Sunday, December 19, 2010

Steampunk New Years Eve Tea Party 2011

Join us for a Steampunk Tea Party at our house on New Years Eve.

All the fine china hot tea and baked goods (and finger sandwiches!) you can manage and some steampunk parlor games or readings or storytelling or crafts and so on to occupy us until Midnight and beyond.

We live in San Jose, so guests would need to make their way to the South Bay, but we could probably manage some crash space. We also have two indoor cats who are super friendly but shed.

What to Bring:

Wayward Friends and Family
Any Small Children you belong to
Something stylish And Steampunky to wear
A Tea Cup
An iPod of music you enjoy
Party games you like to play (hey, we can even keep it Historical! Wink anyone?)
Any celebratory streamers/horns/hats/etc you have hanging around (or kidnap from Target, hehe),
A plate of your favorite finger sandwiches or other savories and an appetite for tea and cake.

We'll privide tea (Black, Green, White, Chai, Roobios, Herbal, Oolong, you name it... its in the Tea Cupboard) and china teapots, the cups and saucers we have and enough baked goods to sink Amsterdam.

When: 8pm, December 31st (7pm if you want to help decorate)

Where: 501 Raymond Ave, San Jose, CA 95128

RSVP Much Appreciated. Last minute attendees, Please don't hesitate to Join us!

As Always, everyone is welcome!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Steampunk Weekend in SF in October

Looks like I am putting this together.... email us at if you want to be on the mailing list to get more info!

Friday, Oct. 8th: Dinner at the Basil Canteen ( and then off to the DNA Lounge to see Abney Park.

We might get a hotel room for the weekend....There are also a number of terrific Bed and Breakfasts....

Saturday, Oct. 9th: We will sleep in, then wander around China Town for an impromptu China Town Self Guided Walking Tour and meet up in the late afternoon for High Tea at the Samovar Tea Lounge (

Sunday, October 10th: Head off to the SF Maritime Museum to see the 19th century cargo ship the Balclutha and get pics taken in front of some period scenery! ( ( We might even turn the pics into Old Timey Post Cards if they come out well enough...

Let me know if you are interested in participating any any of these events with us.... We would definately need reservations for the Samovar Tea Lounge and the Basil Canteen, but people could just show up to the other events if we nailed down a location and a time....
Join us for one of them, or more than one!

Your Event Mistress,

Sophia St. Clair

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Private Sewing Classes This Summer. San Jose

Have you got a sewing project in mind that you think would be perfect, but you don't have the skill to make it on your own? Consider taking a private sewing lesson with Sophia St. Clair of the St. Clair Aeronauts.

I have been sewing my own clothes and costumes for over 20 years and I have been designing my own patterns and pieces for over 10. On top of that I am an education professional, teaching high school history for over 15 years. I know how to break complex tasks into do-able pieces and I know how to teach skills and technique to beginners.

I also have a dedicated sewing room with all the tools of the trade, so you don't even need to own a sewing machine to take these lessons.

Check out some of the things I've designed and made Here.

Evening classes can be scheduled Monday or Wednesday 6pm - 10pm or for the hours you specify- $30

Day classes can be scheduled Wednesday, Thursday or weekends from 11am - 6pm or for the hours your specify- $50

You bring the ideas and materials and we'll make your project together.

Contact Me at

Cargo Bloomers Sewing Class, San Jose, July 11th

Design, draft a pattern and sew a pair of Cargo Bloomers at this one day class. Not only are they comfortable in hot weather and attractive on all body types, but they are practical too!

You will go home with a pattern and a pair of cargo bloomers. No experience necessary.

Only 4 openings available for this class. Cost is $20 per student to be paid by Paypal when you sign up for the class. Scholarships are available from the St. Clair Aeronauts for people in need. Please submit a note of explanation. Please email Sophia St. Clair at to reserve your spot in the class. First come first served.

There is a high demand for this class, so please do not take one of the few positions unless you really mean to attend. I hate to see a long wait list and then get a last minute cancellation.

The Details:

Where: Our House- 501 Raymond Ave, San Jose, CA, 95128
Phone: 925.787.2591
Time: Sunday, July 11th Noon - 6pm.
3pm- Tea Time (snacks and tea provided by your hostess)
6pm- Clean up and dinner (probably walk to the Chinese or Mexican restaurants 2 blocks from my house)

What to bring:

I have access to at least 3 sewing machines. Bring your own if you like....

