I'm having a blast on Flickr.  So many creative people, and everyone seems really nice and encouraging. there's a multitude of specail interest groups too, so now I'm a member of almost twenty of those.   I was delighted to find groups for textiles, hand dyeing, doll clothes making, and one in particular really got me fired up to go back to something I've never really tried to excel in, and that's crochet.   The group is crocheted fashion doll clothes, two of my favourite things in one group!

I rummaged in my stash for some vintage rayon crochet yarn that I've hardly used, but could never bear to throw away. My mother picked it up in a car boot sale in the eighties, and we think it's at least circa 1970's, so it really is vintage.  It's a smooth shiny thread, and very annoying to work with.  It twists up and is not exactly what I'd call soft.  but once crocheted up into something, it looks beautiful.  I've also hand dyed some of this in the past, with gorgeous results. Unfortunately that one space-dyed skein has gone missing over the years, and I have one reel of ecru left, so I may dye that.

I bought a pattern for an Ellowyne Wilde dress online, but as I started working, I realised my thread was not the same weight as that in the pattern. So I unpicked it, and set about designing my own dress pattern, adjusting the shaping as I worked down the dress.  Every couple of rows I tried the crochet on the doll, and guesstimated the shaping.  I had to unravel the skirt part and re-do it four times before I had a perfect fit.  But I'm really happy with it,   not bad for a first attempt, and the most advanced crochet project I think I've ever tried.

Here's the dress so far, I need to stitch it up, and embellish, I have ideas for that too, watch this space:



Here's a gratuitous hand dyed fabric shot too, of all the fabrics I have ready for making STUFF.   I also have some more rainbow dyed and olive green fabrics waiting to be pressed and folded.

I just cant stop taking photographs of it all.




And last of all, it's hard to find very lightweight denim, or so it seems.  I usually resort to charity shops and looking for mens denim shirts, but they're few and far between. I eventually found an online German fabric store who do free samples, so I ordered three of their lightweight denim swatches, in pale, indigo and black, and it's just beautiful. Very thin.  Thin enough for dolls jeans, and possibly even dresses.



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Part 2

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((From part 1))

Okay, so I had all these wonderful shabby chic ideas to embellish this dress, but it all looked a bit wrong and overshadowed the actual crochet stitches, so I decided to keep it simple and call it finished.

Once I'd sewn it up at the back seam, I threaded ribbon through the eyelet strips at the waist, and added glass pearls to the back to serve as buttons.  I didn't think stitched on snap fasteners would look very nice on crochet, but the beauty of crochet is, one doesn't need to make buttonholes.  So I added glass pearls to serve as buttons, and the dress fastened nicely:



And a view from the front:



Next I made some crochet flowers, but ended up using only one. I think less is more in some cases. 

All finished:


Close up of the décolletage.  I wove a fine 2mm pure silk ribbon through the stitches around the neck edge, to give it that final finish:


For my next trick, I'm going to attempt a hat.  I've made crochet hats for teeny tiny Pippa heads before, but this one will be something of a challenge.

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Next and final part (3)

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