I really like the Gothic Lolita look, but I don’t really think it works for me. While all the beautiful ruffles, pintucks, ribbon, and lace make others look romantic and dreamy, I look like a cupcake decorated by a five-year-old. But if all the ornate details of the style do not suit me, I wanted to see if I could take some elements of it and create something that I feel comfortable in.
The summer goth skirt I made back in July reminded me of a very simplified version of a Gothic Lolita skirt. I had a lot of leftover fabric from that project, so I decided to use it for a black version of Simplicity 1941. Using the style as inspiration, I created two pieces that when together work like one and when worn separately are great basic goth building blocks.
The summer goth skirt is a self-drafted pattern—a very easy, quick, and satisfying make. The shirt is Simplicity 1941, an out-of-print pattern that is really worth searching for. The shirt is easy to fit to one’s body because of the princess seams. The simplified construction of the pattern makes it accessible to sewists that may be put off by collar stands and button plackets.
This black version is made with cotton satin I got from Joann. That I know, Joann has two kinds of cotton satin; this one is the lighter option, perfect for warmer weather. The other version is nicer, but it is also much thicker, making it challenging for someone like me who overheats at the sight of the sun. The major problem with the fabric I picked is that it wrinkles SO MUCH. I don’t know what to do about it—maybe a de-wrinkling spray?
Because the skirt is self-drafted, it is made to my measurements. For the shirt, I started with a size 20 but had to add 1/2 inch to the side seams to make it fit.
All major construction notes can be found in the original posts for the skirt and the shirt. The one suggestion I will make when sewing the shirt is to be really diligent about transferring all markings from the pattern to the fabric. When creating the placket and attaching the collar, you will need those markings to guide you. Do yourself a favor and be precise.
The Casual Goth Combo
I wore this combo to celebrate my birthday with a picnic at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Apart from all the wrinkles, the outfit was everything I hoped it to be: cute, casual, and comfortable. My partner and I sat on a bench and enjoyed the quiet of our surroundings. We hung out with ducks, visited the peacocks, and played “spot the cat” (so many kitties!).
Perhaps my interpretation of Gothic Lolita has very little of the source reference. I feel like this is just the right amount of the inspiration style for my wardrobe. This is an outfit I can easily wear to work, to a happy hour, or to the club. Now, if only I could tame those darn wrinkles!