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Irish Crochet Dress: Finished

Irish crochet dress finished

Two and a half years since the start of the project, my Irish Crochet Dress is finally properly finished – done and dusted, completed, finito! 😀

And on a quiet Sunday afternoon, I was able to have a photoshoot I’d been looking forward to for quite a while now 🙂

One final consideration before wearing the dress was the colour of the undergarment.

Since this is a see-through dress, the colour of the undergarment has an important impact on the finished look.

As you are looking through the pictures below, notice how the look of the dress changes depending on the undergarment colour.

In some pictures, I am wearing a black undergarment, whereas in others, a light coloured one.

Irish crochet dress finished

In the two pictures above the dress is worn with a black undergarment.

Two pictures below have light undergarment is the base for the dress.

Irish crochet dress finished
Irish crochet dress finished - back

As you can see from the pictures above, this question of what to wear under the Irish crochet dress is an important one.

For example in this case, the black undergarment lends the dress a more dramatic look, whereas the lighter one seems to tone down the details.

And to finish this series, here are a few close-ups:

Irish crochet dress finished - sleeve

One of those dark nights as I was completing the dress, I thought to myself this has been my first and is going to be my LAST Irish lace dress…

NEVER again!!! I thought to myself…

But now, as I’ve completed the dress, and have had a chance to enjoy it a little, I’m not so sure anymore…

…another Irish Lace Dress project just might happen at some stage in not too far off future… 🙂 who knows…

Create beauty one stitch at a time! (Even if it takes you over two years to finish!)

Previous posts in this series:

  1. 5 Irish Crochet Lessons for First-Timers

2. Irish Crochet Dress: Main Rose

3. Irish Crochet Rose Finished

4. Irish Crochet Dress: Elements Completed

5. Irish Crochet Dress: Design

6. Irish Crochet Dress: Lace

7. Irish Crochet Dress: Picture Emerging

8. Irish Crochet Dress: A Quick Update

9. Irish Crochet Dress: Trying It On for the First Time

10. Irish Crochet Dress: Working On Sleeves

11. Irish Crochet Dress: The Annoying Bit

Want to learn the Irish Crochet technique with an easy project?

Click HERE for a perfect starter project.

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Choker Collar – a Basic Irish Crochet Project

This crochet choker collar started out as a request from some crocheting friends of mine, who have never tried Irish crochet technique before. They asked for a small and simple Irish lace project so as to understand how this crochet technique works.

So after looking through the options available, I created a small basic Irish lace project – a crochet choker collar.

crochet choker collar

This project involves only a few basic Irish crochet motifs and, as Irish crochet projects go, is quick to make.

The skill level: elementary. All you need to know is Ch, SC, HDC, DC, and Sl St.

With this crochet choker collar project, I wanted to show you that even if you use the most basic of crochet motifs and stitches, you can still create something gorgeous in Irish crochet technique.

In fact, after looking through thousands of pictures online, I keep coming back to the same conclusion – more complicated motifs don’t equal better-looking items.

A lot depends on the materials used and the design decisions taken. Plus how you match your crochet accessory with other items in your outfit is also very important.

Materials I used for this crochet choker collar project:

0.6mm hook for the motifs (flowers, leaves, etc.)

0.5mm hook for the lace

You can buy small size hooks HERE

Yarn for the motifs:

N8 Retors d’Alsace DMC, you can get it from Casa Cenina    

Threads & Yarns – DMC – Retors d’Alsace #8

Egypto 16 for rose variation 2, you can get it from MAFIL HERE

Yarn for the lace:

N12 Retors d’Alsace DMC, you can get it from Casa Cenina

Threads & Yarns – DMC – Retors d’Alsace #12

You can use any size of yarn and hook, but keep in mind that the larger the hook and yarn size, the larger and chunkier your choker will be.

Crochet choker collar

Do you want a pattern tutorial for this choker collar?

This crochet choker collar will make a perfect accessory for your own outfits or a unique gift for those who appreciate handmade items.

Crochet Choker collar irish lace


Here are a few ideas on how to wear your crochet choker collar:

  1. Wear it together with a pearl necklace or another color-coordinated piece of jewelry.
crochet choker collar with pearls

2. Wear it with a long string of pearls and turn the choker around so as your ‘back’ would become your ‘front’:

3. Wear it as a bracelet:

crochet choker collar as a bracelet

4. On a cooler day, you could also wear the choker on your shirt collar:

5. Another variation that could be possible but may require some adjustments is wearing it as a hairband. But for that, we would have to think of a way of fixing it to the hair.

To learn how to crochet this choker collar in Irish lace technique:

Create beauty one stitch at a time!

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Completed crochet choker collar
Crochet choker collar

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Irish Crochet Dress: the Annoying Bit

Annoying bit finishing Irish Crochet dress

Hello my crochet friend!

So my Irish crochet dress is finished…

well…

kind of…

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.

Irish Crochet Dress the Annoying Bit

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:

The Annoying bit of Irish crochet dress

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 😀

Create beauty one stitch at a time!

Previous posts in this series:

  1. 5 Irish Crochet Lessons for First-Timers

2. Irish Crochet Dress: Main Rose

3. Irish Crochet Rose Finished

4. Irish Crochet Dress: Elements Completed

5. Irish Crochet Dress: Design

6. Irish Crochet Dress: Lace

7. Irish Crochet Dress: Picture Emerging

8. Irish Crochet Dress: A Quick Update

9. Irish Crochet Dress: Trying It On for the First Time

10. Irish Crochet Dress: Working On Sleeves

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Irish Crochet Dress: Working on Sleeves

Irish Crochet Dress Working on Sleeves

After a few days of feeling happy to have finally tried on my half-finished Irish crochet dress, I am now working on sleeves.

