Thursday, December 9, 2010

New blue and silver steampunk corset design

My newest design uses a brighter brocade than the last few corsets I've made! This underbust corset either looks like something a mage in World of Warcraft might wear, or a fashionable steampunk lady.

Front view of blue and silver steampunk underbust corset. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Featured on Overbury Ink!

Lilly’s Workshop is currently featured on Overbury Ink as part of SteamTuesday! Overbury Ink is one of the best sources online for finding steampunk news, resources, interviews  Check out the post on Lilly's Workshop here, and be sure to follow Nancy Overbury on Twitter!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Steampunk EKG

Steampunk EKG LED
Last night I created an instructable on how to make a steampunk EKG (Elektrokardiogramm)! If you’re unfamiliar with, it’s a website for people to upload and find instructions for DIY (do it yourself) projects. There are a lot of amazing projects on there, and they often hold contests with fantastic crafter prizes. If you're a fellow maker, I strongly recommend you join.
EKG in enclosure with a strap from an old military satchel.
If you want to see a video of my steampunk gadget in action or build one yourself, check out my instructable!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Steampunk utility corset with copper panels

I made this custom fitted utility corset for a customer who wanted copper brocade panels in the front. I think the copper stands out! I love this brocade, because it comes in so many colors. I can't wait to eventually use the red and hunter green brocade that I have (although probably not together).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Watch the Season Finale of Riese!

The two part season finale of the amazing steampunk webseries Riese is now available on the SyFy website.

If you enjoy it make sure to leave a comment on the SyFy website! Wouldn't it be great to see Riese on the SyFy channel?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Steampunk Holiday Gift Guide 2010

Are you a steampunk looking for some steamy presents for your loved ones? Or are you a bewildered non-steampunk looking for a holiday gift for the inscrutable steampunk in your life? Enjoy the following suggestions either way!
8x12 Tesla Rock Star Scientist Steampunk Art Print Poster by meganlee
Help the scientist or nerd in your life pay homage to one of the greatest scientists ever, Nikola Tesla. Although he was a brilliant inventor, Telsa was sadly not a manipulative businessman like his contemporary Thomas Edison, and died penniless as a result. Tesla was also totally steampunk 100 years before anyone knew what steampunk was.

Recommended for: scientists, nerds, historians, engineers, Edison haters.

Triumph at the Las Vegas Hilton
Next week at the Hilton, Triumph, a steampunk spectacular, opens. Triumph features time travel and the science of writers Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, as well as Nikola Tesla (but hopefully no Edison). Tickets run from $29.95 - $99.95.
Recommended for: theater buffs, Las Vegas tourists and locals, and steampunk performance enthusiasts.

Through the Seasons - Steampunk Mini Hat by ToScarboroughFair
There is nothing quite so wonderful as a cat wearing a dignified hat and barely tolerating it. Why not treat your feline friend (and yourself/anyone who witnesses it) to a lovely steampunk top hat?

Recommended for: cat lovers, cat antagonists, cat ladies who need a cat hat in order to differentiate their many cats, lovers of kitten mittens.

Looking for a steampunk necklace gift that has gears but won’t weigh down the recipient? This lovely crotched necklace has all the style of gears but without the heaviness!

Recommended for: gearheads, jewelry lovers, people who have to pass through metal detectors.

Steampunk Entomology Lapel Fire Brooch by SpectraNova
Ok, so you’ve got the necklace sorted out for the jewelry lover in your life, but you’re looking for something else too. Might I recommend a brooch? This iridescent beetle brooch would make a fantastic addition to a sweater or other winter outfit.

Recommended for: entomologists, jewelry lovers, people who like shiny things.

The Entomologists Jewelry Box- Beetle by JennRoseFX
Now you’re almost done shopping for all the jewelry loving entomologists in your life! But wait, where are they going to keep all this shiny goodness? How about a Neo Victorian entomologist’s jewelry box?

Recommended for: entomologists, jewelry lovers, people who like boxes.

If you know anyone who plays the guitar constantly, you know that they tend to lose their picks with alarming consistency. Get them a pick that’s too cool and shiny for them to lose.

Recommended for: music lovers, guitar players, air guitar players.

An intriguing assortment of tales and some amazing illustrations. I personally love birds, and Wunderkammer is full of steampunk birds, both anthropomorphic and fully avian.

Recommended for: Bird lovers, comic book geeks, graphic novel enthusiasts, your older brother who collects action figures and loves comic books.

Avalon Revisited by O.M. Grey

Avalon Revisited is perfect for the paranormal romance, steampunk and vampire enthusiast. Being a new reader to the genre myself, I can recommend this if you are a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse novels (those being the other paranormal romance books I've read).

Recommended for: paranormal romanticists, fangbangers, book lovers, British history buffs.

