Saturday, 16 April 2011

Carried away by inspiration... (Clothing Projects Part 3)

Here is a more recent clothing story, one that I am really excited about.

Since my shracket and shroat projects back in February and March 2010, I haven't dabbled in the clothing side of crochet at all (unless you count scarves and hats?). It all seemed a little too tricky, a bit daunting, really.

But a couple of weeks ago that changed - when I saw something that inspired me so much I just knew I had to give it a go.

I was following links on blogs and came across this beautiful clothing item - a sweet top for a little girl. Please follow the link and check out all the photos and details of this lovely top.

When I discovered that it was actually a pattern for a baby, I became most intrigued. The blog post provided a link to the original, free pattern (in English, which was great, because the blog is in French). It was first published in 1950 and is designed for ages newborn to 6 months. But, with a bigger hook and heavier yarn - no other alterations needed - this clever French blogger had managed to convert it to 6-year-old size!

I have been thinking about making my own daughter (also 6 years old) a poncho. But the whole arm-less thing about ponchos always bugged me. This pattern, I think, still has that lovely swing-look of a poncho, but with sleeves. Perfect!

So I decided to give it a go. I was so excited I couldn't wait. I put all other WIPs aside, and dug into stash that had been reserved for a blanket (not yet started), thinking that can be replaced eventually (if need be). My daughter, Rosie, is currently crazy about blue, so I chose blue shades and white. And I just got stuck into it. Followed the pattern exactly, but with the thicker yarn (Moda Vera Cupcake - I love it, it's so soft!) and a 5mm hook. It's basically a ripple, so it was all pretty easy to work out...

That was on a Saturday morning, a couple of weekends ago. By Sunday night, I had done everything except the sleeves. I couldn't believe it - a top in one weekend. I did crochet like a woman obsessed, almost all weekend, but (for me) this was still very speedy work.

So, as you can see, here is the top without sleeves. I love it like this, but in our climate it is just way too impractical. Maybe I will make another some time using cotton thread, and then I could go the sleeveless idea. But not in this thicker, warm yarn.

Over the week I added the sleeves. Then there was the endless end-weaving. (I hate that part!) And an edging - I just did sc (UK dc) around the neckline and fronts. And also the buttons. My daughter chose them herself (of course) and she does love everything "fancy" - glitz, sparkle, shine, frills, lace, ruffles. So, after much consideration, she chose these pretty purple crystals.
And then we were finished! From idea to complete in a week. I am feeling rather amazed, to be honest. And very chuffed indeed. :-)

I'm not sure that the stripes were a good idea. It makes the top look very, very retro, which isn't, personally, my thing - I'm not trying to deliberately create a retro look. Of course, it's hard not to with crochet, but a single colour may have reduced the granny-factor. Then, again, maybe the stripes are okay ... I do look at my work with a very critical eye. I also think wool would work better in this design (but wool is waaaay too hot for us up here in the north!) and I could have probably gotten away with a bigger hook - it might have ended up in a looser drape.

So, while I love my creation, I think the original inspiration is better and I am already thinking of making another in a single colour.

Miss Rosie wore it for the first time tonight - to a local restaurant and I found that I couldn't stop looking at her in it. Maybe I am being too critical about the stripes. The top looked so beautiful on her - and I kept thinking: I can't believe I made that. It doesn't look so retro to me now... Or maybe I'm losing perspective... but in a good way?

So, what do you think of it? - I would love to know! And if anyone wants to try it, please don't hesitate to give it a go. The pattern is dead easy, and can be found here. Please contact me (comments below or email) if you have any questions at all - I'm only too happy to help you out if I can.

Until next time,
Have a happy hooky day,
Caz :)


  1. Hi Kaz , I love this fab ripple jacket !!!!!!!
    The colours are great and it looks so lovely :0)
    Jacquie x

  2. Замечательная кофточка! спасибо за ссылку!

  3. I think its very cute and contemporary. By the way thanks for the "Its never cold enough to wear" reference. I'm not envyous at all..... well a bit... ok totally grrr ;)

  4. I think your little sweater turned out beautifullly! I may even try to whip up one for my neice, now... I've never made clothing before but this looks very do-able! Thanks for your blog, also. It's a good one to read. :)

  5. I love this little sweater - too bad it doesn't come in larger sizes. :)

  6. This turned out fabulous! Don't worry about it being 'too retro'. It is actually sooooo cute to wear for any age -- and the ripples are positively trendy right now.

  7. It's gorgeous, you are clever. Whilst I too will jealously overlook the reference to your lovely climate (tee hee), I personally love the ripples and the drape.

    I think if I ever manage to crochet a garment (and finish it), I will also constantly gaze at it with such pride!


  8. It's really, really, lovely! I like it a lot - think it would look great in one colour also. :)

  9. Very cleverly crocheted , well done and thanks for sharing.:))

  10. Thanks so much, everyone! I'm so thrilled to read all your wonderful comments; they really made my day. I'm so glad you like it! :)

  11. Fantastic job!!! I love the stripes (but I hate the ends). I would love it for me, maybe in a cotton.

  12. Oh it's so beautiful beautiful!! I love it, love the colors as well! Thanks for sharing!
    Hope you have a wonderful day! x

  13. This is WONDERFUL! So wonderful that I am making one for my granddaughter! Bought the yarn to row 11 and am STUCK!! I don't understand what they are talking about! Any help would be appreciated ...row 11 that is!
    Thanks and RAH RAH RAH for Ripples! Gotta love em!
    Thank you!

  14. I love this, it looks fantastic, I love the stripes, I'm torn now between carrying on with a cardi for myself, or having a go at this and seeing if I can manage to make it for a 2yr old. xx