I know it’s been a while. I keep telling myself I’m done with my DragonCon preparations, but I can never leave well enough alone, so I’ve been busy reworking some things and adding various details. One thing I decided my Steampunk Baroness costume needed was a pair of spats. I had looked online at a lot of tutorials on how to make these things, but when I actually sat down to make the pattern, I couldn’t really get the other methods to work for me. After some trial and error, I came up with a pretty good way to make the pattern and was able to replicate the process (with a few changes) a few days later when I made another pair for my friend.
Of course, I learned a few things in the process. First, in making my spats, I thought it would be nice to line them. You can choose to do this or not, but I found that lining was completely unnecessary, so I skipped that step in making my friend’s. Also, I thought it would be cool to have working buttons on my spats, but I’ve found that they really are a pain to use in practice. I have ten working buttons on each of my spats, and it’s hard to button and unbutton them, especially because I’ve tried to get the spats to fit tightly over my boots. I used zippers on my friend’s spats, and they are definitely the way to go. However, I used invisible zippers on hers, and they look fabulous, but the problem is that the bottom of the spats are too narrow for the foot of the boot to go through. She’ll have to put the top of the boot through the spats and then put her feet in before she zips up both. Separating zippers would work much better, but you won’t get the nice clean look you do with the invisible zipper.
1 yard fashion fabric
buttons or zipper
1 yard iron-on interfacing
1 yard muslin or other scrap fabric for the pattern
small binder clips
chalk or marking pen
To make the pattern, cut out two rectangles of scrap fabric a little taller than and as wide as your boot. Hold the two pieces together and use binder clips along one side of the fabric to temporarily hold them together. Then, wrap the fabric around to the boot with the binder-clipped side to the back to the boot. Pin the other edge of the fabric pieces down the front side of the boot as closely as possible from the top of the boot to the top of the foot. Once the front is pinned, remove the binder clips from the back side and pin.
Once the pattern is pinned, take a marking pen or chalk and mark along the seams that were pinned. Then, mark a line at the bottom from the heel to the front of where you want the spat to go, following the curve of the boot.
Remove the pins, lay the pattern flat, and retrace the lines to make them more clear. Cut the pattern out with a 5/8″ seam allowance. Once you have the pattern cut out, sew along the front and back lines and put it back over the boot to check the fit.
Once you are satisfied with the fit, rip out the seams. Take one panel and draw a straight line where you want the buttons or zipper to go and cut. You should now have three pieces.
Trace the pattern pieces on to the fabric you plan to use for the spats. Add a seam allowance where the buttons or zipper should go. If you plan on using buttons, add a 1 inch seam allowance. For a zipper, add a 5/8″ allowance. Cut two of each pattern piece. Repeat the same process with the interfacing. Iron the interfacing pieces to the fabric pieces.
Match up side seams with the right sides together. Sew. Clip curves and iron out the seams. Topstitch one line on each side of the front and back seams. Fold down top edge of spat 5/8 ” and edgestitch. Do the same with the bottom edge of the spat.
If using buttons, fold side seams in one inch and edgestitch. Add buttonholes to one side and buttons to the other. If using a zipper, install as you normally would with the pull at the bottom of the spats. Decorate away, and you’re done!
Well, after months of preparation, DragonCon is finally here. We’re heading to Atlanta tomorrow. I’m hoping to post some pictures from the convention, so stay posted!