Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Geeky Goth Girl says "Bula!" from Fiji!

Hello, my loves-sorry for the unplanned hiatus, but I've spent the last 13 days flying halfway around the world, getting the worst sunburn of my life, eating massive quantities of Fijian food, and getting settled into my flat in Wellington! I have a couple pictures of your friendly local (only not-so-local any more) Geeky Goth Girl gadding about the lovely isle of Fiji, where I spent ten glorious days:
Here I am, sailing to the beautiful Beachcomber Island in my pretty, sparkly black dress-beach and Goth collide! It was actually the first time I've ever been on a beach, and it was so amazing. Gorgeous weather, warm water, drinks that are much stronger than you expect...but that's another story. :)
Me, holding a baby sea turtle. They were so cute! It took all my self-restraint to not stick him in my pocket and run away with him.
When snorkeling, be very careful of coral. Fun, beautiful...but sharp and pointy! O' course, it probably didn't help that I couldn't wear my glasses and was blundering about underwater blind as a bat.
Why we of the pale persuasion fear the fierce rays of the Daystar. My sunscreen took one look at the Fijian sun, said "screw this, I'm outta here", and fled, leaving me to the sun's mercy, despite copious reapplications. I have never had a sunburn with blisters before...
The day after Beachcomber, thoroughly shielded from the sun's rays, on top of an amazing ancient Fijian hillfort. Note my dedication to Gothy-ness-I still wore black in the tropical heat...I feel like I should submit this to Goths in Hot Weather, even thought it was actually a very cool outfit since the shirt and skirt are both quite lightweight!

Me: 5'4"
Ancient Fijian trees on the campus of the Universtity of the South Pacific: Too, too tall!
Both the cherry print underblouse and the lace overblouse were from the Fijian flea markets...I promised myself I wouldn't buy too many clothes on this trip, but couldn't resist beautiful clothes for insanely great prices, considering the current Fijian/USD exchange rate!
A Goth spin on traditional Fijian dress: I made my own sulu, or sarong, to wear when we visited the village of Waikete, which means water-stomach. The villagers were incredibly warm and friendly, and had the good grace to applaud rather than laughing when I attempted traditional Fijian dance!

Finally, my last night in Fiji-we had a lovely going-away dinner, followed by a viewing of an excellent show called Vaka: Birth of a Seer. This is me with my amazing host mom, Frances, and my lovely roommate Hilary, chilling after a great Fijian meal. I miss the food there-and the people, who were all insanely sociable and affectionate and generally lovely.
Alas, I managed to break my camera between Fiji and Wellington, and only today acquired a replacement, so no pics from Wellington yet. But that'll all change tomorrow! Stay tuned for more pictures, outfits, and stories from Geeky Goth Girl: New Zealand edition. And as the Fijians say, Au Salako!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Monthly Homework Assignment: "I Forgot I Own This!"

So, in January I missed Le Professor Gothique's Monthly Homework Assignment, but this month I actually remembered to check, and I'm glad I did! The challenge was to wear something you haven't worn in quite a while, and I knew I had just the thing:

Cream-colored lace overblouse-Inherited
Black taffeta vintage dress-Buffalo Exchange
Black lace armwarmers-Icing
Black tights-Wal-Mart
Black stompy boots-DAV Thrift
With this dress, it's not so much "I forgot I have this" as it is "I love this, but I haven't worn it in forever because it's vintage and sort of falling apart and I haven't had a chance to do repairs. You can actually see the spot in the dress where the center front seam is coming out and a little bit of my bellybutton is showing through-hence the "I haven't worn this in ages!" that qualified this dress for my homework this month!
Fally-apart or not, though-I do love this dress. First, I have a wide ribcage and big hips, so it's really rare for me to find vintage that fits. Second, it has a bustle detail in the back, done with lace. I love it so much, I actually squeed when I lifted it up in the store and saw the sweep of the bustle. The lace is a bit full of holes, too-but I just pretend it's intentional so I can achieve an air of decadent decay, and no one has questioned it yet! This dress is going back in the closet for a while, until I get back from New Zealand and have time to do proper repairs, but I was glad to be able to give it one last outing before I left, thanks to this fun homework assignment. :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sew Very Goth: Tim Burton-Esque Edition

When I was home over Thanksgiving break, I happened to wander by the smallish fabric section of our local Wal-Mart, and what did I see? Only the best thing a Goth can hope for: Black and white striped fabric! I immediately planned to buy all that was left on the bolt, only to get a second, even better surprise: It was $.87 a yard, and there were 8 and 1/2 yards. I knew IMMEDIATELY what I wanted to do with it! I'd had this Simplicity pattern laying around for a while:

And I'd been coveting this one for quite a while, so I took the excuse to buy it off eBay:
I put the two of 'em together, and came out with this ensemble:

Apologies for my wonk-face in this picture, I have no idea why I look like that. 
Black collared blouse-Wal-Mart
Black and white striped coat-vest-Made by me
Black underbust corset-Fusion Federation
Black and white striped ruffled skirt-Made by me
Skull socks-TJ Maxx
White Mary Jane heels-Hot Topic
The skirt is actually fully reversible; the other side is white satin with a black and red pinstripe. I am so proud of this outfit, I can't even tell you. If the vest looks a little unfinished, that's because it was-I was too excited to wear it to worry about topstitching and putting the last hook in place, hence the pearl pin in the middle. Tune in soon for the other two pieces I'm making out of this fabric, because they are also awesome. :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Shades of Grey

Who says that grey has to be dreary and dull? Certainly not me! This outfit is, granted, a bit understated by my standards, but it was fun to wear, so I may have to try this "Dressing Like A Grown-Up (Ish)" thing more often. You will still have to pry my neon-colored striped socks from my cold, dead fingers, but today I learned that simple heather-grey tights can work too.