Snacks if you are likely to want them
$10 - $15 for Dinner if you will be joining us
Whatever you like to drink (we have water and tea available but that is it...)
Pens, Pencils, Project book or paper for notes.
Newspaper and tape (for your pattern)

Cargo Bloomers Materials:

Enough fabric to go from your waist to the ground twice. Generally between 2 and 3 yrds of fabric.
Regular hand sewing needle
Thread to match your fabric
Seam ripper
Fabric chalk
Extra machine needles (mostly size 11 or 14)
Enough no roll elastic to go around your waist and both ankles.

To Decorate your cargo pockets and bloomers:

Ribbon in different colors and widths (you will need 1" ribbon to make proper ribbon roses and such)
Lace or other trim (even scraps can be useful, but you can do a lot with 2 yards or more (if you add tassel trim this becomes a dryclean only item)
Random fabric accents (doilies, patches, sequin decorations, embroidered bits, vintage scraps, beads, buttons, bells, tassels, etc)

Fabric Types:
Natural Woven Fabrics: 100% cotton or linen is the best way to go. Anything else, especially synthetics or brocades, will be hot and uncomfortable. Also, you can wash linen and cotton. Please no knitt or stretchy fabrics.

I have one machine that will sew thin garment weight leather.

Fabric Stores (other than Joe-Ann's and Hancock Fabrics):

Discount Fabrics: Two Locations- Berkeley and SF-
Fabrics R Us: (best place to by $4 linen!) San Jose-
SCRAPS (Goodwill for craft supplies, esp. Fabric and trim): SF-

Thursday, May 20, 2010

St. Clair Aeronauts Summer Sewing Classes!

Summer Sewing Classes, sponsored by the St. Clair Aeronauts
Learn to modify and sew your own clothes and accessories!
Learn to design and draft your own patterns!
Stay busy over the summer!

Sophia St. Clair will be offering beginning sewing and pattern drafting classes this summer in her home. All classes are for beginners and intermediate sewers. No experience is necessary. Mrs. St. Clair also has sewing machines and other necessary sewing tools but there are only 4 places in each class. Classes are $10 - $20. Scholarships are available. Please inquire if you would like to apply for the St. Clair Crafters Scholarship. Students are responsible for purchasing materials like cloth, patterns, buttons and thread. A list of needed items will be given out before each class.

Two types of classes:

BROP- (Bring Your Own Project)- Know what you want, but don't know how to make it? Bring your materials and we will make it together. I can teach you how!

One Day Workshops- Look for one day workshops on making Bustles, Bloomers, Bags, Spats and more. Even more topics on demand. Tell me what you want and I'll make a class for it! Show up with your materials and go home woth a finished piece.

Interested? Contact Sophia St. Clair to get on the mailing list, sign up for classes or find out more:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Picnic and Winchester Mystery House Pics...

We had a truely wonderful time. First, just scads of people showed up for the picnic at the Rose Garden and everyone brought the most delicious baked goods. We made wreaths out of flowers and ran through the roses. And the weather was perfect!

The Winchester Mystery House was also Awesome and we decked the statues with our wreaths.

Here are the pics....

Steampunks in the Sun

Sunday, April 4, 2010

May 1st Steampunk Picnic at the SJ Rose Garden and Winchester House Tour

We can only hope the weather will turn more toward spring and so, let us put our faith in sunshine and flowers and plan a picnic at the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden. We'll sport our sunniest Steampunk outfits, sit on the grass, eat sandwiches, baked goods and other delicious picnic edibles, drink tea and admire the roses. I'll teach a quick tutorial on making flower wreathes for a lady's hair with ribbon, twine and a typical bouquet of fresh cut flowers for anyone who is interested. Then in the afternoon, we can caravan over to the Winchester Mystery House for a proper Steampunk tour. NOTE: Regarding Tickets to the Winchester Mystery House: If we can get 15 or more people to commit by April 20th, we can even get a group rate. Email ( or message me if you want to be part of the group rate. Otherwise it is up to you to get tickets to the 3pm tour.

When: May Day, May 1st, 2010
Picnic at noon in the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden
Grand Estate Tour of the Winchester Mystery House at 3:00pm.

San Jose Municipal Rose Garden- Corner of Naglee and Garden Drive in San Jose
Winchester Mystery House- 525 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128

Please join us for a lovely afternoon at one or both parts of the day....

