When I was researching Goth fashion for my Misery costume I came across a style of outfit called ‘Ice Goth’. Basically, the garments are Goth in style but in all white, rather than all black. I liked the idea of this, so when I was trialling the Simplicity 2172 corset pattern I made a white corset to build an Ice Goth outfit around.
The corset has a brushed cotton lining, a layer of coutil and a layer of lace. The boning channels are sewn through all three layers (to help secure the lace), with the bones in between the lining and the coutil.
|The corset is trimmed with some gathered tulle and a jewel at the top.|
Over the next few months I collected interesting white fabric whenever I saw it. This wasn’t going to be a huge dress, so I could make do with a meter or two of each fabric. And as the collecting period included Christmas, I made it known that bits of white fabric would be a good present. I did have a silhouette in mind, but mostly I let my design be suggested by the fabric I accumulated.
My final design had six parts: the corset, 3 skirt layers and the sleeves as two separate pieces each.
The outer layer of skirt is a combination of bustle and apron drapery. The fabric is a dotted fleece my aunt gave me; it was so nice I wanted it to be featured. I hand-draped the bustle shape and pinned it together on the dress form. I hand sewed the fabric at various points on the underside to tape that was secured at the waist band. The apron is gathered to the bustle on one side and to itself on the other. Both are sewn to a waistband that opens and fastens at the side.
The waistband had to have a V-shape at the back so the bustle could come up to the V-shaped corset, meeting it but not tucking under it.
The inner skirt is a two-layer handkerchief skirt. At Patchwork on Parker I found two white-on-white floral prints, one large and one small. I made a square skirt out of each (the bottom one slightly longer) layered them diagonally and put them on an elasticised waistband.
In between the skirt and bustle is a satin layer. It is a rectangle of satin trimmed with lace on one side and along the bottom hem. The other side is edged with a pleated fabric and a length of feather-wool finger-weaving. The fabric that has been pleated is embroidered with paisley designs and is one of the more expensive ones I used, so I only had a small amount.
I was introduced to finger-weaving in early primary school as an exercise to strengthen my fingers and improve my hand-writing. Using normal wool, finger-weaving creates a type of plait, but with feather-wool you get a thin fur-boa like braid. I used this several years ago in another project and had loads left over so I was pleased to find this additional use for it.
The satin layer is hitched up semi-randomly at a number of places where it is gathered and secured by a jewelled bar. The bars came from a bracelet which I bought while I was gathering the white fabrics, not to wear, but to use the pieces as embellishments.
The top sleeve piece is made of a crinkled lace. It is constructed as a tube with hemmed elastic at each end. The lower sleeves are the first free-standing cuffs I made. I wanted something that looked like spats for the arm. The fabric has drawn thread stripes in it and the buttons were accumulated over several years of sorting through the button bin at Addicted to Fabric. I decided that cuffs make great accessories and have since made several more pairs for other outfits.
I began working on this outfit for its own sake (I think I described it as an ‘exercise in design’). When I wasn’t able to make the outfit I had planned for my 21st birthday party (as I was unable to find appropriate fabric) ended up wearing this outfit instead, because it also fit the party’s theme - Extravagance.
I accessorised mostly with black: jewellery, hair flowers and shoes. For makeup I used white eyeshadow over my whole face as a base. It doesn’t look great in the photos because I could not find a matte white eye shadow anywhere, and the ‘pearlescence’ doesn’t agree with the flash. My mum drew white eyeliner curlicues around my eyes (which according to some is a goth faux par – but I like it) and I wore plain white feather false eye-lashes (another difficult find). The feather lashes had been one of the earliest inspiration ideas I had for this outfit, but I had never worn any sort of false lash before, so working out how to put them on was the last task before the party. My mum did my hair (thanks mum, it looked great).