also not extremely complex, which leaves me more time to focus on the hardware, weapons and general steampunk-bling – of which there are LOTS in this costume.

My deadline is the newly-announced Adelaide ComicCon, the weekend of April 1st. I’m thinking of going to Melbourne for their ComicCon at the end of June as well, which would be a great opportunity to re-wear this. Hopefully I can make a good start during January, as once I go back to school, time is going to be scarce again. I’ve already had a cursory look around for suitable fabric for the dress but haven’t had much luck, so in the meantime I’m starting to think about how to make those mechanical arms.

Mechanical arm detail


I want them to look like machines, like real, working armour made from solid materials. This will mean working with unfamiliar materials, so plenty of time for tests and play will be needed! Wish me luck!


One Response to “Costume Journal 2012 // Lady Mechanika”

  1. Lyndall January 4, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    I can’t wait to see the final result! I love how detailed steampunk costume designs can be, those mechanical arms are amazing.

    I hear you about working in retail over the holidays, I hope people weren’t too crazy.

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