What to bring:
For the Picnic:

Yourselves and your friends and family
Small children if you have them
Goggles so we know you are one of us
Your favorite picnic sandwich
Something to share (enough for yourself and 4 other people)
Thermos of Tea (hot or cold!)
Teacup to drink it from
Blanket to sit on
Camera to catch the flowers and the action
For the Flower Wreath Tutorial:
Ribbon to match what you are wearing
Flowers from the market (longer stems are better, one large bunch will suffice or two small ones)
(Don't worry about twine or scissors. I have all we'll need.)

For the Winchester Mystery House:

Tour Info: Grand Estate TourAdults (13-64) $33.00
Seniors (65+) $30.00
Children (6-12) $30.00

Includes Mansion, Behind-the-Scenes, and House Garden Tours. Children 5 and under are not allowed due to safety concerns

The Winchester Grand Estate Tour is a 2 ½ hour experience that takes guests on a 65-minute guided tour of the Mansion interior and a 55-minute tour of the Behind-the-Scenes.

Also included in the Grand Estate Tour are the Historic Firearms Museum, which houses the largest collections of Winchester Rifles on the West Coast, and the Antique Products Museum. The Antique Products Museum displays a wide variety of everyday products manufactured by the Winchester Firearms Company in the early 1900’s. The Garden Tour is Self Guided.

Tour Length: 2 Hours, 30 Minutes

New Steampunk Medals in our Etsy Shop

The Medals for Heroic Tea Service won't be around much longer....But we have other medals too. Visit us at

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Nova Albion Pics

For all you fabulous and wonderful people we met at the Nova Albion Steampunk Expo, here are the pics we snapped with our busy camera. Enjoy!

Nova Albion 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Just returned from Nova Albion...

And I wanted to take a moment to savor the giddy delight of the weekend and to welcome any new friends and neighbors to my corner of the Steampunk Community.

Please don't hesitate to drop me a message if you want to be added to the St. Clair Aeronauts Events email list or Crafts email lists. I may not have captured as many of your aether web addresses as I might of liked.

Gail Carriger if you are reading this: You are a Goddess and we adore you and Alexia!

Kyle, William, and Sean, we are SO glad to have you aboard. Lord knows the Captain and Jason were getting a bit tired of so many ladies.... Sarah, when are you signing on officially....

To everyone who loves letter writing, We'll be at Maker Fair 2010. Don't be too shy to say hello and pen a missive!

Patches and wayward knitted octopi will grace our ETSY shop as soon as we can load the pics. Don't dispair!

Pictures from the event posted soon,


Captain and Mrs. St. Clair

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Great times at the Abney Park Show

How awesome was this event! Hopped on cold medicine but sporting our new threads, we ended up manning the table for the band and helping them sell CD's and posters and patches. It was actually more fun people watching from behind the table than trying to dance in the crush!

The latest modded Steampunk Gear Coat

Hanging with MT, my best sewing student and his new vest!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bustle Class Info

This class is now full. Please let me know if you would like to be on the wait list.

Note: Bustle examples Here

Bustle Class:

Where: Our House- 501 Raymond Ave, San Jose, CA, 95128
Phone: 925.787.2591
Time: 10:30am - noon- Visit local Savers Department Thrift store for interesting materials (Optional to class participants. This store is 3 blocks from my house and has a huge selection of used clothes)
Noon - 3pm- Make Bustles!
3pm- Tea Time (snacks and tea provided by your hostess)
3:30 - 6pm- Make Bustles
6pm- Break for dinner (probably walk to the Chinese or Mexican restaurants 2 blocks from my house)
After dinner- Finishing touches and cleanup

What to bring:
Bag lunch
$10 - $15 for Dinner
Whatever you like to drink (we have water and tea available but that is it...)
Pens, Pensils, Project book or paper for notes.
Newspaper (for your pattern)

Minimalist Bustle requirements:
Regular hand sewing needle
Thread to match your fabric
Between 1 and 4 yrd of fabric
Spool of ribbon at least 1/2" or wider (minimum 4 yards)
Seam ripper
Fabric chalk
Extra machine needles (mostly size 11 or 14)

For more complex Bustles add to the above list:
Contrasting fabric or fabric scraps (at least 1 yard total, more is always better for complexity)
Buttons (1 - Unlimited!), grommets or hooks
More ribbon in different colors and widths (you will need 1" ribbon to make proper ribbon roses and such)
Lace or other trim (even scraps can be useful, but you can do a lot with 2 yards or more (if you add tassel trim this becomes a dryclean only item)
Random fabric accents (doilies, patches, sequin decorations, embroidered bits, vintage scraps, beads, bells, tassels, etc)

I have access to at least 3 sewing machines. Bring your own if you like....

