Wednesday, November 10, 2010


If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you know I have an insatiable desire for and obsession with yarncrafts. It only made sense that my next collection incorporate knit or crochet techniques. Knitwear is a huge industry and far more common in apparel than its cousin crochet, so I decided to take on the challenge of working crocheted pieces into my designs in a fresh and modern way, steering clear of lace collars and granny square ponchos.

For the first piece in the new collection, I started with the simple silhouette of a long sleeve minidress with a low back neckline. Here's the shell without the sleeves.

Then I played around with some crochet samples:
This was kind of cool, but the yarn looked too bulky to me. I added sleeves and made a new crochet sample in a lighter weight yarn in a more sophisticated color.

Disappointed. The back is still so exposed, the color is too close to skin color, and it still looks like I just slapped a crusty old piece of lace onto a perfectly simple little black dress. The piece is far too complicated to be appealing. Back to the drawing board.

Then, as I was flipping through a crochet book, I found a Flemish floral motif that was simple enough it could be manipulated a hundred ways and still look interesting and modern.

I was starting to like this, but needless to say, it needed revision. So I started doing the math.

After yet another sample, I was getting somewhere.

Since I still needed to find a new color, I made another sample in this beautiful yellow wet-spun linen yarn I recently bought.
Wow. Yikes. That's surprisingly terrible. Also, it still looks a bit...strained. The flower motif needs more petals so it fills the space better.

Wow, that's more like it. And the dark color is a great contrast against the skin (the skin of my dress form, anyway). I think I've cracked it! Here's the finished garment. The beautiful gray yarn is Lion Brand's Superwash Merino Cashmere.

Though it took a while to get there, I'm really happy with this piece. And I can't wait to show you how great it looks on my model...but not yet! I'll take you through the process of the other pieces too.

Thanks for stopping by! What do you think of this dress? Would you wear it? Or rather, would you buy it? Would your friends buy it? I'd love to hear what you think.


  1. LOVE this dress! The finished product is so great.

  2. It's amazing how, at the time, the original crochet piece looked so modern and different... but then contrasted with the finished product, it was about the same as traditional lace. Fantastic innovation! Where will you keep getting ideas for crochet patterns?

  3. It's so beautiful! Simple yet elegant. I love the croched piece you decided on and had no idea how many you tried before settling on that one! As far as would I buy it, I would not and here's why--how in the world would one who needs to wear a bra do it in that dress? Or do I assume there's support? That is my main issue. But again, it's a beautiful piece--I wish I could wear it!

  4. So cool to see your process! And I'd make your model buy it after seeing it on her. Yowza!

  5. I love the curve of the back! It frames your design but seems as though it will also frame the wearer's back in a lovely way. I'm with Jen about the bra ;) A repeating petal patern like this around the waist would look so cool too! Every time you post a project I love following it through to the end. Awesome as per usual, B.
    <3 J

  6. It was really fun and unique to watch your dress progress as you designed! Thanks for the peak into your inspiration and process. Love the finished dress and how the delicate crochet compliments it! Way to go,, betsy

  7. Beth, this piece is stunning. Absolutely stunning.