Thursday, February 11, 2010

How You Made It: Jess Dress

Jess by Aruba Blue, images copyright

As Aruba Blue designed her pattern, Jess for knitonthenet Issue 5, she had in mind the kind of pattern which you might be familiar with if you did any dressmaking from Stitchcraft or Golden Hands in the 1960s or 70s. Perhaps you even wore one of these crocheted and sewn dresses as a child: I certainly did.

Designing to combine the rustic feel of the original patterns with modern, summery colours, Aruba wanted the pattern to be very flexible in its making to fit a wide range of sizes. Jess has proved to be a popular pattern with knitonthenet readers, as you can see from these great examples from members of Ravelry.

Jenny from Utah has made two Jess dresses: one as part of the 2008 Ravelympics, and another for a friend's daughter. She cleverly made a matching headband with the leftover yarn with the pink and green dress, seen below. With the second dress, she adapted the straps using the flower motif from the squares (detail below).

Jess for Tianna by Guppygirl. Image copyright Guppygirl

Jess for Steph by Guppygirl. Image copyright, Guppygirl.

Scottish crafter, Jane, crocheted this pink version of Jess for her daughter, spending a lot of time getting just the right fabric for the skirt.

Iona's Dress by FourWeeKids. Image copyright, FourWeeKids

Jen from Barrie in Canada has made two Jess dresses for her daughter as well. The first is a great turquoise and green dress which you can see by following the link to Ravelry here. The second, pictured below is made with beautiful hand-dyed fabric that originated in Ghana.

SugarBaby1987's Gabby's Jess. Image copyright, SugarBaby1987

Over in California, Tricia made two dresses for her twin daughters and she has provided great notes on this one about how she altered the pattern to fit them too. I love the way that the patchwork pattern on the skirt matches the crocheted squares on the first one.

Patchwork Planet by Tricia79. Image copyright Tricia79.

Patchwork Planet Part 2 by Tricia79. Image copyright Tricia79.

Annie in Cleveland (in the UK) made a lovely version of Jess with her daughter's own choice of yarn, and has also highlighted in her notes the importance of getting the tension right in crochet. You can see on this version of the dress that by adding extra squares, it can be made to fit a range of sizes.

Jess by thestitcher. Image copyright thestitcher.

Many thanks to all of the crafters who let us use the photographs of their versions of Jess. It really is great to see the different ways that people interpret knitonthenet's patterns.

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