Friday, May 22, 2015

From Doily to Dress



Here's a project I made in 2009. It's a dress based on a doily pattern. I made this dress without much planning, much of it is improvisation. I have been thinking of trying this kind of exercise again.

Crochetology Exercise
Given the Doily pattern:

Doily pattern with classic pineapple stitch

Doily pattern with classic pineapple stitch

Make a lace dress.

This problem is an exercise in appropriating doily patterns. There are thousands of antique, vintage and contemporary resources for doilies that can serve as starting points for new dress designs.

Roadtesting the doily-dress!

The doily pattern is selected for its complex design. Of special interest here is the pineapple stitch and the two smaller crocheted medallions. In my work, I decided to use the pineapple motif and one of the medallions for the bodice of the dress, and then use the pineapple for the lower section of the skirt.

Here is a study/sketch of the dress, which I made only for purposes of illustrating the improvisation. You might wish to begin with a study such as this, otherwise, you can improvise as you go along.


A study of the doily dress.

The back of the dress has some minor variation – where the front uses the shell trellis pattern (as shown above), the back section uses only the arch mesh (a 5-ch mesh). The arch mesh (also known as fishnet chains) is a specially useful stitch for free-form crochet.

The hip section for both the front and back of the dress are then worked in rows of alternating bars (dc) and shells (2 dc, 1 sc, 2 dc). Below is a photo of the back of the dress showing the doily pattern, the arch mesh and the bar and shell.

Detail of the back of the dress.
I used fine polyester thread and 3-ply cotton thread held together for this dress in copper and beige colors respectively. The hook is 1mm steel.

Here are new photos of the dress. You can study the photographs and then try making your own version of a doily dress either using the doily pattern above or a different one.