Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Doily Affair

Pineapple Top
Freeform Doily Wrap
My affair with doilies started the first time I made one. I think it was the lace that first hooked me. Crocheted lace is so feminine yet the crochet and thread combine to create a surprisingly strong piece of fabric. Like many women I know, it can appear delicate but has an inherent strength built it.

Rockin Raspberry Top
Tongass Princess
The other thing that attracted me to doilies is their beautiful geometry, especially the round doilies. Because they are worked in concentric rounds, they can radiate like starfish or snowflakes. They can have pinwheels or wheat sheaves or the lovely and ever popular pineapples. Round by round, the doily is built up to make a complete design.

Filet Crochet Top
I've never really used doilies much for their intended purpose. And, I haven't made any for years (except to do yarn bombing – see previous posts). What I've been doing is collecting the doilies made by others, many of them vintage. And, I've been turning them into clothing. I use some as embellishments on clothing. For the Rockin Raspberry top, I cut off the spaghetti straps and used a crocheted collar for the neckline and triangular shaped doilies as embellishment. The Pineapple Top and the Tongass Princess top also started with a vintage crocheted collar.

Filet Camisole
I also use doilies as a fabric to make new clothing. Sometimes, the doilies are hand sewn together. Sometimes they are crocheted together, like the Freeform Doily Wrap, which also has a beaded edging. 

Doily Top
Sometimes, I do a combination of both sewing and crocheting together. Most times, I add an edging to pull the whole thing together. I also often dye the doilies in some fashion, such as with wild Alaska blueberries or with tea, to give them a more cohesive look. The Filet Crochet Top has an overall blueberry dye, while with the Filet Camisole, I used blueberries to spot dye. 
Priscilla Dress
I have also been experimenting with combining doilies with existing garments to make altered couture, such as with the Priscilla Dress. It has a large doily sewn to the slip under the sheer dress and another doily sewn to the left side slip bottom that shows after the side was gathered. One top includes doily printing, which I will write about in another blog. 

I have quite a collection of doilies now and many ideas for new garments. Hopefully, doilies will never go out of style so I can continue my doily affair.