Friday, May 9, 2008

Edging and Lace

After attaching the skirt to the bodice, I decided I wanted to put lace on the bottom of the skirt lining. I only had one white lace in my stash and it had a gathered edge. It just didn't speak to me.

So I decided that I would crochet the edging instead. My grandmother, who raised me, taught me to crochet when I was a little girl. She made lots of household things like those dolls with the big dresses to cover tissue boxes, pot holders and dishtowel embellishments that would allow a dishtowel to hang from kitchen cabinet handles. It was the 70's so most of these items were done in various groovy shades of brown, orange and yellow. She also made lots and lots of afghans.

I first was taught around the age of 6, starting off with long, long, LONG chains. It was good practice and helped me get the hang of holding the needle and using my fingers for tension. Eventually, I progressed to curly bookworm bookmarks and then started little afghans of my own.

Years ago, I started a big afghan out of a gorgeous wool blend yarn. I stopped when there were only about 15 or 20 rows left. It sat untouched for several years and I actually finished it when I sailed across the Atlantic in 1992. There's a lot of time at sea and not only was it a good use of that spare time to finish it, but also the afghan kept me warm on many a cold, wet night mid-Atlantic.

Like my sewing, crocheting went by the by for many years, replaced by the pursuit of more adventurous activities during my 20's. However, after my oldest son was born (who is now 10), I decided to crochet the Christening gown. Many folks thought I was mad to christen a boy in a gown, but I didn't care. My grandfather and brother were christened in a gown and I wanted to keep our family tradition, regardless if it was old fashioned.

After the gown, I picked up various books for making ornaments, tablecloths and edgings, and whenever I see a nice crochet yarn on sale that I like, I get it. My stash goes beyond fabric and sewing patterns!

I looked through my edging pattern book "Fifty Beautiful Edgings" and chose the one I thought suited my dress best. While the dress was hanging for the skirt to drop, I spent the last two days crocheting 118" of edging. It actually was good to do. I had a realtor tour on Wednesday so it was nice to kick my feet up for a while when realtors were coming in my house throughout the day.

Before I sew the hem and edging, I need to tweak one little section of the gathers on the skirt/bodice seam. I don't like the way it hangs - there's a goofy little pucker - so I'll adjust it. You know how that is - it would bug me so it's better to just do it now! OK, off to the sewing room!


Paula said...

My great-grandmother taught me to make those loooong chains when I was five. It's interesting that you decided on a hand crocheted edging; I was just thinking about doing one myself the other day. I think I have that same book.

Paula said...

Oh, and I've tagged you. You can read about it here

CharityinAlaska said...

This amazes me. I can't imagine having that kind of patience or fine motor skills. My grandmother tried to teach me to knit and crochet, but with me being left-handed something got lost in the translation. :( :(

Bunny said...

I soooo wish you lived nearby. I have always wanted to learn to crochet and mostly so I could make such pretty edgings. I am very visual and know that if someone can show me I will have it down. But trying to figure it out for myself is just frustrating.
Your edging is just lovely and will make such a special finish to the lining edge. Very creative, Kellie!

Unique Gowns said...

I love your passion of sewing. Keep up your great ideas. Dana


Amy G. said...

Well, that edging is absolutely perfect. I'm currently crocheting an afghan for my daughter in a ripple pattern, but that is the extent of my crochet skills. I think I could probably teach myself how to make a few inches of this lovely stuff for baby dress edging! Your work is beautiful!

When Ladies Dressed said...

Thanks so much for your wonderful comments. I'd almost forgotten how relaxing it is to sit and crochet. Charity, I'm sure that with your talent for decorative touches, you'd pick it up in a snap. And Bunny, I'd love to teach you! It's not difficult. It sometimes requires a lot of *counting*, which I think explains why I couldn't concentrate when the boys were babies/toddlers! Even counting was not compatible with sleepless nights and braindeadness! LOL Thanks again!

Marji said...

your lace edging is just gorgeous, and what a nice touch it will be on teh dress.

Unique Gowns said...

Hello Kellie, thank you for a great comment on my blog. You mentioned you looked into making some of your own heirloom christening gowns.... did you ever have a go at it ? I find it very rewarding ... have a pick at my newest addition. Beth is on display on my blog. She is just stunning ! If I can say so myself.
Best wishes Dana