The Riddler :: Steampunk/Burlesque

Every year, I eagerly await Halloween. Most of the time, months prior, I know exactly what I’m being and exactly how I’ll put my costume together. This year, that wasn’t the case. I looked forward to the holiday as normal but I had no idea what I wanted to dress up as. (This proved to be incredibly stressful) Now, one Halloween costume is never enough and each year, I dress up in at least two costumes for different events but there is always a “main” costume, the big one. This year, in addition to my A Clockwork Orange and Nerdy 1950’s Playboy Bunny costumes, I put together a pretty kick-ass Steampunk/Burlesque Riddler costume. I brainstormed the costume, accumulated all the necessary pieces and supplies, and constructed my costume in less than 48 hours. If there’s one thing I do well, it’s put together an amazing costume. Here’s how I did it this time:

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On the left: all the items I bought for this costume – a lime green jacket from goodwill for $2, purple mask, mini purple and black topcoat, “steampunk” goggles, metal buttons and chain link from Wal-Mart (about $20 total), purple gloves and bowtie from Party City (about $8). I also bought a black tutu but didn’t end up using it with this costume. The purple tights from Target pictured with the purchased items, I actually had in my sock and tights drawer but they originally cost about $3.

One the right: all the items I already had – black corset, long black sheer skirt, lime green lace bra, lime green and white thigh-high stockings, short black shorts and white garter belt.

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On my previously mentioned trip to Wal-Mart for costume supplies, I also picked up some pray paint, fabric dye, ribbon, glitter and iron-on question marks (that I also didn’t end up using). I had more purple spray paint, fabric glue and stencils. I got to work.

I spray painted the metal buttons, chain link and goggles. I also spray painted purple ?s on the jacket. (Unhappy with the spray job on the goggles, I ended up painting them again by hand with acrylic paints and sealing with a glossy clear coat)

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I sewed the buttons and segments of the chain to the front of the jacket. (I sewed on four of the above pictured sets total). Using the lime green fabric dye, I set out to transform the white garter belt and stockings. This was the second time I ever attempted to use fabric dye and this was the second time it completely didn’t work. On the package it states that best results are not achieved on synthetic fabrics like nylon but you would assume it would work a little. No. As soon as I rinse the garments the color rinses completely out as if it weren’t dyed at all. I went with my usual means of dyeing to get this job done: Sharpies.

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For those of you who have never used the heaven-sent miracle instruments, Sharpies, to dye synthetics, allow me a brief tutorial:

1.) gather Sharpies in necessary colors

2.) pull Sharpies apart and remove ink-thingys

3.) slice ink-thingys open

Now, in the past I have mixed and made various shades buy combining Sharpie “ink-thingys” in squeeze bottles full of rubbing alcohol. I use these solutions to dye wigs usually. (And it works freaking fantastic!) This time, I threw these ink-thingys into a shallow pot of boiling water after removing from heat and then added the lingerie. I let them soak for about 10 minutes which was probably way more time than even necessary (compared to the hour time with that good-for-nothing fabric dye).

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I absolutely loved the way the garter belt came out! The stockings looked great too, an enhanced version of their original state. Thrown all together, a little pinch here and a little altering there, here is the final product (the back of the skirt isn’t well shown but its very bustley back there and when the front in hiked just a tad higher than seen below, the green garter belt really pops):

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So that’s that. My 2014 Halloween costume: Steampunk/Burlesque inspired Riddler. I’ll definitely have to post an update with more detailed pictures of the whole costume and my makeup under that mask. I was extremely proud of my brainchild and how it all came to fruition. I’m pretty badass sometimes. The only disappointment with my costume this year is that NPH totally had to steal my shine. He has cuter accessories anyway; I don’t have a foxy husband or adorable twins…

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Thanks for reading!

Love, GK

My sister snapped this pic of me when she woke up for work early Tuesday morning to find me on the back porch working away after an all-nighter. When she opened the door she said, with true honesty, “You’re insane.” My initial reaction was to spit out some reasons to the contrary but I couldn’t find the words and after some sudden self realization, I had to agree with a “…yeah.”

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