I have been looking for quite some time for pattern designers with an obvious goth aesthetic, and in all this time, I can count four. My first find was BeMyGoth Patterns. Out of Sweden, the company released a handful of patterns, unfortunately, the patterns are no longer available. In more recent years, George and Ginger released a whole collection titled Goth+Grunge, Slightly Sinister Patterns has great options that highlight goth fashion sensibilities, and LegendSisters have released two beautiful patterns, the Hazel Skirt and the Willow dress (pre-order). I have come across suggestions from Reddit forums to look for 80s patterns… And there are those who choose to adapt costume patterns like S8114 or S9007 from the Simplicity Steampunk collection into something they can wear every day.
Of course, any pattern can become a goth pattern if you sew it in black, but what if I could find patterns that already have something of the goth aesthetic (or should I say, my own understanding and interpretation)? I wanted all patterns to be free, and I tried my best to make sure my choices were size-inclusive. I was surprised with the abundance of available free patterns and with how many lend themselves to becoming beautiful goth things.
Because this list grew to be too long, I broke it down into two parts. Part 1 will cover tops, skirts, and loungewear/underthings. Part 2 will include dresses, outwear, and pants.
Here is Part 1 of my list of free goth-them-yourself patterns:
A basic silhouette with many possibilities, the Hemlock is a knit boxy tee with drop shoulder, three lengths, and three sleeve options. Sizes range from 0 (32 bust, 25 waist, 35 hip) to 18 (44 bust, 37 waist, 47 hip).
The Hemlock adds interest to a basic tee. It would also look great in black mesh fabric to be worn over a tank top (or if you are of the more daring type, a nice bra).
Similar in shape to the Hemlock, the Mandy is a darling among sewists. This made-for-knit pattern features a wide, boxy style with drop shoulders, boat neckline, and two options for sleeves, three-quarter and long.
Another great option for a basic tee, you can extend it turning it into an oversized tee dress, and wear it with Doc Martens (or that’s what I am planning on doing). Sizes XXS to XXXL.
What is it that the Plantain cannot do? A basic T-shirt fitted at the shoulders and flaring at the hips with three sleeve options (short, long, and 3/4 sleeves), the Plantain can easily become a simple dress by extending its length. Sizes go from 34 (31 ⅞ bust, 23 ½ waist, 33 ⅞ hip) to 48 (43 ¾ bust, 35 ⅜ waist, 45 ⅝ hip).
Add lace sleeves, and you have an elevated version of a tee. Split the tee below the bust and add a skirt, and you have an empire-waist dress. This pattern makes the perfect basic black tee for a casual dark look. Turn it into a mini dress and sew it in velvet or sequins, and you have a super quick and quite fancy party dress.
Vera is a pattern for a knit V-neck top with bishop sleeves with two cuff options or flared sleeves and. The top is fitted at the bust, with mild shaping at the side seams, and a mild high-low shape hemline. Size chart goes from 28 (28 ½ bust, 21 ½ waist, 32 ½ hip) to 48 (48 ½ bust, 41 ½ waist, 52 ½ hip). Vera might not know it, but it was already born with goth charm.
I wish I had known about the Vera last year when I was trying to recreate the popular velvet dress from Vampire’s Wife. All I would have had to do was extend the top and add the ruffles. This top has so many possibilities—make it with bishop sleeves for a romantic look, or add a witchy vibe with lace flared sleeves.
A classic pencil skirt made for woven fabrics. The Aspen Skirt Redux variation includes a nifty belt. Simple and classic, you can go from corporate goth with some nice wool or bottom weight fabric to Bettie Page with some nice PVC. Sizes go from 2 (32 ½ bust, 24 ½ waist, 34 ½ hip) to 30 (58 ½ bust, 49 ½ waist, 68 hip).
A tutorial for a woven garment, this step-by-step explanation on how to sew a Gothic Lolita skirt will help you make a garment based on your own measurements. Make it in a plain black cotton and wear it with a black tee, or go crazy with ribbons and lace.
I love it when a very classic silhouette gets a little oomph with a simple but unexpected detail. The Lindy is like this—a pencil skirt with two overlapping curved front panels that resemble petals. It is a quick and satisfying knit project that you can finish in a couple of hours. Make it simple with some black knit, make it fancy with stretch velvet, or make it awesome with some black PVC. Sizes XS to XL.
This pattern is made for woven fabrics. The size range is SUPER limited, so I will never be sewing this skirt, but if you wear between a 12 and a 16 or feel like grading, this can look very cute. This skirt screams steampunk to me—could it be the raised pleats? I guess I have seen one too many pictures of steampunk outfits where the skirt is raised like the pleats here. The brown skirt shown to illustrate the pattern is what I imagine when I think of a steampunk skirt.
More of a tutorial than a free pattern, this blog post walks you through how to sew a woven tiered skirt using your own measurements. You can make it short or long, with flowy fabric for a romantic goth look or more structured cotton for a Gothic Lolita look.
Another great tutorial, this one is for a two-layer skirt with strings that bring the first layer up. I sewed my own version of this project, and it is absolutely beautiful! The way the pattern is cut using the width of the fabric to determine the width of the panels really helps with fabric waste. This is the ultimate goth skirt!
Slip into something more comfortable but really glamorous with these pajamas—perhaps just too glamorous to stay indoors. With an inclusive size range that uses the high bust measurement and bust size as a guide, this pattern works with woven fabrics with drape. If you are going for maximum goth luxury, imagine yourself gliding around the house in black or purple silk charmeuse. All the goth feels!
A camisole can go anywhere. Wear it under a top to soften bra lines, or wear it out as a top for a night at the goth club. Sizes go from 2 (32 ½ bust, 24 ½ waist, 34 ½ hip) to 30 (58 ½ bust, 49 ½ waist, 68 hip). For the ultimate goth party look, use black sequins.
So much good stuff… but wait, there’s more!
Next week, I will share Part 2 of this list with dresses, outwear, and pants. Hope this collection of free and size-inclusive patterns will inspire you as you work on expanding your wardrobe of dark delights.