Black 3/4 sleeve sweater: Arc
Underbust vest-style corset-Fusion Federation
Grey/pink tweed skirt-Repeat Boutique
Heather-grey tights-Wal-Mart
Two-strap Mary Janes-Hot Topic
I love this skirt and I think the only reason I don't wear it more often is it's hard to match because of the pink. But I love the asymmetrical cut and jagged hem-that with the pink gives the tweed fabric a punky aspect that's really fun to wear. Tweed is good, but can sometimes run a bit on the staid-ish side, and grey is similar-so I like this skirt because it gives an edge to both. Do any of the rest of you like to wear traditional fabrics in unusual cuts and colors? 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sew Very Goth Tutorial: Fingerless Gloves

Hello, gentle readers! Warning for those on slow interwebs, like mine: Very pic-heavy post! But totally worth the bandwidth, in my humble opinion. Since you've all been kind enough to read and comment on my posts for the past 9-ish months, I thought I should like to repay the favor by posting a how-to for one of the most Goth-y of essentials, fingerless gloves.

I love fingerless gloves. I have bought many pairs from places like Hot Topic and Claire's, but every time I put them on, I would pause and say: Why did I pay $8.50 for these? I can sew, I'm sure I can make them for much less! But it remained nothing more than an idle thought until a few days ago, when I found an old knit top that needed a bit of revamping.
After snipping and snapping it down to size (pics of the re-cut top forthcoming on a day when my hair doesn't look terrible!), I had a fair amount of excess fabric, so on impulse I decided to try and make a pair. And they came out great!
Because I was making it up as I went on those, I didn't do a tutorial with them; but naturally, having made one pair so quicky and easily, I wanted to make another, and this time I did step-by-step, took pictures, and everything! So without further ado, here's the tutorial:
Materials needed: Stretch fabric (this is a great way to use up remnants and scraps!), sewing machine or serger, fabric-marking pencil, your arm
Step one: Lay out your fabric, making sure you have two layers and it's all nice and aligned. This was part of an old tank top that started to fall apart; these are an excellent project for upcycling.
Lay out your arm on your fabric and trace around it. Sewing tip: I use charcoal white pencils on dark fabric and heavy lead pencils on light, because I find them much more precise than tailor's chalk. I wanted these to be elbow-length, so I traced to just below the elbow.
Take away your arm and add about 1/4 inch to one side for seam allowance. Since these are made of stretch fabric, you don't want a lot of extra ease or they will hang oddly! Also, trace in an indentation for your thumb, about 1/2 inch down from the top of your glove.
Cut out your first glove, flip it over, and trace it to make a second. Cut them both out and place them right sides together.
Seam all the way down the straight side of the glove (the side without the thumb indentation). I used my serger for this, but if you don't have one, you can also use the zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine.
Carefully serge or zig-zag stich along each of the thumb-holes.

Fold down the top edge and stitch it under. Then, sew together your final seams above and below the thumbhole, turn them right side out, and enjoy your fab new fingerless gloves-for much less than $8.50.

Good luck! If anyone makes some fingerless gloves using this tutorial, send me pictures-I would love to see what all you gorgeous folks can do!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Monthly Theme Post: Rings

It's that time again! This month's theme moves me to make a confession; I don't think I have ever actually bought  a ring for myself. The closest I've ever come is these slave bracelets with ring attachments I got off e-Bay a couple months back:
Not very impressive, right? I need to hit it (and its blue and green siblings) with the pliers and pull out some of the excess links, because they're way too big. Ah well, whaddya expect at $8 for 3?

I may never buy rings, but that doesn't mean I don't have any. In fact, I have all of these:
 Now, if I don't buy rings, how do I have so many? Well, that's because they're all inherited.
This lovely lady is my Grandma Elsie. Doesn't her outfit kick some serious ass? She passed away on February 7th, 1997, from complications due to hepatitis C and liver failure. I was only four years old when she died, but I still have a lot of good memories of her. One of my primary ones is sitting with my two cousins playing dress-up with her ample amounts of jewelry-we could be pirates or princesses or anything in between, and she would play right along with us. When she died, my mom and aunt divided up her jewelry, and since my mom doesn't really wear jewelry, I inherited many beautiful pieces from her. Some of them I can't wear, since her fingers were a lot smaller than mine, but I keep them all the same, because she loved her jewelry so much and it was a huge piece of who she was. When I do wear rings, these are some of my favorites:
I love all of these rings; they are unique and special and gorgeous. Most of my grandma's jewelry wasn't expensive; a lot of it is from Avon or similar sources, but I don't care. The key ring on my thumb is absolutely one of my favorites, and my mom tells me that it was one of Grandma's favorites too. I like to think she was steampunk before steampunk was a thing. My grandma loved clothes, and she was always wearing beautiful, wild outfits with everything from leopard print to stripes to velvet. I haven't bought other rings, even though I've bought other bracelets, necklaces, etc., because I associate rings so strongly with my Grandma Elsie. Every time I don one of these with a corset and some striped socks or a skull-print dress, I smile, because I know that Grandma would have approved, and it makes me feel wonderful to know I am carrying a little piece of her around with me, whenever I wear a ring.