Summer is most definitely not a goth’s favorite season. The blazing sun and the oppressive heat make it quite difficult for us to maintain our goth aesthetics going. Black clothing, boots, fishnets, and heavy eyeliner were not meant for the hotter months. While everybody else is planning pool parties and beach trips, I am trying to figure out how to live through summer with my goth dignity intact.
In order to survive the indignities of the season, I bump up my sunscreen usage and make sewing plans that combine my undying love of black with the realities of 90+ degrees in the shade. Since summer is the season of dresses, I can minimize the many weather horrors with a few super cute new additions to my closet. I visited my pattern collection on Trello and searched the Internet for ideas to start planning for my 2019 Goth Summer collection.
Because I do not have much of a waist, I do not like dresses that have a defined waistline. A-lines, shifts, and empire dresses work really well for my body. I like how these styles have shaping around the bust and hang nicely down the body. For me, A-lines and shifts have to be on the shorter side to counterbalance the more structureless quality of it. Empire dresses work well no matter their length. In an attempt to explore new styles, I selected two patterns that—gasp!—define the waist instead of hiding it. We’ll see how this goes.
The Safe Bets
The Bexley Dress, Blank Slate Patterns
I came across the Bexley by accident. I was browsing the Joann website, and I saw a picture of an adorable dress that seemed to have been placed there to seduce me. I had been looking for a knit dress pattern, but I wanted some pizzazz. This dress was just what I needed: comfortable (well, knit!), flattering to every figure, and with a nice design detail in the form of darts that make the dress hug the bust and then open to a swishy skirt. I clicked on the picture to learn that this is the Bexley Dress by Blank Slate Patterns.
Simplicity 3833 is one of the first patterns that I have ever made. When I sewed it, I used the most bizarre 70s print in orange and pink, and I lined it with a pumpkin-color fabric. The dress was my worst psychedelic nightmare. No surprise it was never worn, but I love the shape of this 60s retro dress. Details like the unique bust darts and the topstitching running down the front give this simple A-line dress a lot of visual interest.
Most dresses I sew these days are black. To make things interesting, I like to look for fabrics that have some texture to them. I found this cotton pique from Mood, and I think it is perfect for this project. Cotton is very breathable, and this one is on the lighter side, so it will work well for a summer dress.
The Surprise Selections
The Myrna dress by Colette Patterns looks like a swishy fabric dream. I purchased the pattern when it was released, but I have never felt confident that this is a good shape for me. After much consideration, I decided to take a chance on the Myrna. It is such a beautiful pattern! This dress deserves the drappiest fabric I can find.
The Magnolia Dress
Another unlikely selection, the Magnolia dress by Deer and Doe has two versions, one with a plunging neckline, long skirt, and a deep slit that shows all the leg, and one with fluttery sleeves, a more modest neckline, and a shorter skirt. Because the plunging neckline seems to offer little support to my frontline, I am sewing the demure version.
I want the Magnolia to be on the dressier side of summer, so no fun prints here. To keep it interesting, I am considering a flowy rayon with the added interest of a crinkly texture (bonus: not having to worry about wrinkles!).
I do not know if all four projects will work. I am taking some big chances (for me) with the Myrna and the Magnolia. I hope I will be able to finish all of them. Even though summer means vacation from work, it also means time spent away from home and my sewing machines. I already have two of these dresses on the cutting table, and soon enough, the four of them will be making my summer just a little more goth.