1908 Edwardian Bridal Gown

Barbie doll in a 1908 Edwardian Wedding Dress crochted by Catherine Chant

1908 Edwardian Wedding Gown
crocheted by Catherine Chant

This gown was the first one I ever made from the Paradise Publications series of patterns.

Prior to this I had only made Annie’s Attic bed doll historical gown patterns, which focus primarily on crochet techniques.

The Paradise patterns include a lot of trim detail with beads or other materials, things I didn’t have a lot of experience with at the time (I hadn’t yet delved into jewelry-making). So, although I’d always been struck by the beauty of the finished outfits, I’ll admit the construction intimidated me at first.

But they were always so stunning to look at, I knew I had to try at least one of them.

I chose this Edwardian gown first because it looked like it used mostly standard crochet (the gown was not beaded), and it had a slim silhouette I knew would stitch up quickly.

I had some experience working with doll-scale flowers and ribbon, so I knew I could handle the bouquet. The necklace looked pretty simple, as well, just a string of seed beads, plus I was good at doing hair from making so many of the Annie’s dresses.

The headpiece I thought might be tricky, though. I wasn’t used to working with fabric lace. (In Annie’s patterns, if there’s something lacy on an outfit, you crochet it. 🙂 ).

But I vowed to be brave and try something new.

I’m so glad I did, because I think she came out beautifully!

1908-2

She does have one flaw, though. Can you tell what it is? May not be obvious, but of course I see it all the time because I know it’s there. it’s the main reason I didn’t feel I could sell this doll to a collector, so she’s currently on display in my dining room hutch.

The flaw isn’t in the dress, it’s the doll. After all that time spent on getting the hair just perfect and creating a stunning headpiece (that wasn’t as difficult as I feared it would be), it turned out her neck wasn’t strong enough to support the weight of the adornments.

On a newer doll, this probably wouldn’t be a problem, but this was a “rescued” doll found on the secondhand market that I had restored to her former beauty. I didn’t know her neck joint was iffy until I had everything fastened in place and went to put her on a doll stand.

The hairdo alone took such a long time to perfect, I didn’t want to start over with another doll, so I decided to keep her as she is. And I do love her.

I’ve come to accept her “pose” as is, and think of it as perhaps a gaze toward Heaven, maybe for a quick prayer on her wedding day before she enters the church.

As Tim Gunn says, we “make it work.” 😀

Barbie in Edwardian gown crocheted by Catherine Chant

Barbie in Edwardian wedding gown crocheted by Catherine Chant

Turn of the Century Victorian Ball Gown

Gold sequined crochet Barbie Doll dress

1900 Century Celebration Costume
Crocheted by Catherine Chant
(click to enlarge)

We’ve just started a new year and I can’t think of a better crochet project to highlight on such an occasion than this gold sequined turn of the century ball gown.

Can’t you just see the wife of a wealthy railroad magnate in the gilded age wearing this stunning ensemble to a New Year’s Eve party? She’d be the belle of the ball!

Crocheted with gold beads, sequins and metallic gold crochet thread, this gown will make your fashion doll shine! The costume is based on a Paradise Publications pattern (No. 66, P-077, ©2000, 1900 Century Celebration Costume) and took me several months to complete.

The gown itself actually wasn’t too complicated, but the intricate details, such as the lace insert on the bodice, the hair adornments (and the hair style!), as well as the purse, stole and underskirt, took some time to finish due to the small scale.

Crocheting with beads or sequins is relatively easy. The most time-consuming part is stringing the sequins or beads on the thread. I highly recommend a large-eye beading needle for this endeavor. It will make your life so much easier!

The video linked above shows a clever way to string beads on thread or yarn with a regular needle and a knotted piece of sewing thread, so you could try that as well.

Once you have the baubles on the thread, you simply crochet like usual, holding the bead or sequin against the hook as you complete the stitch. This holds it in place in the fabric as you create the gown.

One thing to note about beading with crochet is that the beads always fall to the back of your work, so it works best when creating items in the round (such as the skirt on this gown).