The third and final leg of my Steampunk DIY adventure was a bit more harrowing than the others. I’d set out, armed with some white vinyl and pretty buttons, in a quest to make spats. The outcome was passable, not perfect — it’s an adventure I might have to undetake again — but nonetheless, I’ve decided to share even the innermost secrets of this steampunk style expedition with you!
Steampunk Style Spats
Fabric (I used vinyl)
Buttons (approximately 20; depends on their size and the length of your spat)
Needle and thread that matches your fabric
A pair of Oxfords, brogues, or calf-fitting boots
1. Measure the roundest part of your calf and the height to which you’d like you spats to go on your leg. This will become your width (W) and length (L), respectively.
2. Cut two rectangles from your fabric sized (W+1 inch) x L. This extra inch allows for a 0.5-inch seam allowance on either side.
3. Cut two two more rectangles sized (W+3 inches) x L. Then, cut these two rectangle in half lengthwise like a hotdog. The extra 3 inches allow for a 1.5-inch overlap to make room for the buttons.
4. Putting right sides together, match up a half and whole rectangle along the length. Sew with a 0.5-inch seam allowance.
5. Take another half rectangle and repeat step 4 on the other side of whole rectangle, creating a triptych-like effect.
6. Put on your Oxfords, brogues, or boots. With seams facing out, wrap your spat-in-the-making around your leg, making a straight cylinder with the open ends snugly overlapping at top. Carefully pin in place around your leg.
7. Now, it’s time to shape the front your spat. Pin the fabric somewhat loosely, following the shape of your center-front calf, ankle, and shoe vamp. Then, go back in with your pen, pinching the fabric taut down the length of your spat as you mark the curve of your spat’s front along your leg and shoe.
8. Sew along this lovely curved marking you’ve just made and trim off the excess fabric.
9. Button time! Keeping the fabric inside out, wrap your spat-in-the-making around your leg, pulling it snug and marking where you’d like your buttons and buttonholes to go on the overlapping part.
10. Make button-sized, horizontal snips where you’ve determined buttonholes should be. (This seems to work best for vinyl, as sewing a buttonhole on the machine tore the fabric up. Next time, I might try interfacing my buttonholes on the vinyl. If you’re not using vinyl, go ahead and make buttonholes.)
11. Sew your buttons on where you’ve made markings for them.
12. Trim the base of your spat as needed to make it fit flush to your shoe.
13. Repeat steps 4-12 on the other leg with the remaining fabric.
Do we have experienced sewers out there attacking this DIY from another angle? I’d love to hear your advice in case I attempt another pair of spats!
Lastly, do you have any steampunk DIYs to share?