Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Une petite robe d'hiver... My little crochet dress

Eve's Rib Tunic, by Doris Chan

I started this over Christmas. This was my second crochet project at the time, so I was very hesitant, as the fail probability was obviously very high. But I fell in love with Doris Chan's designs, and felt I just had to at least give it a try. And I managed! Doris Chan's patterns are very exhaustively explained, so even though you are making something rather structured, she really guides you through it.
My only newbie trouble occured after I'd done the underarm joining and wasn't sure how to join the yarn again; I asked for help on Ravelry, and lo and behold - Doris herself responded in minute detail within the hour!
This is an adapted version of Eve's Rib Tunic in Doris Chan's book Everyday Crochet. I knew from the start I wanted to turn this into a short dress to wear over leggings and a black fitted top. The pullover version would have looked like this:
But I wanted something a bit more special than a pullover.
The yarn is called Multico, and is made by a French brand, Plassard. The colours immediately reminded me of P'tite Mignonne's fur.

I did crochet the ribbed collar as per the original design, but it turned out too bulky on me even when crocheted with a smaller hook, so I frogged it.  The next challenge was the blocking. I blocked the dress onto my mattress (no carpet here!), and the stitch pattern opened up beautifully.

If you want to read the journal of this dress's making, check out this page in my ravelry profile.

This may further explain to you my current obsession with crochet. Now I have gained enough confidence, the possibilities are endless. My friend Molly was spot on in her comment the other day: what is fantastic with knitting/crochet, is that you are actually creating your own fabric, with the structure of your choice, and in the shape of your choice.

Of course, it also means that if you make a project a size too large or too small, you can't let seams out/take seams in as with sewing. I just finished a bolero jacket in the yarn I showed you last time, but it's turned out too large for what I had in mind, so I'm going to frog it all and restart.That's not the end of the world. I enjoy the sheer act of crocheting, so it'll get done when it'll get done. Crochet has greatly contributed to my relearning how to keep stress at bay and put things in perspective.

I am also currently working on a top for Spring - another Doris Chan design, the Belle Sleeve Pullover, which is available as a free download.

I also just finally put the finishing touch to the teal capelet - I was waiting for inspiration to strike regarding the closure, and it finally did, so I'll have to model it soon. :)

Hopefully the sewing purists among you are not too appalled by the current  yarnie turn of this blog. :) I still feel that I am creating style and enriching my wardrobe. And I do swear I have a Mad Men dress to show you... As soon as I get around to hemming it! LOL That one was pretty work intensive and I got a little burnt out, so I put it aside for a while.

45 comments:

Claudine said...

That is such a beautiful dress! I have a couple of Doris Chan's book, but have never attempted any of the projects. Perhaps you will inspire me to give it a try.

Sewlovely said...

I saw your dress on Ravelry yesterday and saw how quickly she responded to your problem. I am having fun working on a Doris Chan top now. I love how you lengthened it into a dress. It looks great with the tights and boots.

mermaids said...

fabulous dress!!

Vicki said...

Wow, that is a fabulous dress. You look so cute all styled up like that. Not bad for a beginners project!!

Yulwen said...

Te voilà déjà devenue une pro du crochet !
Elle est superbe cette robe ! Tu me donnes envie de m'y remettre (au crochet) ;)
Gros bisous.
Julie

Amanda S. said...

LOVE the dress!!! Please don't get me excited about another hobby though, I'd never get any housework done. Our high today is suppose to be 78 degrees, and it's the first day I've gone without my trusty fleece jacket. Bring on the warm weather, I say.

Anonymous said...

très joli modèle! tu nous montres plein de talent caché!

euh, côté météo, la même par ici, mais c'est plus courant!

grosses biiizzz et câlins à Ptite Mignonne

Doris

pinky said...

Je suis loin de maitriser le crochet comme toi, ma belle mère est une vraie professionnelle en la matière (elle tricote, crochète, je couds... nous somme complémentaires)

Courage pour la neige, ici aussi à Toulouse on a été pas mal servi !!! et il va en retomber le WE prochain :/
Vivement le preintemps

Jennifer said...

What a lovely dress! It indeed looks like P'tite Mignonne's fur. How brave to attempt a garment on you second crochet project. I am still going on with socks and would like to try some mittens. Then it's back to cross-stitch for me.
How odd to see the snow on a palm tree!!

Sheri said...

I love your dress! You wear it well. Sewing and knitting are my 2 favorite hobbies. I can't even rank which one I like best - depends on the day.

Nancy K said...

That is such a lovely dress and really perfect with your leggings and top. Tres chic! I can't believe that this is your second project, it's so wonderful.
Thomas Friedman said in his column in the NY Times, that we shouldn't call it global warming, but rather global weirdness. The weather patterns seem to be really 'weird' lately, that is for sure.

mainely stitching said...

That is stunning, Isabelle. You never fail to amaze me with your talents!!

Ann's Fashion Studio said...

Lovely dress! It looks perfect on you.

What a pretty snowy day picture...however it's much better being inside :)

gwensews said...

You are unbelievably talented to crochet such a dress so soon after learning to crochet. Wow! It turned out beautifully.

coffeegrounded said...

What a beautiful dress!

You have such talent; I'm envious.

gatofish said...

