It’s been a month since my last update, and boy have I been busy crafting during that time. In no particular order, I’ve finished a pair of mittens for my sister and a skirt for myself. I’ve also started a knitted shawl for my mother, and a crocheted beach bag for myself. I began work this past month, so now I’ve become one of those ladies knitting frantically on the train during my morning commutes.
Today I wanted to focus on a skirt I recently finished.
This project was a total culmination of 4+ years. Let me explain.
During my Freshman year of Uni, I had it in my head to design a skirt. At the time, all of the patterns I came across were either dreadful (in my mind) or a paid pattern-and believe it or not, at that time, I had no debit card to call my own. Disappointed by the lack of options available, I decided to make a fist of it and design one myself. At that time, I was an intermediate beginner at crochet. I had a good handle on tension, but still didn’t fully understand the impact a yarn’s weight made on a piece, or even how to properly choose a yarn for projects. All I knew was that I wanted the yarn to be black and soft, and the skirt to have a lace effect. I made the waist band of the skirt Freshman year, created and modified the shell stitch my junior year, and completed the body of the skirt towards the end of February this year. I learned a lot from constructing this skirt, and my hope is that by reading this post, you’ll be able to avoid the rookie mistakes I’ve made.
The yarn I used for this skirt was Caron Simply Soft, in the color black. You’ll notice in the photo that the skirt has two tones; I didn’t realize that the dye lot had changed for one of the balls of yarn I used, and as a result, I unintentionally created a two tone effect. Rookie advice #1: ALWAYS check the dye lot number. If it is not available, carry a small swatch of the yarn you’ll be using so that you can compare it in the shop.
The skirt was constructed from the top down. I started off by crocheting a strip that I measured close to my body. Since I was using a variation of double crochet’s as the skirt’s waist band stitch, there was some give to the fabric, so I measured it exactly to my body measurements. You’ll probably notice that the waist portion is still a bit bulky; I would have done better if I went down a needle size to make the stitches more refined and the waist lay more flat. Rookie tip #2: when designing pieces, put some care in deciding how the piece will drape against/on your body.
For those of you who aren’t into acrylics, Caron Simply Soft is a worsted weight yarn. This yarn is particularly dense, which lends considerable weight to the skirt. It certainly is warm; I would wear this during early spring or fall, but definitely not during the summer. Rookie tip #3: Take into consideration the weight your clothing pieces will hold/bear. If you intend to wear a piece during the summer, opt for a DK or fingering weight yarn instead of a worsted weight.
So I’ve spent some time discussing the negatives of this piece, but that’s not to say that I don’t love it. There are several design elements I incorporated that make me proud- for example, the lace pattern on the body of the skirt. I used a simple shell pattern for the skirt, but modified it by playing around with where I would place the shells in each row. This made the shell design pop out in every other row, creating a slight taffeta effect.
Being a lacy pattern, the skirt definitely had some holes where your underwear’s color might peek through. To avoid this, I purchased a stretchy black fabric to sew into the lining of the skirt. When sewing in the lining, I didn’t want the stitching to become apparent from the outside, so I utilized small stitches kept close together I also incorporated a zipper, and sewed the zipper in using the same strategy. Rookie tip #4&5: Mind how your stitching will appear on the outside (RS) of your piece, and make sure you sew with a firm hand (so your stitching doesn’t fall apart in use).
The end result still managed be be a skirt that I will definitely wear to work. While heavy, the yarn used has a nice drape, making the skirt feel fluid and comfortable instead of stiff. When styling a crocheted skirt like this, it’s best to wear a top that is either tight, or has enough shape to contour your body. Bright colors bring a colorful pop to the piece, such as the pink blouse I wore in the pictures. As for shoes, a simple and comfortable pump, wedge or flat pairs nicely. A thick gold or silver bangle would also accessorize well.
You can find the pattern for the skirt on ravelry here: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/skirt-of-shells.
You can also follow me there under the username @JaedeaRosalina. Happy Crafting!