Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Modern Love--Mirto's Skirt

Mirto's skirt, modeled by her daughter
Last month I walked into Stitches West (a fiber convention with classes and shopping here in the US), and right away I saw a woman wearing an amazing, colorful, crocheted skirt.  It was made in the Russian style of Irish Crochet and I stopped and complimented her on her skirt.  After I walked away, I thought, "hmmm, she looked familiar" so I went back and asked if we knew each other.  We did!  It was Mirto.  We had met in 2011 at Maire Treanor's Irish Crochet Workshop at Lacis!  It turned out we were both taking Myra Wood's awesome class on creative crochet shawls.  We spent the day together and promised to meet again.  She is very kind to share her process and photos with us here on the blog!

As a template, Mirto used a skirt that was flattering to her figure.  She started with the waist band sizing.  She wanted it to hang just below the waist.  She used a repetitive rhythmic design that she improvised as she went along.  She pinned her motifs right side up, and used Garden 5 Nazli Gelin yarn, Crystal Palace Panda Silk, and Araucania Lonco in reds.

She wanted to keep the motifs in a repetitive pattern until she got below the hips.  Her design at the waist of repeating small motifs is a very flattering design and creates interest without distracting from the pattern below at the hemline.

Mirto created nine gores (sections of the skirt).  In each section she placed a leaf pattern with a long stem leading to the hem.  She wiggled the stems, which she created with the Romanian cord method, so they had pleasing contours.  She placed her motifs in between the stems.  Mirto says it took her 4 hours to connect all the motifs of the first gore.  The subsequent gores ended up taking about 2 hours each to join.

Creating the sections and placing the lower motifs.

The skirt in progress, placed over the slip with which it is to be worn.

After she finished the body of the skirt, she added a bit more to the waist line, tapering it in a little, and adding a thin elastic cord.  I love how the hemline is irregular, following the contours of the motifs.

The finished skirt.  Amazing!

Modeled again by her lovely daughter!

Mirto writes, "It probably took me about a month to do. I set myself up for a deadline to show it at the 2012 Reno CGOA/TKOA fashion show-and nearly didn't make it!!"

Mirto, thank you again for sharing your beautiful skirt with us!  Do any of you have any projects you would like to share?  Please email me if you do!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Better late than never to wish you all a happy day!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Retro-Vintage Irish Crochet Wedding Dress

 So many of us have items of crochet or other antique linens passed down from our grandmothers, but do you have anything like this? 
Naimh on her wedding day.

Niamh Colfer is a Crochet Crafter and Designer based on the Hook Peninsula in south east Ireland. Her grandmother, Eileen O’Leary, taught her to crochet form the age of seven.You can find more information on her business “Hook Crochet” at: www.hookcrochet.com.  Thank you, Naimh, for sharing your story with us! ~~Kim

Naimh writes:

On September 21st 2012, I got married :) and I wore my grandmother’s wedding dress, which she wore for her wedding in September of 1959. It is a ballet length long sleeved dress of white Irish crochet. The circular skirt is trimmed with sprays of Irish crocheted roses and leaves falling from the waist to hemline. The bodice is trimmed with sprays of Irish crochet and the waist is encircled by roses. The unique touch about this lies in the fact that the entire outfit (and two bridesmaids dresses) were crocheted and made up by my great grandmother who completed this labour of love in just four months. The "Model Housekeeping" magazine at the time described it as "One of the prettiest weddings this summer".

To complement the dress, I crocheted an exquisite headpiece, a purse, compact mirror cover, shoe accessories and ring cushion, as well as the bridesmaids’ headpieces, the groomsmen buttonhole flowers and of course, the groom’s buttonhole flower. The table centres were bottles painted gold and covered with crochet lace motifs which I made and collected over the past couple of years.

Sadly, my Grandmother passed away in October 2011. For her funeral, as a tribute, I crocheted a lace flower for everyone in the family to wear on their lapel.

Dress detail.

Eileen O'Leary in her dress
Naimh's ring bearer pillow
Naimh's IC accented shoes