The holidays are a stressful time for many. Whether you are attending or hosting parties, there are many decisions, big and small, that go with whatever role you are playing. While some challenges can destroy the spirit of the season, others can be handled with a little bit of sewing and a lot of inspiration.
Dressing for the holidays can definitely be a challenge. So many things to consider: extra room for large meals; indoors spaces that can throw off your carefully considered outfit (too much heat/AC); snarky family comments when your style is not considered “normal.” You want to look good, feel comfortable, and shine your alt/goth/non-conforming light even when that family member makes the joke “Oh! Who died?” for the thousandth time.
The suggestions below combine a relatively low level of difficulty, immediate access to the patterns, and no cost to get the pattern. Yes, friends, they are all FREE patterns that you can download on the spot, print at home, and start sewing right now. They might not look alt/goth right off the bat, but with a little planning and a lot of black fabric, you can turn every holiday party into a goth celebration (or punk, or grunge, or metal, or [insert your style here]).
Vera Top, Forget-Me-Not Patterns, and Tiered Skirt, SewGoth Tutorial
The Vera Top is a V-neck top with bishop sleeves. I sewed it with some fun skull mesh for the sleeves for that extra goth vibe. The instructions are great, so if you are a beginner and feel threatened by the V-neck, this pattern has your back. You can make it very casual with some jersey or bamboo knit, or you can bring the party quotient up with some stretch lace or velvet.
The tiered skirt is a tutorial that can be adapted to be shorter or longer depending on the length of the panels. I kept it simple with black cotton satin, but you can use any light- to mid-weight woven fabric. You can add trim or lace to the hem or use this Seamwork tutorial to add ladder lace between each tier.
Cadia Shirt, Mood Fabrics, and Anything But Basic Leggings, DIBY
The Cadia shirt has been on my to-sew list since I came across it last year. I love the drama of the sleeves! This is a zero-waste pattern, which should make you feel even better about sewing it. You could even lengthen the bodice and make a dress.
The Anything But Basic Leggings is a great pattern for straight-forward leggings. The instructions are great—the booklet is an in-depth lesson in sewing leggings. I plan on sewing a version in stretch pleather I have in my stash (that’s been the idea since I found this pattern a year ago…).
Onella Blouse and Aster Pants, Mood Fabrics
With the world going bananas for Netflix’s Wednesday and dark academia making librarians accidental fashion icons, the Onella blouse is the perfect garment for the time. Pair up some glasses with that pussy bow, and you will be answering Reference questions all night long.
The voluminous Aster Pants are the perfect match for the cool stuffiness on the Onella. The pattern has exaggerated legs flow with each step. When the pants are sewn in very drapey fabric, they can even pass for a skirt.
Hana, Mood Fabrics
Slip dresses were a staple of the 90s. One of my most vivid memories of 90s fashion is Courtney Love and her many interpretations of the slip dress. The Hana is the perfect slip if you are feeling nostalgic. This is a bias-cut dress that you can sew in a variety of fabrics. You can glam it up with stilettos, or you can punk it up with fishnets and Docs. This is an easy pattern when you choose a light cotton or linen, but I’d caution you that things will get slippery if you choose charmeuse, silk, or similar fabrics.
Portia (Knit Version), Rebecca Page
The Portia has a very special place in my heart. It is ridiculously comfortable while making me look feel a goth goddess. This would be my number one choice for any party that involves a large meal. I sewed mine in black spandex knit fabric, and it looks equally great with flip flops, Docs, and knee-high boots. For a more holiday look, you can use light-weight stretch velvet in red or dark green. An absolute winner.
Vampire’s Wife-Inspired Dress
During the pandemic, I had too much time and nowhere to go. When Xmas came around and we were still in lockdown, I decided to sew a smock inspired by the then wildly popular—and quickly sold out—Vampire’s Wife velvet dress. This project was not difficult, but it involved many techniques and took some time to complete. This dress is a stunner. If you have a fancy party to go to, you will be the goth of the ball with this one.
Yarrow, Mood Fabrics
I just met the Yarron, and I already cannot stop thinking about it. This is the perfect dress to turn into a goth stunner. You have the high collar, lots and lots of ruffles, and a two-tiered skirt that can easily be lengthened with longer panels or more tiers. The sample sewn with the black and white Star-Filled Silk Chiffon with Metallic Silver Stripes is perfection.
The Holiday Goth Outfit of Your Dreams
Holiday parties can awkward and uncomfortable. You can at least face them wearing an amazing dress or a super swishy pair of pants. You still have time to sew your goth holiday party outfit. Grab a glass of champagne or sparkling water and let everyone know that this goth has arrived!