Having created a piece of fabric from over 100 little crocheted squares, each in three colours, I finally joined them together.
If you do this – for a blanket or a garment – I used the following method.
Sewing up granny squares
Decide on a design. I had one row of pink followed by one row of blue. I alternated deeper squares with lighter ones across the row and alternated down the column too, as you can see in the second picture. Starting at the hem I sewed one row first along the left and right sides, from the base upwards, sewing right sides together, and leaving a long thread towards the top. The next row was joined, left to right sewing the bottom of the second row to the top of the first row, with one long thread. Then the squares in the second row were joined to each other, right sides together, taking up the long upwards threads, rethreading each time. This approach gave me a nice even fabric. I used a small over stitch getting into the crocheted stitches. Once complete press on the reverse.
Shaping the skirt
Thank you very much for giving me your suggestions on how to do this.
The original Carolyn skirt involves picking up stitches along the top end and knitting in ribbing and threading elastic through. Although I knew this would work I didn’t want bulk around the waist. My dark green yarn (thank you Jo) is rather bulky to start with and I just have a bit of an aversion to an elasticated waist. So I wanted to create more shape and asked for your advice.
- Linda suggested mounting the crocheted piece onto a firm linen underskirt. I have seen this done in some 1960s coture patterns and it was a clever suggestion.
- Tina, an experienced crocheter, confirmed that this sort of fabric is best used to create rectangular garments or skirts for straight figured women.
- Jay came up with the idea of making the upper squares in a tapered shape, and also suggested the ribbing approach
- Eimear, who is a competent and knowledgeable crocheter too came up with an ingenious proposal. She uses a variety of crochet stitches to create the yoke area, with decreases, ending with a slightly gathered look using a cord to pull it up. I liked this idea a lot.
- Ceci thought of a wrap skirt – clever – or shaped squares
- Erin Alter came up with the most creative fix, and it was one I really warmed to. She suggested using fabric to create a yoke in a harmonising or contrasting fabric – such as a tweed. I love this idea and I do want to do it – inspired by the Burbery pictures. I don’t have fabric to hand, so may just let this one cogitate. It depends on fabrics and yarns that just demand to come together. I do want to combine knitting with stitching at some point.
- Cynthia from Swindon, similar to Linda, thought about mounting the crochet on a stretch fabric and doing the Alabama Chenin approach to shaping. Let’s have a look at an A line skirt.
What I don’t like about this skirt is way the pattern breaks at the CF (and presumably CB too). I wanted to avoid an obvious seam in my skirt. Otherwise the skirt is worn low down, almost on the hips. This is great if you have a young, flat belly. Otherwise it is not a great, or even comfortable, look.
So what did I do?
I went back to the lace skirt as my guide. I thought seriously of mounting the fabric or underlining the skirt. I may still do this if my skirt doesn’t wear well. But right now I want the skirt to feel flexible and casual. With the lace skirt, inspired by Mrs Mole, I created the shaping by carefully moving the motifs around. I thought this approach might work with the crocheted skirt, so that is what I have done.
The waist line has four squares removed from it at the side seams. The second row going down has the dark background taken up into the seam, tapering down towards the hip. The third row had take up of the colourful flowers and I used the lace technique. I carefully cut away one of the flowers and blended two squares on the right side. To be honest my work is (as ever) a bit bodged.
Finally I added a waistband the same size as the waist minus two squares to bring in the skirt some more. I decided to line the waist band and insert some stiffening. I used this stiffener that I won from William Gee. I zig zagged two strips together to create the relatively wide waist band, then wrapped it in lining material (also from Wm Gee). I hand stitched the squares to the waistband, using a strong button-hole thread from Wm Gee, creating a kind of belt
As I had decreased the number of squares by two I knew this blue row would not line up precisely with the pink row beneath. So I lined it up at the CF and eased the waist line into the lower edge of the waistband. Then I inserted a nice mauve zip (also from Wm Gee) by hand.
Finally I got the effect I wanted. You can see the definite curve in the pictures below.
And here are the glamorous model shots!
I really like this skirt. It is a nice weekend skirt, and really warm and comfortable.I like wearing it with opaque tights. It goes brilliantly with my dark green Heavenly cashmere jumper.
I don’t think this is the end of crocheting for me. Or knitted skirts.