Irish crochet professionals, most likely, wouldn’t agree with my way of approaching this tricky part of the dress.

Working on sleeves Irish crochet dress

I have stuffed my dress sleeves (you might remember from earlier posts that I’m using an old dress for modelling) and am pinning the details straight onto the stuffed sleeve.

This way I find it much easier to picture how a finished sleeve will look like.

My biggest worry with the sleeves is the area where the chest meets the underarm. I’ve seen quite a number of crochet dresses with a lot of tension in that area, which doesn’t look very nice.

So my solution was to stuff the upper part of my modeling dress to replicate the shape of the body.

I ended up with a weird looking ‘mannequin’ 🙂

Sleeves for Irish crochet dress

Most of the time when I wasn’t working on it, my mannequin spent wrapped up in an old sheet, looking like this:

I had to make sure the lace in the underarm region doesn’t have any tension. Therefore I added extra rows of lace in that area.

As I’m looking at the sleeves, I’m relieved to remember that the two won’t have to be identical. They have to look only somewhat similar.

As I was completing the second sleeve, I rushed to take this picture of the ‘final'(or so I thought) moment…

Finishing sleeves for Irish crochet dress

Far from being the ‘final moment’ of crocheting this Irish lace dress, this was only the beginning of the final stage…

Create beauty one stitch at a time!

Previous posts in this series:

  1. 5 Irish Crochet Lessons for First-Timers

2. Irish Crochet Dress: Main Rose

3. Irish Crochet Rose Finished

4. Irish Crochet Dress: Elements Completed

5. Irish Crochet Dress: Design

6. Irish Crochet Dress: Lace

7. Irish Crochet Dress: Picture Emerging

8. Irish Crochet Dress: A Quick Update

9. Irish Crochet Dress: Trying it on for the First Time

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Irish Crochet Dress: Design

Irish Crochet Dress Design Considerations and advice

Unlike other crochet projects, Irish crochet dress design is a fluid process even if you’ve got a handbook with instructions at hand.

There are no hard and fast rules, just general guiding principles.

I am now at the stage where I have finished crocheting all separate elements for the dress – flowers, leaves, stems, etc., you can see all of them HERE .

Now I have to lay the design of the dress out and start crocheting the lace.

How does Irish crochet dress design process work?

Normally, according to all the Irish crochet experts, I am supposed to cut separate parts of the dress from a fabric in order to create a sort of platform for modeling the crochet dress, so as the finished product would suit the wearer perfectly.

I decided I wasn’t going to bother with that and used an old, well-fitting dress for modeling.

Irish Crochet Dress Design

So first of all, I have to lay out the ‘picture’ using the brightest elements (roses, branches, leaves, scrolls).

The challenge here is to place these elements in such a way so as to avoid an undesirable optical effect. For example, if the bright roses are placed too much on the sides, they will visually expand my waist. So I have placed them slightly towards the middle.

This wine tumbler makes a perfect gift for a crocheter on any occasion.
A fun gift for a crocheter 🙂

Frankly, I thought this will be the easiest and the most fun part of the whole project, especially considering the fact that I have bought the instructions and know, how the finished dress design is supposed to look like.

… but…

… when I started laying out the picture, I realized it’s not as easy as it seems…

Irish Crochet Dress Design

For example, when it turns out my elements are larger than those of the master crocheter in the handbook. It’s because I used a slightly larger hook (0.6mm and 0.75mm) instead of 0.5mm and 0.6mm.

What does it mean for me?

It simply means I need fewer of the elements for the main picture, which in turn means I have to rethink the design at least in part.

Size and Type of the Dress

Another thing I had to consider is the size and type of the dress.

The dress in the handbook was a mini sleeveless dress made for a very slim young lady.

As I am a much curvier woman than the girl in the handbook, I had to make even more adjustments:

  1. rearrange the design for a knee-length dress;
  2. incorporate 3/4 sleeves.

What does this mean in terms of dress design?

Again, I have to make even more adjustments:

  1. If I don’t want the picture to make me look larger, I have to distribute the main dress elements vertically, using full length of the dress and avoiding horizontal distribution as much as possible.
  2. I decided I will use only background elements for the sleeves, in order to avoid the widening effect.
  3. I may have to crochet additional elements for the sleeves.
  4. I am hoping I have enough yarn left…

Someone suggested I should go for a full-length, long sleeve dress. I think a dress like this would be absolutely amazing but, unfortunately, would present me with very few opportunities to wear it.

Plus, I haven’t got enough yarn and the price I’ve paid for what I already have is eye-watering…

So, this time, friends, it will be a knee-length dress 🙂

Funny crochet gift mug for  crocheter on any occasion.
Check out this funny crochet mug 🙂

After I lay out the most conspicuous elements to create the ‘picture’, I fill in the rest of the space with less noticeable background flowers, leaves and cords. All the while remembering to distribute elements vertically.

Then when I am satisfied with the picture, I have to turn all the elements around and pin them on the modeling dress. This way they won’t dislodge during the lacing process.

After a week of walking around the dress, I am somewhat satisfied with the design and will start crocheting lace.

Strangely, I find myself feeling somewhat anxious…

Create beauty one stitch at a time!

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