Sunday, November 20, 2011

18th Birthday Party: Steampunk

      My 18th birthday was this past Tuesday, on November 8. I had off from school because it was Election Day. I try to theme my parties mainly because that gives me an excuse to dress up, and I've been really interested in the Steampunk subculture lately, so I decided to do a Steampunk-themed party. I also chose Steampunk as my theme becuase I felt that in terms of wardrobe, it was very flexible, and easy for my guests to find SOMETHING in their closets to wear to my party.

      I myself made a really quick and dirty costume, all out of garments that I already had that I modified the night before the party. The brown underskirt is an 18th century petticoat that I wore underneath my Chemise a la Reine. The red velvet bustle overskirt was just a really long skirt that was too big on the hips for me. I took it in and ran gathering stitches over the side seams. I didn't expect it to come out this nice but it had a really nice shape. The velvet draped beautifully. The brown shirt I'm wearing is from Wetseal I think; the top part of it is super cute, but I'm wearing the vest for a reason. The shirt has all these weird gathers and horizontal ruching which doesn't make it particularly flattering. I already had a pattern for a vest that I wanted to make, but because of time constraints I decided to do something else. I have a neighbor who gives me a lot of her daughter's old clothes, and even though not everything is my style, and the clothes are usually too big, I can find a gem hidden in the pile. Take this vest, for example. It's a Forever21 size large. Normally, even the small at F21 is too big on me, so you can imagine how enormous this vest was. The morning of the party, I turned it inside out, folded the side panels inwards, and sewed them down to eliminate about 6 inches of extra fabric on the sides. I also did this to the halter neck. Ideally, I should of used my seam ripper to properly take the vest apart, but I didn't have time. Eventually I will properly take it in though.



      With this ensemble I'm wearing some very nice patterned tights--not a lace pattern, but a very loose pointelle pattern. The boots are Marc Jacobs, with a stacked heel, zippers, lacing, and buckles that I got as a Christmas gift last year (original price was $120, but with the clever use of coupons and sales my parents got them for only $60!).



Sorry for the sideways picture!


   
      In these pictures you can see the decor for the party. I placed 3 iron bistro tables side by side, and surrounded them with a bench and an assortment of chairs. I put out the matching cushions and pillows for the chairs because they were in tones of red, brown, and yellow, which I thought complemented the theme very well. I covered the table in a white damask tablecloth. I made a banner out of some black paper I got off a roll from the art supply closet at school and a skein of teal yarn I salvaged. I hung the banner across my backyard to define the space. I found an old lantern in the shed and plunked that on my table, as well as a basket to hold all the napkins and utensil. I took an old vase and quickly made a flower arrangement out of all the faux flowers I could find in my house, and tied a remnant of white ribbon around the vase.

      I sent out the invitations in old Air Mail envelopes. On the invitations, I required that my guests do their best to wear Steampunk attire, and I specified that birthday presents wouldn't be necessary to bring but would be greatly appreciated. I wasn't expecting my guests to participate so enthusiastically, and I was really floored when I saw them all dressed up.

Aprill and I looking like derps. And she's wearing a Timeturner!

Deborah and I, with my eyes closed of course.

Sarah with an enormous foam bullet gun! And a face of evil!

Bri and I, and how the flower arrangement suspiciously got there?

John and I. I look terribly awkward in all these pictures.

Bri replaced the shoulder straps on her jumper with handbag straps! How cool!

Here you can see the vintage lantern.

I have to stop making these weird faces. I think this was my face right before I started crying.

The group!

Pretending we're like normal high-schoolers: drinks in hand, tushes out.
      Unfortunately, one of my freinds couldn't make it, which was a shame because I know he would have had fun.

      My parents took me to Stop-n-Shop the day before to pick out a cake. I didn't get any good pictures of the cake, but it fit into the theme perfectly. It was some German chocolate Bavarian creme shredded coconut covered confection, and it tasted really good. It was decorated beautifully, all in browns and blacks and coppers, with the shredded coconut slathered onto the sides with some chocolate shavings.


Lots of candles!


We moved into my basement because it became cold outside.

Here you can see the decoration on the top of the cake.


A good picture of the cake, in all its chocolatey glory.
The menu also included some red velvet cupcakes (also bought from Stop-n-Shop), popcorn, chips, lemonade, apple-cranberry juice, water, and pizza with beef, peppers, and mushrooms. 

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