tiistai 10. syyskuuta 2013

"Plain Jane" day dress and a simple poke bonnet

Two days to go before this year's Jane Austen Festival. Two! I'm travelling over on this Friday and apart from small, last minute sprucing up to be done on some gowns, my wardrobe for the week is ready. I think. Maybe.
I pushed myself to finish a plain day gown during the weekend, just something very simple that can be worn with all the spencers, chemisettes and on its own, too. The gown pattern was yet another variation of my basic bodice and hem patterns and I especially like the slim silhouette of the front of the dress. This is actually the only Regency gown I've made with actual puff sleeves. The fabric is possibly viscose or some other cotton blend, it was a lucky and cheap find in a fabric shop closing sale. The colour is much creamier than what the photos show and the fabric has small rectangular spots woven in.

Trying the dress on with the 1790s red spencer and the Shetland lace shawl I knitted a couple of years ago.

Close-up of the fabric, the colour doesn't really photograph right

Big Regency puff sleeve

The green stays and the top edge of the petticoat show through the dress. I have to wear the old white stays with the white gowns and one last project I need to whip up is a bodiced petticoat.

The two middle buttons close too, but I couldn't bend my arm that far and there were no ladies maids handy.

I also finished another hat project; I've talked about the merits of paper yarn in hat making before but this time I really think that the result is exactly what I wanted. I don't know what the situation is elsewhere, but here in Finland paper yarn in several colours and thicknesses is a crafts shop staple. I guess people mostly use it in weaving tapestries, rugs and tablerunners and the like, but it is really a very versatile material, being durable but pliant, and definitely more easily attainable than for example straw.

For my poke bonnet I used 200 grams of 0.8 paper yarn (by Lappajärven värjäämö) and a size 5 (European) crochet hook. The pattern is my own. First pictures, then the pattern :)

I think I look pretty silly wearing bonnets :)

I added wire to the brim to keep it in shape    

Poke bonnet pattern

200g paper yarn ( I used the 0.8 variety, using different thickness means that you need more/less of the yarn)
Size 5 (metric sizes) crochet hook (the hook can be quite large, otherwise crocheting this stiff material is rather difficult and the result will look uneven)
Thin wire for the brim (without wire support the brim wants to curl from the edges so this is a must!)

 Abbreviations (I decided to use the US crochet abbreviations):

st - stitch
sc - single crochet
cs - chain stitch
dc - double crochet

Make beginning loop and croched 2 cs.
1. Crochet 8 sc on the beginning loop. Do not close the round but continue to crochet as a spiral (here would be a good place to mark the beginning of the round so that it's easier to keep track of the increases on each round)
2. Crochet 2 sc on each st of the previous round. 16 st.
3. *Crochet 1 sc, crochet 2 sc on the next stitch* Repeat *-* all the way to the end of the round. 24 st.
4. *Crochet 2 sc, crochet 2 sc on the next stitch* Repeat *-* all the way to the end of the round. 32 st.
5. *Crochet 3 sc, crochet 2 sc on the next stitch* Repeat *-* all the way to the end of the round. 40 st.
6. *Crochet 4 sc, crochet 2 sc on the next stitch* Repeat *-* all the way to the end of the round. 48 st.
7. *Crochet 5 sc, crochet 2 sc on the next stitch* Repeat *-* all the way to the end of the round. 56 st.
8. *Crochet 6 sc, crochet 2 sc on the next stitch* Repeat *-* all the way to the end of the round. 64 st.

You should now have a circular piece about 15 cm in diametre.

Still working in spiral, crochet 10 rounds  of sc without increases.

19. *Crochet 2 sc on the next stitch, crochet 7 sc* Repeat *-* all the way to the end of the round. 72 st.

Crochet 9 rounds of sc without increases.

 If you want/need to make the crown of the bonnet bigger or longer you should make more increase rounds and/or add more rounds without increases in between. Just make sure that the increases are even and aren't made right after one another; spread them out! The crown should be long enough to accommodate a bun hairdo.