Riese is a streampunk adventure drama and popular webseries with a rapidly growing loyal fanbase. This beautifully filmed show has won a Streamy, Internet TVs most prestigious award.

Recommended for: sci-fi fans, SyFy fans, television aficionados.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Five Funniest Mike Era Mystery Science 3000 Theater Episodes

Travis and I have always shared a love of MST3K (both Joel and Mike seasons). Whenever we need something hilarious to watch we know that the residents of the Satellite of Love will deliver. With that in mind I'd like to share our five favorite Mike Nelson episodes of MST3K. A post with our favorite Joel episodes will follow next week, just in time for your very own MST3K Turkey Day marathon!

The Final Sacrifice
Even though I love Canada and would love to live there one day, it’s impossible not to laugh at the mockery heaped upon our neighbors to the north in this film. In The Final Sacrifice, a teenager and a drifter unravel an evil plot to take over the world. The Final sacrifice contains my favorite MST3K song, Tom Servo’s over the top anti-Canadian medley.

There is still a lot of hilarity to be found even if you hate Canada mocking. Two running gags include Mike and the bots making constant straining sounds as the young and weak looking protagonist lifts objects and ridiculing the adult protagonists laughable and somewhat awesome name, Rowsdower. There are also appearances by masked and incompetent S&M lackeys and a one of the grizzliest old hermits ever.

Favorite quote: I have no sense of proportion! I’m a disgrace to my uniform!

I’m a sucker for cheesy 80’s movies, which probably explains many of the choices here. Among the cheesiest and funniest of MST3K 80’s movies is Hobgoblins, a Gremlins knockoff with unlikable protagonists who make terrible and selfish decisions. The Hobgoblins themselves are terrible stuffed animals whose power is to grant people wishes that end up going horribly wrong in asinine ways.
Although Tom Servo’s rude and disturbing song about Canada is my favorite MST3K song, a close second favorite would have to be the brief “It’s the 80’s” song from Hobgoblins.
Favorite quote: It’s the 80’s, do a lot of coke and vote for Ronald Regan.
Time Chasers is one of those rare MST3K episodes that features a film made in the 90’s. In it a brilliant inventor discovers the secret to time travel, which is accessed via a Commodore 64. As with many low budget films, some of the filming locations are widely different from what they are supposed to be. Time Chasers features one of the funniest of these disparities; the president of a mega-corporation has his office in what appears to be a mall mezzanine:
Favorite quote: Lisa: What's the use of a time machine for Gencorp?
Nick: I'll give you an example...
Crow: you could send an egg into the future...
Nick: could study the long term effects of we're having on our environment. We could...
Mike: Send Bob Saget to meet Charlemagne.

Space Mutiny is a campy hot mess of continuity errors and miscast characters. From what I can tell, the poorly explained plot concerns a mutiny on a generational ship. Security on the ship (who travel in slow moving floor polishing machines called enforcers) plan on selling the other ship dwellers into slavery (I think). The beefy male protagonist, aka Fridge Largemeat aka Blast Hardcheese aka Slab Bulkhead aka Thick McRunfast aka Crunch Buttsteak and his new girlfriend who looks like a grandmother attempt to save the ship.The aforementioned girlfriend goes from dramatically mourning the explosive death of her beau to falling in love with Splint Chesthair (who she initially blamed for her boyfriend's death) on the same day. Their romance initially buds in what may be the worst 80's dance club scene I've ever seen.

Favorite Quote: If I go any faster I’ll have to drop the waxing compound!
The MST3K episode where Joel returns to the Satellite of Love! Unfortunately he doesn’t join Mike and the bots in the theater to tear apart this cheesy film with a predictable plot. A reckless teen driver crashes and apparently kills himself and his passengers. Unbeknowst to the outside world, the teens are really suffering from disembodied soul syndrome, and are hunted down one by one by Charlie Sheen’s uncle Joe Estevez, a professional Soultaker.
Favorite quote: Man, where does that guy even keep his acorns?

If you've seen all these MST3K episodes and are craving newer Mike Nelson riffs, the best RiffTrax are of Twilight, Return of the King and Star Trek V: The Undiscovered Country

Saturday, November 13, 2010

New fantasy underbust corset design

 Ever since we’ve met, Steph and I shared a love of fantasy novels, films, games, shows and art. When we play fantasy MMOs or co-op games, I tend to be a hunter class, while Steph usually picks a caster (although she has been known to play a warrior tank).

My latest corset is inspired by my love of all things fantasy. I wanted to make a corset that could be worn to a LARP event, or as part of a fantasy costume/cosplay ensemble.

