I’ve been crocheting for a really long time now but I’ve steered clear of making clothing. I’ve wanted to do a make your own clothes challenge for years but I suck at sewing (well I don’t suck but sewing machines definitely hate me a bit) and I never really considered crocheting my own clothing. I’m not really sure why, I think I just kind of assumed it would be really difficult to get crocheted clothing to fit correctly. I’m also totally terrified of spending ages crocheting something only for it to not work out – it’s every yarn crafters nightmare.
I really wanted to challenge myself this year with my crocheting skills (even though I’m a crochet teacher and designer there’s ALWAYS so much more I can learn!) so I decided to make one wearable crochet item per month for the whole of 2017. Even though it’s now March, this is January’s dress. I made it from Bendigo Woollen Mills cotton 4 ply and a 3mm hook. I modified the sleeves of a Mermaid Cat design for the top and just made up the bottom as I went along. For real, I literally just crocheted a few rows, measured it, increased or decreased as necessary and kept on crocheting. It worked out so perfectly and I’ve been wearing this dress heaps since I finished it. It’s just lovely, comfy, light and breathable. It’s also amazing for travel, I can just chuck it in my suitcase and it doesn’t get wrinkled.
I’ve already finished February’s dress – that one will be live on the blog soon! – and my March dress is chugging along quite nicely. It’s a one-shoulder dress made up of motifs and these are few prototypes of the motif designs I’m working on.
One issue I’m having with this challenge though is not creating patterns for my readers and students from these designs. Pretty much every thing I make, I do a pattern for but this is kind of like art for me so I’m struggling with sharing my results because so many people want the pattern and there isn’t one because I’m just free styling. It’s totally fair enough – I’m the same! If I see an awesome crocheted thing I immediately want the pattern so I can make it myself. I might just go with the flow and see how I feel. If I can do a pattern for any of my wearables, I will but if it’s just not the vibe I won’t stress too much about. This is February’s dress in progress.
Crocheting to create and crocheting to create a pattern are two totally different things and sometimes I just want to sit and play around with my hook and yarn and not have to worry about creating a usable pattern you know?
I’ve been doing lots of research on people who make their own clothes and my favourite is Handmade By Caroline. She actually made ALL her own clothes for a full year in including her shoes. Her style and dress making skills are to do die and you’d never know she made that stuff herself, it’s so professional. You can read about her challenges here and if you want to see the whole year of her clothing you can look at her Flickr account. She even made her own shoes and underwear. What a legend.
Have you ever made any of your clothes? Or do you know of any bloggers who do? I’d love to connect with more wardrobe makers!