NOTE! Remember to strech and pull out the weave as you make the hat; because you're working with paper yarn that does not stretch on its own like wool would, the hat needs to be pulled into shape every now and then while working it. This is really not that clear when explained, but if you try to crochet paper yarn, you'll see what I mean :)

The brim begins here; it is worked by crocheting back and forth.

29. Crochet with no increases until there are 18 st left of the round. Crochet 2 cs and turn work. 
30. Crochet 2 cs on the 1st "sc" of the round, crochet 7 sc, then 2 sc on the next stitch. *Crochet 8 sc, then 2 sc on the next stitch.* Repeat *-* all the way to the end of the round. Turn work.
31. Crochet 2 cs (1st stitch of the round), crochet sc all the way to the end without increases. Turn work.
32. Crochet 2 cs (1st stitch of the round), crochet 8 sc, then 2 sc on the next stitch. *Crochet 8 sc, then 2 sc on the next stitch.* Repeat *-* all the way to the end of the round. Turn work.
33. Like round 31.

Make 3 more rounds with increases, always adding one stitch more between the increases (10, 11, 12). After an increase round there's always a round without increases, so altogether you need to crochet 6 more rounds.

After completing the 6 rounds described above, crochet one more round without increases.

The lacy gingerbread edging on the brim is optional. This is how you make it:

In the corner of the brim, crochet 3 cs and connect it with a slip stitch on the short edge of the brim. This is the first double crochet. Make 8 more double crochets on the same corner stitch, *jump over 2 stiches on the brim, crochet 1 sc, jump over 2 stitches on the brim, make 6 double crochets on the next stitch*, then repeat *-* until you've reached the other corner of the brim. Then make trebles on that corner like you made the first, connecting the last double crochet of the group of 9 with a slip stitch on the short edge of the brim. Cut off yarn and weave in the ends.

Finally, add wire to support the brim and to keep it in shape. Because the brim is worked back and forth, it wants to curl in different directions on the corners, so wire is definitely needed. You can insert the wire after you've finished the bonnet, or crochet it in while you're making the brim.

That's it! I will probably add this pattern to Ravelry as well.

5 kommenttia:

  1. Hello! I love this dress and all of the accessories! Could you please tell me where you found the pattern for the dress?
    Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Thank you! I don't really have a single one pattern I use for my Regency gowns. If I remember right, the bodice pattern I tend to use and modify for gowns and spencers came from Jean Hunnisett's Period Costume for Stage and Screen. The hem is really just a rectangular piece (I think I used 1,5 widths of the fabric for this gown) and the sleeves are your standard puff sleeves.

  2. Hello. I just started following your blog as I discovered your work on Pinterest. That being said, I belong to a group of folks who are Regency/Napoleonic enthusiasts. I loved your bonnet and shared this post's link with like minded friends who crochet. Question: Crochet as a method, a friend in our group said they found a Swedish reference to crochet as o 1818. Another said this method does not come forward until 1830's but I think we are all in a muddle and would love to know if you have a source for how old crochet as a method is? We thank you for your support and assistance.

    1. Hi Angela, glad you found my blog! I think I need to point out that I'm not a reenactor, so absolute historical accuracy is not what I'm striving for with my projects. Despite that, I do try to look for materials that will at least look the part (even if they're not absolutely accurate and period-correct), and when making historical clothes and accessories I try to produce the look and shape of any given historical period. I'm sorry to say that I don't have any knowledge about the history of crocheting. I only decided to try and crochet a poke bonnet out of paper yarn, because straw hats are hard to come by and they tend to be very pricey. That's all :)

  3. Hello, I just found your blog. Thank you for the bonnet pattern. How long is the is the piece crochet from round 8 to round 19?? and from round 19 to 29?? Thank you? I crochet very tight, and I am worried about coming up short. Thank you for sharing your beautiful work.