Fabric Types:
Brocades and upholstery fabric provide a firm foundation but do not always hang or drape nicely.
Linen always drapes beautifully and has a lovely texture. Get yours at a Bulk or Bolts End store for a reasonable price or buy something made out of linen at a thrift store. Don't buy linin at JoAnns. Its highway robbery what they charge!
Above also applies to wool and wool blends
Cotton hangs well, is durable and washable. Plus it breaths.
Crepe Back or Suade Back Satin is fine and nice and heavy. Do not get cheap $2 satin. It will melt in the sewing machine.
Home decorating fabrics also work, Sometimes. They tend to be stiff and scratchy or easily unravel. Check that they don't have glue on the back (used for furniture) and try to get things with at least some natural fiber content if you can.
Special occasion fabrics follow the same rule.

I have one machine that will sew thin garment weight leather.

Note: Ruffles require twice as much fabric as the length you want the ruffle. Pleats require 3 times as much fabric.

Fabric Stores:

Discount Fabrics: Two Locations- Berkeley and SF-
Fabrics R Us: San Jose-
SCRAPS (Goodwill for craft supplies, esp. Fabric and trim): SF-

I Know I will think of a few more things after I send this, so stay tuned for more...


Steampunks at Stitches, 2010

Ah... Stitches! Four Football Fields of Yarn, String, Wool, Needles, Hooks, Spacers, Beads, Books, Ribbon, Patterns, Buttons, Jewelry and... Vinegar (we don't know why).

Join your fellow South Bay Steampunks at the Premier Knitting, Crochet, and Fiber Arts Expo.

The Convention Center is pretty enormous, and we won't want to stick together much with so much to see and do, but let us at least meet for tea and cookies at 2pm.

When: Saturday, February 27th at 2:00pm.

Where: Santa Clara Convention Center: 5001 Great America PkwySanta Clara, CA 95054
Inside the Market Hall, to the right of the stage, near the Cafe and the restrooms, next to booth 1131: Bijou Basin Ranch Inc.
. Map Here.

What to Bring:

$6 to get in plus the $2 off on line coupon (otherwise, bring $8 to get in.)
Your wallet (some people may want to call their credit card company and impose a spending limit... I mean you CT!)
A recycled bag or tote to carry all the yarn you are going to buy
A camera to capture all the ideas you are going to want to make later
A notebook to write down all the contact information for all the amazing vendors who will have handed out all their bezillion buisiness cards already
A thermous of tea (unless you want to pay their exorbidant cafe prices)
A cup or mug to drink out of
Cookies to share
Anyone needing a ride from the San Jose area or public transit stops need only contact me at or by phone 925 787 2591 to make plans. We have plenty of carpool room!

Once inside we won't hear our cell phones in the din, but we will check them and you can always look for the goggles!

See you there! As Always, Everyone is Welcome!

St.Clair Aeronauts Offer Old Timey Letter Writing

You too can meet Capt. St. Clair and his crew! Be a Part of History....Alternate History!

We participate in various Bay Area Steampunk events with our StClair Aeronauts Steampunk Airmail Delivery Service.

We have parchment paper and pen and ink. We have Airmail stamps circa 1883. We have envelope paper and envelope patterns (we even have a little glue!). And, of course, we have our fearless crew of Delivery persons in Uniform to deliver your precious messages!

So come by, and write a letter to someone at the event. You can pen a criptic message, or start a short story in the middle of the action. Make your envelope, address it and add a stamp and we'll make every effort to deliver it.

You'll hear our crew wandering events exclaiming. "Airmail, Airmail Delivery for...." Just imagine your own name there and take home a memento of the day.

Or, if you don't care to write a letter, come sit in the parlor and watch the busy world go by and bustling airmail delivery persons go about their business... and be sure to bring your camera to snap some action shots with a few useful steampunk props and members of the crew!

See Pictures of the St. Clair Aeronauts in action HERE.

See Video of First Mate, Mrs. St.Clair HERE (about 2 minutes in)

Want to see some letters from our first event? Check out Letters written for the Sunnyvale Steampunk Convention, 2008 HERE.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years 2010- Steampunk Style

What a Wonderful evening full of friends, games, laughter, tea and song... yes, even song!

Once again we enjoyed ourselves far beyond what was expected and met some lovely new friends at our open invite New Years Eve Steampunk Tea Party. We ate delicious home made delights, drank gallons of tea and played parlor games until Midnight. Terrific fun!

Here are the pics: NYE Steampunk 2010

Thanks to everyone who came and made it such a terrific event!