The Lady of the Manners has recently seen an uptick in posts (mostly on Tumblr) about gothy fashion: bemoaning the cost of the “name brand” fashions, bemoaning the lack of plus-size clothing, and assorted other “how do I put together a fabulous goth wardrobe?” things.
The Lady of the Manners’ answers:
- Thrift stores. Always, always check your local thrift stores.
- eBay, Poshmark, Etsy, Threadup, and depop are treasure troves. You don’t necessarily have to look for name brands – look for the sorts of styles and fabrics you want. (The Lady of the Manners searches for “fit and flare stretch velvet dress” and “vintage crushed velvet dress” every few days, but she admits she’s a bit obsessive about the whole thing.)
- Mainstream stores.
Because once you find garments that fit, you can ”¦CUSTOMIZE EVERYTHING!! Some things you can do:
- Add trim! Lace, ribbons, grommet tape, fringe, whatever strikes your fancy.
- AppliquÃ©s and patches! Cut apart t-shirts and add the pieces to the back of jackets or the front of skirts. Find lace or sequined appliquÃ©s you like.
- Fabric paint, bleach pens, and metallic Sharpies. You can write and draw on almost every fabric. There’s even fabric medium that you can add to existing paint. (Just be sure to follow the instructions for those to the letter.)
- FABRIC DYE.
- Replace the existing buttons with new, more interesting ones.
- Rows of safety pins.
Some of you may be asking “But where do I find this stuff? What do I need to use it?”
Tools for basic DIY sewing:
- Sharp scissors, preferably a pair for cutting fabric, and a small pair for snipping threads. Do not, for the love of the shadows, ever cut paper with these.
- Fabric pins and sewing needles.
- Thread in whatever colors you need. The Lady of the Manners always has a stockpile of thread in black, white, burgundy, and pink.
Good places to find these things: Amazon, Joann, and Michael’s. If you go for Joann’s or Michael’s, remember that they have coupons on their websites, you can get even more coupons if you download their respective apps, and if you go to the physical stores, they both will accept competitor coupons. Also be sure to check the craft section of your local thrift stores for hidden craft tool treasures.
Tools for basic DIY of a non-sewing nature:
- You still need those scissors.
- You will probably still need fabric pins to place things before affixing them.
- Fabric glue.
- Stitch Witchery or something similar, because then you can attach trim or fabric to other fabric by using an iron instead of sewing.
- Safety pins.
- Needle-nose pliers.
- Hot glue gun. (A warning: Hot glue is hot, and always give it at least a minute longer than you think is necessary before touching anything you just glued in place. You’d think this is obvious, but every crafty person the Lady of the Manners knows regularly burns their fingertips because we forget this basic fact.)
And again, all of those things are easily found at Amazon, Joann’s, and Michael’s.
An Assortment of places to find DIY supplies
- Yet again, Amazon, Joann’s, and Michael’s. You can find damn near everything on Amazon now: lace trim, ribbon, safety pins, buttons (including metal ones with skulls!), rhinestones, grommet tape, D-ring tape made from satin ribbons, fabric dye, etc.
- Also yet again, Ebay. You can find damn near every craft supply under the moon on eBay.
- Aliexpress. If you don’t need your supplies right away, Alibaba is where a lot of those Amazon and eBay sellers get their merchandise. Always read the reviews of the Alibaba sellers and understand that you’ll be waiting 2-3 weeks for your purchase.
- Studs & Spikes! In addition to the aforementioned sharp adornments, they carry patches, pins and badges, and the tools you need to attach studs and spikes to your clothing.
- M&J Trimming. Ribbons, rhinestones, trims, buttons, all sorts of things.
- Cheeptrims. Exactly what it sounds like!
Speak, oh sibling crafty goths, of your must-have DIY supplies or of additional places to find them. The comments are open!