I’m at that stage where I’ve completed the crochet part – sleeves and all…
…but I can’t really call the dress finished, hence the title – ‘the annoying bit’.
So yes, I’ve completed the sides and the sleeves, tried the dress on only to realise that when I finished the dress, it wasn’t really finished.
There was another mountain to climb!
The lace at the bottom of the dress and sleeves had to be evened out and completed with a simple single crochet line and a little picot here and there.
That finishing single crochet line was, thankfully, very easy and quick.
But the ‘evening out of the lace’ bit was quite tricky.
While the bottom of the dress doesn’t have to be as even as in sewing, it still has to look somewhat even, which I’m still not sure about.
It’s just that on a flat table the bottom looks even, but when you wear the dress because of different elements on different sides, there seems to be an illusion of one side being slightly shorter…
I’m still thinking whether or not I should do something about it.
Another very time-consuming bit is the weaving in and hiding of yarn ends – there are hundreds of them!
And although I’ve been working on them for the last number of days now, I’m still nowhere near to being finished…aargh…
The dress has many overlapping elements like this rose and leaf.
As I was crocheting the lace, I didn’t realise I had to crochet some lace to join the overlapping sides of the elements to avoid holes like this:
I actually thought I had finished fixing the overlapping elements, but as I was taking photos for this post, I discovered a few more that have to be corrected…
When the sleeves were finished and I tried on the dress, I realised that the neckline will have to be adjusted.
All of a sudden, because of the weight of the sleeves, the neckline became too wide which meant I had to add another layer of leaves-flowers-branches on the shoulders and the back in order to adjust the way the dress sits.
The last elements I’ll be working on when all the above are finished is the little Swarowski beads.
I’ll sew them on in the centre of each bigger rose and some leaves around the neck. The beads will add some sparkle, especially when I wear the dress in the evening with artificial lighting.
So this is where I am at. I consider all of the above such an annoying bit of the whole process!
My original plan was to have the dress finished-completed-done-and-dusted a week after I completed the sleeves…
…but here I am, a month later, I’m still working on the annoying bit 😀
… as if by some sort of quiet magic, on a dark and rainy Saturday evening, I crocheted the last bit of lace, completing the main body of my Irish lace dress…
…which means, almost 2.5 years after I’ve started working on it, I can finally try the dress on FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER and see what it actually looks like on me.
So here it is, the first proper glimpse.
To tell you the truth, I was a bit anxious for a few moments before taking a look at the mirror. After all, it could have been a total disaster…
As you will see, this is just a rough, unfinished ‘first draft’.
After that first time look at the mirror, the good news is, I didn’t see any major flaws which would require me to redo large sections of the dress. Phew…
But of course, there are a number of things that’ll need adjusting.
For example, some flowers and leaves are a bit stretched when on the body and got slightly displaced. So I will have fix that.
I also see that I’ll have to fill in the small spaces between some of the branches, which I originally thought would be nice to keep void. I just think it will look better if I filled those spaces.
As you can see in the pictures, some flowers and leaves are a bit wonky and loose (I didn’t connect them properly). They’ll have to be readjusted and then ironed when the dress is finished.
Also, when crocheting the lace flat on the table, I thought the dress was going to be a bit loose as I was quite generous with adding some extra lines of lace.
But it turns out the lace hugs the body and sits quite close to the skin.
I think this has mainly to do with the dress design I modeled the lace on, which is a classic fitted style. This basically means that putting on even a bit of weight would be a no no 🙂
So what else is there to be done?
The moment the excitement of actually being able to wear the dress passes, I’ll crack on with the sleeves.
My plan is to crochet sleeves that would cover 3/4 of the arm, I find it a very elegant sleeve length.
I’m planning to use darker yarn for the sleeves the way I did for the sides of the dress, so as to achieve a slimming effect.
I absolutely adore that light green yarn colour I used for the middle of the dress and many background elements. The trouble is that if I used it for the sleeves, the arms would look larger, as light colours tend to give the illusion of a larger frame.
Although I’ll see how I go, I might add some light green lace towards the bottom of the sleeve.
Now as I am writing this, I’ve realized I’ll also have to make a decision whether to keep my sleeves detail-heavy or detail-light, where I’d have just a few details running down the sleeve and the rest would be lace.
Let’s see, I’m still not sure.
The original design I bought instructions for was sleeveless, so I have no guidance here, will just have to trust my instincts.
That’s the beauty of Irish Crochet, it’s a fluid process with no strict rules. This makes it easier to correct mistakes or readjust your design as you go along.
2. Sewing in the ends of the threads.
Once I’m happy with my sleeves and how the dress turns out, I’ll have to hide all those pesky ends of yarn – hundreds of them 🙁
I’m leaving them now because I want to know exactly where the end of a thread is if I need to redo a section. So they’ll be hanging around until I’m completely satisfied with the dress.
3. Sparkly beads.
When everything is finished and the dress is ironed, I’ll also add some sparkly beads around the neckline. After all, it’s a dress for special occasions where a bit of sparkle is always welcome 🙂
I’ve already added some beads to the main flower. I like that they are almost invisible in the daytime and will have that eye-teasing effect in the evening.
So that’s where I am and where I’m going 😀 Still some distance to go, but the end is in sight :-DDD
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