Sunday, August 16, 2009

In Between Project...

I have this project I finished last week. It's nothing big, but I thought I'd share because I didn't use a pattern and I'm not embarrassed about how it turned out.

A few months ago a coworker of mine leaves a Victoria Secret catalog on my desk. Seems she was sent an extra one and she thought I might want to look through it. Let me admit right now, I'm not a big fan of the VS. The bras don't fit me and the rest of it usually underwhelms me in quality. Enough said. Despite my feelings toward the brand, I decided to look through it...she did take the trouble to lug it into work and leave it on my desk after all.

Most of it was meh, but this dress stood out. The Crochet Trim Maxi, value priced at $118. I instantly fell in love with the cool Mediterranean look. In a dress like that I could pretend I was in holiday in Greece.
"$118? Shit. I could make that."

The quest for a maxi dress that I could add a crochet trim to was an arduous one. As maxi dresses are all the rage, finding any old maxi wasn't a problem. Finding the right maxi was. At first, I was hoping to find a print similar to the picture, but struck out everywhere I looked. I even considered buying print fabric and sewing a maxi, but that thought was quickly put out of my head. So I finally decided to ditch the print idea and stick to a solid. I found a nice chocolate brown maxi and a beautiful orange one but was constantly dogged by the perfect print out there...somewhere.
Before I totally threw in the print maxi towel, I made one final trip to the local Ross. And wouldn't you know, I found a colorful print that would be perfect. It was strapless and the top wouldn't need any futzing and I could definitely live with the $16 price tag. With the dress in hand, I ran over to Joanne's and found some gold metallic crochet thread that would add a little sparkle. $8.

Once I had all my materials, I quickly realized I needed a pattern. A simple shell was too boring. Borders coupon to the rescue. I found a pretty good stitch dictionary that would give me plenty of choices. $15.

With dress, thread and pattern in hand I was finally ready. I blanket stitched the upper edge of the dress in a solid orange thread [the metallic thread in the gold yarn wasn't having all that mess] then switched to a doubled strand of gold for the main part of the trim. There were two things that were giving me trouble. Number one was converting the pattern from being worked flat to in the round and the other was figuring out how to decrease in pattern. I couldn't figure either out, so I decided to work the pattern flat and kept my decreases at the edges which, when seamed together, would allow for a better fit across the bust].

The last bit was the straps. I wasn't sure what to do. A braid seemed blah and didn't want to i-cord nor simple crocheted straps. In the end, I pulled out my handy dandy hair twister and went to it. I twisted four gold strands for each of the four straps [two on each side] and attached at the back with a pretty sparkly button. Totally perfect.
Less than $40. Now if I could just get to Greece...