I have been in love with the idea of this wedding dress since before I got engaged. I have searched ravelry, and other websites looking for doily patterns. I've found many. I've been trying to figure out how many different ones I need, I've never designed clothes before and never worked with thread. I'm also not completely sold on it being strapless, so I'll need to come up with some sort of lacy (halter) straps. Does anyone have suggestions? and/or tips on working with thread? How many doilies can I expect to make out of a ball of thread? Do dye lots differ that much?
I learned how to crochet with thread and find it much easier to use than regular yarn. If you naturally keep a tight tension you shouldn't have any problem, if you naturally have a loser gauge you'll need to get a firmer grip on the thread to have the patterns come out right; doilies use a fairly tight tension.
Here are a ton of free doily patterns:
It has been my experience that dye lots do matter, colors are subtly but noticeably different. The number of doilies you could get out of a ball of thread will depend entirely upon the pattern, the more solid the design the more thread you will use to create it. And some threads have more yardage on them than others, and some threads you can buy on cones in very large quantities at a better price than lots of balls.
I would recommend choosing a few patterns you want to use, then weigh a ball of thread of the brand/style you want to use on the dress. Make a sample doily using a chosen pattern, weight the leftover ball of thread, and using the weight difference, figure out how many yards of thread that design used up. Do that for each pattern you choose and you should be able to guess somewhat accurately how many yards of thread to go buy to make a certain number of doilies. Then you can make sure to get that much of the same dye lot. Be sure to use the same hook on the dress that you used for the samples, changing hooks would change the yardage.
Because much of this is new to you, and you're making a garment for a very special occasion, you may want to look for a full pattern instead of trying to piece it together yourself. That would give you accurate yardage, which hook to use, and exact construction. It's stressful enough to plan a wedding without adding in crocheting your dress, too. Congratulations on your engagement!
I agree with Madelyn completely. Dye lots do matter, even when working with pure white. I further agree that you should perhaps consider searching for a full dress pattern or at least one in which the skirt is all one piece. Be sure to use the best quality thread that you can afford. Congratulations and good luck on your project!
Thanks Ladies. I do use a tighter tension, so I'm off to a good thread start.
I plan on doing making most of the things for the wedding, and we haven't set a date yet.
I've looked for dress patterns, but none, that I've seen, have the fullness and the lenght I'm looking for.
I do quite a bit of sewing also and I have a pattern for a halter top dress I'd like to use. I was thinking I should make the dress and then work out the doilies. Even ifm I'm not able to find "straps" that I loke I could always go with sheer fabric.
I feel like I could go dress shopping for days and not find one I love nearly as much as the idea of this one.
Hi Tara-I've seen this dress on Pinterest and adore it. The bride who made this dress discusses the process she used on this blog: giacanali.com/blog2010/05. The article is called "Jillian and Dax's Romantic Handmade Everything California Mountain Elopement". After reading the article, scroll down thru the comments to "Gia-June18, 2012 8:40am-where the bride gives alot of information and her resources for making the dress. She & her mother sewed quite a bit of the dress so it may be right up your alley. I'd suggest trying to contact her thru this blog. P.S. She says she used more than 2 miles of crochet thread! Best of Luck on your incredible project>
Thanks Barbara for the link. I looked her up on ravelry, she's not a big user but she has an account. So bonus! She said she used a book for the patterns, and tried to keep them between 2-6 inches, but due to time constrains a few were larger. This is the ravelry link that was also posted to the comments on the photographers blog.
She did it in THREE weeks, on 2 and a half hours of sleep. God bless her.
While over two miles of thread sounds like a lot I'm being optimistic. That's only four big balls of Aunt Lydia's size 10. This evening I'm going to attempt my first doily. I have a couple vintage books with some patterns in them. If I can make one without losing my sanity :) then it's on.
That's funny about 4 big balls equaling 2 miles!
I'm sure you probably saw the Coogee Bay lace dress by Jenny King on Ravelry -it doesn't compare to the doily dress but I was surprised that she used a sport wt. yarn and D & C hooks but it still looks very lacy. Maybe you could try using that yarn with the larger hooks. Also, do you have a source for vintage doilies? Could you combine them with yours? I've seen some lovely dresses made this way. The main thing is that you're getting married to someone you'll spend your life with so don't drive yourself nuts over one day -enjoy it!
Thanks Barbara! I do have a few antique doilies my fiance's great aunt made, they're off white,and pink maybe I'll use them, and do the whole dress in off white. I have many many many crochet edged hankies she made as well as some my great grandma made. I think they might just be the "something old" .