The green hemp and brown leather give the corset a natural look. Although I had fantasy in mind when I made this, it would also work as a steampunk piece. The hemp twill and synthetic leather have an earthy steampunk feel to them.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New Utility Corset Design

I've finished my new utility corset design and will be posting one on Etsy either tonight or tomorrow. Check out the design changes in the photos below:

Front view of new steampunk utility corset.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Preparing for Comic Con 2010

I've been hard at work finishing custom corset orders so that I have time to finish Steph's mage costume before Comic Con. Attending Comic Con last year was what inspired me to start making costumes, and I'm really looking forward to going this year.

Some pics from our trip to Comic Con last year:

 Steph looking scared with a group of Klingons. Says Steph of this picture "I'm such an enormous nerd that this is the third photo I've ever taken with Klingons. I really miss Star Trek: The Experience."
 Steph with Torgo from Mystery Science Theater: Manos the Hands of Fate. This guy did a great Torgo voice, and had a device somewhere on his body that was playing a loop of the Torgo theme. If you're unfamiliar, watch the following clip and then watch the MST3K episode!

This man has found the perfect person to cosplay as. The Dude is both awesome and wears comfortable clothing.

Steph and I are both gamers, and Left 4 Dead is our preferred FPS. This girl is dressed as a Witch from Left 4 Dead, and even had little red LED lights by her eyes to achieve the Witch's hallmark glowing red eyes.

We'll have plenty of new photos in a couple weeks after we get back from San Diego!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Online art communities and a feature

Lilly’s Workshop is currently featured on steampunk paranormal romance author O.M. Grey’s blog Caught in the Cogs! Steph is reading and planning a review of O.M. Grey's intriguing novel Avalon Revisited in the upcoming weeks, so keep an eye out for that.

I’d also like to highlight two amazing artist/crafter communities that I joined during the month of May.

The first is deviantART. Even if you’re not a member you’ve probably still seen deviantART, especially if you like viewing art online. In the three weeks since I started an account I’ve found amazing art and artists to favorite and put into my gallery, and I’ve received hundreds of comments and suggestions on my corsets (and a couple cockatiel photos). I really like the customization and organization options on your personal page and decided to try out a premium membership. So far I like it!

The second community is TotalArtSoul. This tight-knit group of artists and crafters offers forums, blogs, galleries, instant messaging and other features that help create a sense of community. I highly recommend looking through the insightful blog section, as well as the gallery full of artisan works.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Steph in her steampunk corset

A couple shots of my adorable girlfriend Steph wearing her overbust corset that I made. She's also wearing a beautiful owl necklace by The Spectra Nova.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Two new corset variations

In the past week I've made two new custom corset variations.

The first is an underbust version of my steampunk utility corset. It has adjustable straps that cross in the back and have brass buckles in the front. I made it for The Spectra Nova, who will be wearing it to the World Steam Expo in Dearborn, Michigan. If you're there go see her amazing and beautiful steampunk jewelry!

The overbust steampunk utility corset.

The other new corset I made is my overbust pattern with imitation black leather instead of the brown faux leather and brocade. I love the way the silver busks and white lacing looks in contrast to the shiny black leather. This corset could be steampunk or even goth depending on what you wear it with.

Monday, May 10, 2010

What goes into making a corset

eph has been taking a lot of pictures of me making steampunk corsets so that she can send updates to customers. I decided to use some of them to demonstrate some of what goes into making a corset!

The first thing I do is make a custom pattern based on a customer's measurements. The pattern shown above is for an underbust corset.

After I've finished the pattern I cut the exterior fabric (hunter green brocade and imitation leather in this case) and the cotton coutil lining.
I sew the exterior fabric together forming an outer shell and then I sew the lining pieces together forming the inner shell. I then baste the two shells together at the seams and machine stitch the casings for the busk and boning.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What happens in Vegas Etsy treasury

Check out my Las Vegas Etsy Treasury, featuring artists from the new Las Vegas Etsy Team (final name pending)!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Check out my steampunk corset in the Etsy Prom Queen Voter!

Etsy frequently holds votes on items for specific events and themes. In the past these themes have ranged from Easter to gardening; the current vote is for an "item you think could help pull off an unforgettable glammed out prom night!"

My turquoise Neo-Victorian steampunk corset is among many other beautiful dresses, hairpieces, shoes, toiletries and accessories up for vote. The winning item will be featured on Etsy's front page next week. Take a look at all the beautiful pieces and vote for your favorite!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Lilly's Workshop Birdies

We recently moved all of my sewing supplies and the cutting mat into our bedroom. I'd been working in the living room, but our birds get way to interested in what I'm doing and either try and jump down to join me or start screaming for attention.

Some pictures of the little attention mongers after the jump

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Springtime Steam Green

All the beautiful items above and three additional ones can currently be seen in this treasury.

It's spring, and while the desert I live in isn't overly green, the abundant viridian trees at the University of Nevada Las Vegas are beginning to blossom while mockingbirds, sparrows and grackles sing to woo potential mates. I've assembled this collection in hope that these spring steampunk finds bring to mind the blossoms and beauty of spring.

