In this update, I will share the design process for four new dresses that will be part of Barbie's upcoming pattern.
Two are a-line/princess dresses, both shown as WIP's with one also shown finished, and two are ball gown dresses.
One of the a-line dresses is also crocheted with beads, and I share what it is like to crochet with them below, along with a few tips.
These dresses will bring the total of dress previews up to 15. Learn more below...
The next wedding dress I set out to make Barbie needed to have a bateau neckline, and I decided to try crocheting a fuller skirt to make a ball gown silhouette to go with it.
The ball gown silhouette starts off like the other silhouettes, but as it progresses, there are some increases which double the number of repeats in the round, and creates the fullness of a ball gown dress.
As I was working this dress, I was coming to the end of my last spool of white thread, and I was racing to get it finished in the hopes that I wouldn't run out... As if getting it done faster would make there be more thread. There is absolutely no logic to this thought process whatsoever, but I imagine every crocheter has thought this at one point or another. Luckily, I finished this dress with a little bit of thread to spare. Big sigh of relief on that score!
You can see barbie's bateau ball gown wedding dress to the right...
Since I didn't have any more white at the time, and it would be a day or two before I could go pick up some more, I decided to crochet another bridesmaid dress for Barbie. This blue, and another blue were the only colours I had on hand that I hadn't already used for this collection, so I crocheted the next dress in the lighter of the two blues.
I decided to do a square neckline next, and I paired it with a mid-calf, or just below the knee, ball gown silhouette. So, essentially, it is like the one above minus a handful of rows.
You can see barbie's square mid-calf ball gown dress to the left...
With the ballgown silhouette, I want to crochet a hot pink asymmetrical thigh length dress, a yellow halter knee length dress, and finally a wedding dress with a train. I will do these after I finish with the last two a-line/princess dresses.
With my beads and white thread, I set out to crochet was a straight-across, strapless a-line dress with a train.
Crocheting with beads is an entirely different process.
The first step was to thread all the beads I thought I'd need plus a few extra onto the thread. I did this by threading my yarn onto a regular sewing needle - the eye threading tool was such a big help in doing just that. This way I could use the needle to scoop up several beads at once and thread them onto the yarn at a much faster rate.
I was able to estimate the number of beads I would need for this dress by counting the amount needed without the train as I had already crocheted a full length a-line dress. Without a train, an a-line dress needs 660 beads. So, I added a few hundred more to that and rounded it up to 1,000 beads... I ended up using 982 beads total with only 18 left over! So, I would have to say that was a pretty good estimation.
Now 1,000 beads is a large number to count out, and there is absolutely no way it could be done without loosing track of how many I had already counted. So, I came up with the clever idea to insert a small piece of paper after every 50 beads. 50 is a much more manageable number to count out as it can be grouped into 5 sets of 10. My needle was able to pick up 10-12 beads at a time, so I just had to do that 4-5 times before putting on the piece of paper. You'll see the beads separated by the paper in the WIP picture below...
After all the beads were threaded onto the yarn, I pushed them down (small groups at a time) to get them out of the way and gather some working yarn. This requires extra patience, time, and has to be repeated several times throughout, but it is so worth it in the end.
It is very easy for the working yarn to become tangled. I found it is better to grab just enough working yarn at one time, and repeat the bead push down more often to minimize tangles.
You can see the dress in progress and the groups of working yarn and threaded beads in the picture to the right...
I still have several wedding dress styles to crochet, but I really wanted to use my new colours and finish with the a-line and ball gown dresses first. So, I set to work crocheting a sweetheart, halter strap a-line dress in yellow next.
This one will come down to the mid-calf.
You can see it as a WIP to the left...
I have reached below the knees on this one already, and I am still debating whether or not I wish to do a couple more rows before I finish it off.
I have set it aside to work on the final a-line dress for the collection which will be in a pretty purple colour and will have a spaghetti strap, square neckline.
The purple one will complete the 5 a-line/princess dresses, as you have already seen two in a previous update. One that comes to the thigh, and the other goes all the way down to the toes.
It has been an extremely exciting and rewarding project so far!
PATTERN UPDATES: The crochet patterns for dresses similar to these is now available to purchase. See "Happily Ever After" Crochet Pattern for Fashion Dolls to learn more about the design, or...