Your dress is GORGEOUS! I never knew crochet could be so form-fitting and fabulous. You look great in it.

Vicki W said...

Fabulous dress! Great color, great fit - very flattering!

verobirdie said...

Cette robe est superbe et te va très bien.
Il faut bien ça pour supporter les "douceurs" du climat du sud, non?
Pour ta première année, tu n'as pas de chance...

Catherine said...

Isabelle, ta robe est superbe et te va très bien. C'est vrai que c'est très relaxant aussi de tricoter ou de crocheter. Et pour ce qui est de la neige à Montpellier et dans le sud, j'ai vu ça aux infos, c'est fou! Ici à Nantes il fait bien froid mais on a échappé à la neige!

Tini said...

The dress is fabulous!

My blog has turned into a knitting blogs mostly too (and now pregnancy), just because I can knit a lot without thinking. If it goes wrong: I frog it. If I sew without thinking I have a wadder. Plus I can knit a round to take the edge off and stuff it into the bag again. If I start sewing I need a bit more time (at least 15 minutes..)

I'm looking forward to see more of your creations, wether it be sewn, crochet, knit or pottery ;)

(we still have snow too but the days of avalanges are finally over! We normally have like 10 days of snow per year and this year since christmas!)

Nicki said...

Wow! To think crochet could look that good! Well done - it looks amazing :) And I don't mind what you show on your blog - it all looks great.

Love the snow picture too!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Very pretty dress! The snow was to allow you to get a little more wear out your winter crocheted dress. `-)

KarenV said...

What a gorgeous, gorgeous dress Isabelle! You've really taken to crochet like the proverbial duck to water :) Great job!

Redwitch said...

Just gorgeous, I'm glad your creative talents are helping you unwind and relax. The dress is just perfect on you :)

Summerset said...

Very cute dress - I love the way the yarn self-striped when worked into the pattern.

Su said...

I love your dress, and you are really tempting me to learn to crochet with all of your new things!

Shashi Nayagam said...

Dear Isabelle, what a gorgeous dress. You are so clever with needlework.

mochimo said...

Your crochet dress is wonderful! You started crocheting just a few months ago and you're already making dresses. And beautiful ones, too.
It almost make me want to start crocheting again. I learned as a child, but never liked it much. But I would like to have such a pretty dress!

Lisbei said...

Hello ma chère Isabelle !
Ta petite robe est tout simplement merveilleuse, je veux la même pour ma fille, hihihi !
Quant à la neige ... ça vaut le coup de descendre dans le Sud de la France pour avoir de beaux hivers quand même ...
Mille baisers et caresses à Lady Violet !

Maeve said...

I love all manner of crafts and needlework. :) And people's stories. And cats. And gardens. And well, I guess the thing I'm trying to express is that I enjoy the voice you share here in your blog, no matter the subject matter.

The dress is lovely!

Bluebell Design said...

Beautiful wee dress and also a lovely yarn. Ravelry is one of my favourite places on the web!

Kelroc said...

What a beautiful crochet dress. I haven't tried any of Doris Chan's crochet patterns but after seeing your dress I might just have to try one. Great job!

NGLaLALa said...

It looks so great!!

Tracy said...

Palm trees and snow--that is quite a scene! It has a been a crazy winter everywhere... Hope the snow won't last long there... and now more snow-droppings from palm trees! ;o) LOVE the dress, Isabelle! I always admire how you take a pattern and make it uniquely your won. The dress suits you beautifully! I only wish my crochet skill were that good--LOL! I must look at those Doris Chan patterns--such elegance and simplicity of style, I like that. Your spring top in prog is lovely too... Can't wait to see the Caplet. Happy Weekend, my friend! ((HUG)) P.S. Thank you for your wonderful enthusiasm for my new shop collection. If you would like the necklace you had your eye one, I'd be glad to put it on reserve for you...let me know...

Crystal said...

Gorgeous dress. I am in awe of your crochet skills. I keep trying to learn but can't seem to get the hang of it so will stick to sewing at the moment.

Karen said...

Isabelle, that's lovely! You're making me want to learn to crochet and knit, even though I fear having another activity that will cause me to stash. (I don't have space for a yarn stash).

Brilliant idea to use something that coordinates with Miss Kitty's fur, since we know she'll shed on it at some point.

Palm tree with snow . . . very strange.

Christine said...

Excellent job, Isabelle! So lovely! I shall have to check out her designs.

Karoline said...

The dress is gorgeous, congratulations

audreyswardrobe said...

That dress is so stylish! Nobody would guess it is only your second crochet project!

And I just love that last photo.

levelek ;)

Minnietheminks said...

I love your dress, I will have to crochet more small items before I could manage that. I really posted becuase I wanted to thank you for your excellent instructions for the Ailson swimsuit. I life saver. Thank you x

Heather said...

Your crochet dress is beautiful!
The weather is very strange lately. You are getting snow and here in Nova Scotia we are getting unseasonably warm temperatures when we are usually getting snow in March.

J Rae said...

Your dress is so gorgeous!

Can't wait to see how your pullover turns out. Very pretty so far!

I like your headbands. Hope your ear is completely well now.

Krystal said...

Beautiful dress!

Heidi said...

That's really amazing! I can't believe your a newbie at crochet!!

karin said...

I dito Heidi and the dress looks so good and perfectly styled