The stereotypical colors of steampunk may be muted browns and grays along with metallic hues, but these artisans demonstrate that steampunk creations also have lively hues.

1. Vintage Watch Dial Pendant by asecondtime
2. Absinthe Cuffs (Pair) by Chocklit
3. Quadra Tatted Bracelet - Green by TotusMel
4. Thai Steampunk Bustle Skirt Purple by crescentwench
5. Time of Flight - real beetle wing necklace by ClockworkZero
6. Absinthe Glycerin Soap by amandalouise
7. Stink Bug Ring by CosmicFirefly
8. The Gypsy -Apple Blossom by TheThriftySparrow

9. A Compendium of Flowers and Their Meanings for Complicated Emotions by VanessaGelvin

On the front page of Etsy!

My Steampunk academic satchel was on the front page of Etsy as part of a treasury this afternoon! This is my first time ever on the front page so I felt like making this post to celebrate. I was sewing a custom corset for a customer when Steph excitedly shouted out "You're on the front page! Dude, come over here right now, I'm serious!"

Special thanks to Emmamaha for including my bag in her fantastic scholastic treasury. I really appreciate it!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Steampunk Mother's Day Gift Guide

This post was authored by Stephanie, my significant other.

There’s less than one month left until Mother’s day (May 9th), and if you’re planning on ordering a handmade gift for a mother in your life you’ll need to make a decision soon! I’ve created a guide to buying steampunk themed gifts; however, they aren’t so specialized as to not appeal to the general public.

Although all these gifts have a steampunk or NeoVictorian theme, I’ve tried to create a well-rounded gift guide that’s categorized according to different interests.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Copper Steampunk Utility Corset Preview

I'm almost finished with this copper and imitation leather utility corset. As you can see, there are still some parts I need to sew (note the pins). I should have it finished and photographed tomorrow. Steph really likes this one, I think due in part to her love of clothing with pockets.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Etsy Treasury: A steampunk orange

My "A steampunk orange" Etsy Treasury.

Update: This ended up getting over 300 views and was on the second page in "hotness". Thanks to all the artisans whose work was featured and for those of you who commented or tweeted it!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

How I came to love Steampunk

I first heard about steampunk in 2007. My girlfriend was reading The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling. I asked her what it was about and she told me it was a steampunk alternative history novel.

I was intrigued! I knew about punk music and culture but had never heard of this “steampunk” before. I started Googling it and found out that it included a lot of unique inventions and Victorian fashion, two things that I loved. Since I was a boy I’ve always had a knack for making and fixing things out of existing materials, a trait that served me well doing experiments in physics labs for my undergraduate degree.

My fondness for Victorian fashion is another factor that makes steampunk appealing. I think that the corset is my favorite article of clothing and believe that nothing is as beautiful as a fitted and well-designed corset.

Last year when I went to Comic-Con with my girlfriend (pictured to the left next to a steampunk). I was delighted to see lots of people in corsets. I was inspired to start designing my own corsets, and immediately started making prototypes that summer. This year at Comic-Con we will both be dressing up!

Right now I’m focusing on steampunk and Neo-Victorian corsets, but I plan on eventually doing fantasy oriented corsets and costumes as well. I enjoy reading fantasy novels and watching fantasy and sci-fi movies, so I get a lot of inspiration from those.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Inspirations and uses

When I finished sewing the imitation leather and brocade corset pictured to the left, I realized that it reminded me of the Chinese-Western fusion present in the show Firefly. The screenshot below illustrates one of the many hybrid styles from a short-lived but fantastic show.

I think that both corsets could be used in fantasy costumes. I can imagine the turquoise corset being worn by a mage or other caster, and the green underbust corset worn by a hunter-ranger or perhaps a rogue.

I'm thinking about making another brocade corset with white cotton coutil panels rather than the imitation leather. In addition to steampunk and Neo-Victorian, I think that it would be great for frost mages or "good" casters such as priests.

I made the small backpack to the left to serve as a bag for people in costume. Nothing breaks the illusion of a costume faster than a clashing or completely inappropriate bag! I was inspired by the backpacks worn by hobbits in the Lord of the Rings novels, elegant leather bags from the Victorian era, and even the quintessential fantasy backpack pictured in World of Warcraft.

Both corsets and the backpack are available at my Etsy store. I just opened and am adding new designs daily, so check back if you like what you see!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Western steampunk corset

I’ve been working on this corset for a steampunk costume that Stephanie and I are planning. It’s going to be paired with a long skirt, collared white shirt, boots and a book satchel.

I was going for a Western steampunk look. I think that the brocade paired with the ruddy imitation leather creates a rugged adventurous look reminiscent of the West.

Stephanie suggested that this could also be a part of a fantasy mage costume. Perhaps an frost mage?

Above: Sewing the corset on my vintage Singer 201