Steampunk – Accessories – Muff
A while back I was thinking a bit about my evolving Steampunk costume, and suddenly thought of “muff!”. I’m not entirely sure why, but there it is!
I figure it will make a nice accessory, albeit only one for winter, which makes it rather silly at the moment as spring is just around the corner (I hope! I’m tired of all this snow!) but it often seems that I sew off-season, more out of being behind than in an effort to capitalize on sales or anything.
While pondering it however, I think that I would like something that was fur-lined, with a fabric outside (except on the edges, where I want the fur to show – as though it was so furry that the fur couldn’t be contained!).
I did a quick search for “muffs” on google, and although there aren’t too many, those that were shown all had chains to carry them, which certainly seems practical, but.. eh… I’m not really feeling it at the moment. I did see one or two with wrist straps which seems practical, but at the same time cumbersome. The idea to me isn’t to hang my hands from a strap around my neck, but rather to have a way to get the muff out of the way when not needed. Having it dangle from my wrist seems like a bigger pain than the alternative.
My other thought on how I’d like to design my muff – a pocket. More specifically a zippered pocket on the side that faces inwards – kind of like a fuzzy bar purse! It seems kind of silly, but also somewhat practical in the long run – I wouldn’t want to be carrying both a muff and a purse, but I’ll still need something to hold my ID, keys, etc. I picked up some grey fun fur at the recent church fabric sale, and although I’m not sure if I want to go with the smaller striped piece or the larger solid piece, I bought it with the muff in mind. (Actually, I’d much rather use the striped piece, but I have the sneaking suspicion there won’t be enough, and I don’t want to piece fun fur more than I have to!)
Here’s a fashion plate circa 1902 that I found via the wikimedia.org website – not much of a picture really in terms of muff detail, but such a pretty picture otherwise!
With this photo from a 2007 fashion show, the designer has used a strap instead of a chain. This works better for me, but I’m wondering if something fancier wouldn’t be nicer – the strap almost seems like an afterthought on this one. This photo is credited from Copenhagen Fashion Week and is designed by Baum und Pferdgarten according to the blog I found it on. The style of the muff is similar to what I have in mind though, although it kind of looks as though the striped area is also fur, and that’s not my intention.
From another dress diary – how beautiful is this muff? I love the embroidery (though I would be lazy and just couch gold cord myself…) and the matching buttons, and the richness of the velveteen, and the way the fur just slightly pokes out from the edges.. lovely! (Oh, and thumbs-up for the recycled fur… if you have to use real fur, it’s a much better solution IMO) I really like the buttoned-up muff, and imagine that it would be somewhat easier to store if nothing else. Would there be other advantages/disadvantages to a button up (or some other method of closing) muff? The overlap should keep the chill out, so warmth probably isn’t a factor, and construction would likely be easier… (rather than having to turn all that fur) Something to think about! Ah.. looking at her website, makes me want to revisit the Venetian costume I had planned a while back. *wrist smack*
One other thing that I noticed between all of the different reference images- the difference in size. Some seem to be quite big, while others are almost tiny. Perhaps it’s notable that the two extremes are both illustrations instead of photos, and a more moderate take on the size is more realistic and practical. While I don’t want my hands swimming inside the muff, I also don’t want to have to jam them in, especially if I’m also wearing gloves or mittens as well!