Today we welcome back one of my favorite visiting lolitas, author Eden Bradley who’s not only one of the fabulous Smutketeers but also writes under the name Eve Berlin. Thank you so much, Eden, for coming and visiting us today.
A Journey of Pants and Other Steampunkian Things, Myself Included
by Eden Bradley/Eve Berlin
My travels to the 2010 Romantic Times Booklovers Convention began with a pair of pants…Well, it actually began long before then, when my fellow authors and dear friends R.G. Alexander, Crystal Jordan and Lilli Feisty and I decided to blog together, and the Smutketeers blog was born.
The four of us love Steampunk everything: fiction, clothing, the fabulous computers, furniture, cars and jewelry, being made by brilliant and creative minds. We all write various sub-genres of erotica and erotic romance, and since we all had Steampunk stories in mind, we decided the Smutketeers blog must be Steampunk in style-one uniting factor among many. Before we launched the blog we got together in the Nevada desert and did our first photo shoot. Blistering heat and high winds aside (and with the aid of a pitcher or two of margaritas) we managed some very interesting pics. As soon as it was done we knew we wanted to do it again! But since we all live in different areas of the country, it’s not often that we’re all in the same place at the same time. That time finally came for us at this year’s RT Convention in Columbus, Ohio.
R.G. found the most fascinating location for us-the Depot Rail Museum. There we were allowed to shoot in front of-and on-their antique Vulcan Locomotive, as well as in Car 100, an elegant private executive rail car originally built for Ringling Bros. in 1886.
We all wanted new costumes for the shoot-any reason to make a new costume!-and since this year I’m launching my new pen name, Eve Berlin (my first ‘Eve’ book,
PLEASURE’S EDGE, will be out from Berkley Heat in October), I needed two costumes-one for Eden and one for Eve. Eden likes to wear her petticoats, so I wanted something a bit different for Eve, and decided she should be in pants. But finding the perfect pair of Steampunk pants isn’t all that simple, costume geek that I am, so I decided to make them myself-that’s half the fun, anyway! It began with a pair of inexpensive, tweedy pinstriped capri-length slacks bought at a local department store…
They weren’t terribly interesting, but made an excellent base for the design I had in mind. I immediately stripped the plastic buttons from the belt loops, replacing them with brass cogs and clockwork bits, some of which I had on hand (as any good Steampunk fan should!), and some which I purchased for this project.
But I also wanted to feminize the look a bit and add a dash of Victorian, so I bought a few yards of very wide cotton lace. The lace was a pale, yellowy cream color-not quite the right shade, so I tea-dyed them until I got the tone I wanted. Tea-dyeing is a simple process and antiques most fabrics beautifully—cotton takes the tea particularly well. I gathered the lace, sewing it onto two lengths of grosgrain ribbon which I would use to anchor it inside the hem of the pants. But before that, I wanted to add a bit more detail, because in my mind, Steampunk style is all in the details.
I spilt the side seams of the pants open at the bottom-just a few inches-folded and sewed the edges back, and hammered brass grommets in. I used a darling thin brown ribbon to lace through the grommets, corset-style, and tied them with a small bow, then sewed the lace into the cuffs. I decided to sew that thin ribbon onto the edge of all the pockets, and added some tiny brass studs, as well, then used some vintage-looking brass and silver safety pins to anchor several lengths of antiqued chain, and the pants were done! All I needed was a sheer Victorian blouse, a tweed vest, some antique pins and other bits of jewelry (most of which I made, as well), with some flowers and a bit of clockwork in my hair.
One thing I love about Steampunk is the variety of styles. You can be purely Victorian, or add other elements: Wild West, Cyber, Deisel, and there are a million ways in which the styles can be mixed and melded, resulting in a very personal style statement.
I loved the way the pants—both my costumes, actually—turned out, and the photographs too!
Back at home, R.G. Alexander has sold a Steampunk story to Berkley, and the rest of us are still working on our proposals. I am dying to have the time to write it. I’m hoping it’ll be next year, but my current contracts have kept me busy! I have my upcoming Eve Berlin release with Berkley Heat, and in January my first Harlequin Spice novel, THE LOVERS, will be out, as well as two more releases this year from Samhain, SUMMER SOLSTICE, Book Three in my contemporary Celestial Seductions series, out August 10th, and BLOODSONG, Book Two in my Midnight Playground vampire series, out September 7th.
You can stay tuned to all the Smutketeers’ book news on our blog: www.Smutketeers.com Or you can visit my websites: www.EdenBradley.com or www.EveBerlin.com. And you must visit the Smutketeers to see the pics from our latest photo shoot in our gallery! All for Smut, and Smut for All!