Handmade garments for the most special of days

Suzie Blackman
Wednesday, 9 December 2015

It’s a big responsibility making a garment for someone to wear on their wedding day, but I’ve been honoured to have made several make several, from a simple cardigan:

Laura's bolero in Rowan RYC Silk Wool

Laura’s bolero in Rowan RYC Silk Wool

…to a full-blown bespoke wedding dress in silk and lace:

Putting the finishing touches onto Zoe's wedding dress

Putting the finishing touches onto Zoe’s wedding dress

Zoe's dress on the day

Zoe’s dress on the day

(Read the full story about the making of Zoe’s wedding dress)

My sister got married earlier this year and since I had no dress-making responsibilities so I thought I should knit something special for myself. I chose a suitably ambitious beaded lace cardigan, Lalique by Laura Patterson.

I’ve made plenty of lace shawls but never knitted a shaped garment in all-over lace. The pattern uses three different lace patterns to stunning effect, making it appear more intricate than it actually is, the main body being worked in good old feather and fan.

There are two ways to add beads in knitting and this pattern uses the crochet hook method, which is another first for me. There is no need to carry an annoying trail of threaded beads on the working yarn, but stopping to pick up a crochet hook slows knitting down considerably, and was undoubtedly responsible for my last minute panic to get it finished.

Stitching the sleeve seams. The double-lace beaded edging is knit sideways and applied to the feather and fan section.

Stitching the sleeve seams. The double-lace beaded edging is knit sideways and applied to the feather and fan section.

Blocking Lalique with many wires and pins

Blocking with many wires and pins

I have a number of misgivings about the pattern. I wont list them all here, if you’re interested I’ve added detailed notes to my Ravelry project. For me, the quality of the pattern didn’t live up to its price tag. The lack of information about shaping in lace pattern was particularly frustrating, exacerbated by neglecting to mention or factor the varying stitch of the front panels (which have different numbers of stitches depending on the row). Having to work this out for myself left me wondering why I’d spent the money on the pattern.

That said, the finished garment is stunning. I had nothing but compliments about it throughout the day.

Me in my finished Lalique cardigan with the bride, my sister, Holly

Holly had lovely handmade lace garment of her own, a fine mohair cape, crocheted by one of her bridesmaids.

Holly wearing a crochet mohair cape

The author

Suzie Blackman

The dyer, designer, photographer, creative technologist and maker-of-things behind It's a Stitch Up. She lives in East London in a home filled with colour, fluff and house plants.

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