The two weeks prior to Nova Albion I spent in a sewing hole, desperately finishing as many costume pieces for myself and my friends as possible. The finished pieces were only half of what I had originally planned, but I was very happy with how the pieces I did finish turned out. Tomorrow I plan to upload some photos for my portfolio and provide more detailed explanations of the two finished costumes. One of the planned costumes, which I did not even start, is a men’s steampunk Japanese outfit that I still intend to make at a future date. One of the finished costumes, the silver satin kimono, was what I wore on Friday at the costume contest, where I won the Ode to an Elder God category.
At the convention itself I sat on three discussion panels, and also conducted a corset making tips and tricks discussion. I only had two weeks to prepare, so I started by creating an outline of the aspects of corset making that should be considered when planning to make a corset. To aid in note-taking and to help speed the pace of the discussion, I turned that outline into a word document with space for note-taking.
The corset making discussion went wonderfully, and the format worked better than I could have hoped. The only down side was a lack of time. I was only given 1.5 hours, which gave us barely enough time to get half-way through the outline, and even that was a more superficial discussion than I would have liked. I hope to arrange to conduct a similar discussion again at a later date, but with enough time to get through all the material. I will also periodically use the outline as a writing prompt for my blog, so all of my readers can find the information.
A wonderful fellow I met conducting a panel on adding color to your steampunk wardrobe is Roget Ratchford. I had a fantastic time speaking to him, and if you want a sneak peak at the finished silver satin kimono, check out his online portfolio. Should I have a chance to sit on a panel with him again in the future, I will be very pleased.
I attended the convention in cahoots with the League of Proper Villains, a steampunk group centered in Sacramento. The League was the largest group to enter Friday’s costume contest, with a good fourty members in attendance. We also had an info table on the mezzanine, where various antics occurred, and we had a party room packed with treats and goodies and alcohol (including absinthe). Everywhere you looked was another Villain sporting a red arm band, and a very large portion of the attendees of the convention found themselves sporting a League ribbon from their con badges. All in all, we were most pleased with the undeniable impact we had on the convention.
My personal great find at the convention was a new steampunk cane. I’ve been wanting to make myself one for months, but have just not found the time. At the con, I found Matthew Winkelmann, an artist from Washington, who brought with him a number of wonderful steampunk canes which he had for a very reasonable price and was willing to cut to length for actual use. I ended up choosing one that had a hammer head on it, which fit very nicely in my hand.
Other than that, I spent a lot of time with good friends and new friends, and left the event feeling very pleased with the weekend. It was a wonderful experience, and I hope to be a part of the events again in the future.