Monthly Archives: October 2016

Steampunk Darq!


CATHERINE:  As you faithful readers know, Darq was invited to a Steampunk themed Halloween Party at a castle in a faraway land. As usual, the MIB and Darq would not disclose the location to me. And when Darq learned of the bat-shapeshifting Count Dracula, who was to be there, she got the Men In Black to give her a ray-gun-stunner for the occasion (and to go with her steampunk outfit). Using the instincts and quick reflexes of a starfighter pilot, the bat didn’t have a chance. Darq zapped it. Funny thing is, the stunned bat just grinned and grinned, mumbling Happy Halloooween!


For those that are not familiar with Steampunk, it’s a subgenre of science fiction/fantasy about machines and technology based on steam power that utilizes gears, chains, mechanical automatons, clockwork mechanisms, etc. and is usually set in a Victorian era world. Darq’s outfit includes 11 pieces (clothing and accessories) made exclusively by me from trolling Pinterest for ideas. The foundation is, of course, “unmentionables” (underwear) befitting a Victorian Lady–this is two pieces, top and “petticoat.”

10-halloween-2016-undiesNext came the taffeta blouse with mutton sleeves, metal cuff links, and a lace jabot with heart-gears-cameo worn with an overskirt with an underskirt. All cinched in with a bustier laced up the front and tied off with a large (and expensive, $7) medallion-watch-gears buckle. Dangling from the tie ends are gears. An intrepid Steampunk Victorian Heroine can never have too many throwing stars–I mean gears.

Various chains and links, a pouch (for necessities), a magnifying glass (handy for starting fires), and a blue bottle (the content is an explosive liquid).

And, yes, Darq did lament about how tight the bustier was. She also complained the weight of all that metal on her felt equal to 20 g’s.


Keep in mind that for the dauntless heroine of the era, one of the necessities is to make a swift getaway by running away — or maybe sprinting after villainous villains. To do that means raising the skirt and petticoats, which is done with straps, loops, and chain fasteners (which hang off the bustier).



The overskirt, which is heavy wool, is lifted by leather straps with stud reinforcements. The petticoat is a metallic cotton, with heavy lace, and is lifted by cotton cord.


A swifter departure is guaranteed with comfy boots —


The boots come with a few woman-warrior necessities. Inside that large key is a dagger. The gear is a njnja throwing star.

Are you wondering about the ray-gun that doesn’t have a holster on the busier?


Then —


Take a look at the hat. Note the gear-weapons, the veil that keeps her hair tidy under exertion, the feathers (lethal quills), the various ribbons (to strangle or tie up a foe). Don’t see the weapon? Look under the hat–


Pretty elaborate steampunk weapon, right? Can you guess what it originally was before it was converted it into the ray-gun? Need a better look at it? The original size is 2.5″ long but here it is enlarged–


To the first person (who isn’t a relative) that comes up with the identify of this common, household part, I’ll send a $5 gift certificate. Deadline is November 30th, 2016.

Here is a look at the detail of the jacket and the sleeve cuffs–and Darq’s official photo to wish you all a Happy Halloween!








I broke two needles and blunted the tip of a third. The first needle broke pounding through the wad of gathers on the mutton sleeves – taffeta is one tough fabric when bunched together. The other needle broke while zigzagging through the thick Naugahyde leather of the bustier.

When hand sewing the chain trim around the jacket, despite the faux-leather being thin, soft, and supple, I bent a couple of hand sewing needles (they now look like parentheses). Doing the hand work on the leather was also hard on my old fingers.

I calculated I have over $100 in materials and 30 hours of time in making this outfit.

Don’t tell Darq, but– I HAD FUN!!

I wish you all a very Happy Halloween!


Darq returns to the farm for Thanksgiving and will blog on December 1st.

JEWELS OF THE SKY tells Darq’s story of Survival or Extinction. Mercy or Miracle. One Woman’s Choice.

Available at most eBook outlets in hardcover and eBook.

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Posted by on October 31, 2016 in Uncategorized


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I have returned!



CATHERINE: Welcome back to the farm, Darq!

DARQ: It’s good to be back to visit you, Catherine.

CATHERINE: Looks like you’re traveling light. Only the trunk?

DARQ: Yes, they have put a limit on me.


DARQ’s cheeks flush: Too many shoes.

CATHERINE chuckles and looks at Darq’s feet: I’m guessing there’s a new pair of shoes somewhere under those bell bottoms.

DARQ: There sure are. (She drops her purse on the floor next to the trunk, then takes off her hat, placing it on the floor with her purse.  A second later, she lifts up her pant legs to reveal her shoes):img_5176-2016-oct-1-shoes-hat-purse

CATHERINE: Not too fancy. Certainly not as fancy as your pants. Gad, woman, bell bottoms? Really?

DARQ: They’re called Boot Flare Pants on my world. They’re the current rage.(She drops her pant legs and shakes them so they flare wide and hide her shoes.


CATHERINE hands Darq some welcome baloons: Geez, Darq, your outfit . . . 

DARQ, looking innocently at Catherine: What about my outfit?

CATHERINE: It looks familiar. I’ve seen it–oh for crying out loud, Darq! You’re wearing a Celine, a designer original. I saw the outfit in Vogue magazine a couple weeks ago.

DARQ (grinning): Okay, you got me. Yes, this is a knock-off of Celine’s design ala Vogue. I, too, saw the magazine and outfit. When I remarked how good it would look on me, the MIB liason made some connections. Now, I’m wearing it.

CATHERINE: And the bell bottom, oh, excuse me, the boot flare pants are not the rage on your planet?

DARQ: Oh, they are. That parts true. But I’m curious how you recognized these as bell bottoms.

CATHERINE: Because, my dear Darq, when I was in my early twenties, they were the rage . I sewed a number of pairs, but none with the flair yours have.

DARQ: So, bell bottoms haven’t been around all that long on your planet?

CATHERINE: Think again. If memory serves, United States navy men in 1813 first started the trend. But it wasn’t until the mid-1960’s that the pants became the rage. That was largely because of the Hippy counter culture of the day. I remember Sonny and Cher . . . a 26″ flare . . . bell bottoms were the symbol of an outlandish and colorful style.

DARQ: MX, one of the new MIB guys on my security detail called them Loon Pants.

CATHERINE giggles: They were also called Elephant Bells way back in the 1970’s. But enough about bell bottoms. You’re here for a visit. So, what’s on the agenda for this month?

DARQ: A Halloween Party with a Steampunk theme. Got any ideas on a costume for me?

CATHERINE: Never fear, I’ll come up with something!

********READERS OF THIS BLOG– What are your recollections of bell bottom pants? Your comments are welcome!

****Note to sewers: The outfit was, indeed, inspired by the Celine outfit in a recent VOGUE magazine. It’s from Celine’s winter collection 2016. I did a quick online search and  watched a model wearing the outfit strut down the runway.  Darq’s black top is crushed velour, the pants a yellow woven cotton. The purse is similar to the one in the VOGUE ad. The hat, well, that was my own idea.

****Check back on Halloween to see Darq’s steampunk costume.

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Posted by on October 1, 2016 in Uncategorized