This costume had been in my head since 1993. That was when I first saw Folkwear’s Victorian bathers pattern. I wanted to make it, but in a gothy fashion. That Halloween, I found a black and white skull-print cotton and promptly bought five yards. Some plain black cotton and a smidge of black PVC would serve for contrast. But the materials sat in my fabric stash for ages…
Then I thought I’d make it for the Cloisters Picnic at Convergence 7 in 2001. It would be the perfect outdoor Antiquity Goth outfit. So I cut out all the pieces and bought a bunch of narrow white rick-rack and soutache braid for trim. I even found some white glow-in-the-dark rick-rack! Got the pattern cut out and started sewing the bloomers and the blouse. But then the NYC parks dept. wouldn’t allow us to have the picnic, so we cancelled. I stopped working on this outfit (although, with the amount of work I did on C7, it was highly unlikely that I’d have finished in time anyways).
Finally, in the summer of 2003, I picked it up again. No idea when or where I’d wear it, but the idea was so cute, I needed to make it! Besides, I already had the materials. The main body of the romper is in the skull-print fabric, the sleeves are in black cotton, and the collar is in black PVC. The front panel of the skirt is skull-print and the rest of the pleated skirt is black cotton and is trimmed in rick-rack and soutache.
Really can’t remember when I came up with the name for this costume. But I imagine this is what a vampire would wear at the beach, particularly an eccentric Toreador who would accessorize it with black tights, granny boots, and elbow-length black gloves, with only the pale skin of my face showing. Of course, I wear my fangs, paint my lips wickedly red, and carry a black lace parasol too. The only thing missing is gothic surf music!