Karenne’s Heirloom Crochet Lace Dress

Several years ago I created this dress and patterns using French lace as a model.  It’s simple, but special.  Each of my daughters has worn it on their baptism day.  The lace work is all handmade using a variety of edging and insertion patterns.

The elements I borrowed from French lace are the pintucked front and edging, small ribbon accents in the pintucking, and the combining of lace patterns.  Any edging pattern can be added to an insertion pattern to create a more sophisticated look.  The thread size is 30.

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Repair Project: Beautiful 100 Year Old Antique Irish Lace

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This lace belongs to a friend of mine who has had it for many years.  It’s hand made Irish crochet lace.  A few of the floral motifs have been torn out here and there, and the picot netting is torn in several more places. 

She asked me if I would be able to repair it, and help her preserve it.  I have to admit that repairing a hundred+ year old piece of handmade Irish lace is a nerdy kind of wonderful. I readily agreed.  So much history here.

In examining the lace, it was easy to see how the damage had happened.  These little hook closures across the front of the jacket have caught on the lace and inadvertently been pulled, ripping through the aging thread.

The culprit: sharp little hook and eye closures

The culprit: sharp little hook and eye closures

My first job was to whiten the lace. I had no thread that would match the deep antique yellow it had become over the years, so I consulted with my mother-in-law who has a lot of experience laundering old lace.  She suggested Clorox II.  It has no chlorine bleach in it, so it won’t damage the fibers, but it does an amazing job of whitening.  It has a bit of bluing in it also, which helps the thread appear whiter.

The washing process took an entire evening, soaking, agitating, and rinsing.  The gentle process did a great job of taking a lot of the aged color from the thread.  Once the lace was a lighter color, not quite pristine white, but tolerably close– my thread was a sufficient match and the repair could begin.

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Irish floral crochet motifs embedded in picot ground.

I’m not done with this project yet, but making good progress.  I just love studying all the old motifs.  I can copy most of them from experience and observation.  The stitch tension is tighter than my tension, so I’m using my very smallest hook, Tulip, size 23.

A good variety of flowers

A good variety of flowers

Such a pretty piece.

Such a pretty piece.

I’m looking forward to posting finished pictures.

Anna’s Baptism Dress

Anna Celinda, Baptism Dress with lace edging.

Anna Celinda, Baptism Dress with Lace Edging.

When Anna was baptized, she wore a dress I made with a variation on Grace’s lace edging.  I modified it, this time with a pineapple insertion. I added the same snowflake extension, this time without the cluny clusters.  I added the snowflake extension to the pineapple insert as well to tie the edgings together. The snowflake edging also goes around her collar, with a pearl button.

I like the design of both dresses, but changing the elements definitely changes the look.  This was a good experiment for me in lace design.

Design Experiment: Snowflake Edging Modified with Pineapple Insertion

Design Experiment: Snowflake Edging Modified with Pineapple Insertion