Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Downton Abby Crochet

Downton Abby has many of us enthralled to the point of addiction. Oops....did I say that out loud?

A magazine with patterns inspired by the show was recently published.........for knitting. Ack! Please! No crochet? Don't get me wrong, I think knitting is appropriate and beautiful, but it seems that we crocheters are left to do what we've always done.We're going to have to make it up ourselves. So here's some inspiration and ideas for you. Yes, you can do it!

Fashions from 1917.
• Downton Abby has been set in a time period of many changing styles. To find what you might be looking for, use the following words. Edwardian Era (1901-1919), Art Nouveau (1880-1914), Art Deco (1919-1939), Bauhaus (1919-1933), and Arts and Crafts Movement (1861-1914). If you search for clothing with those words what you will find are images that show the change in attire (especially for women) where the corset begins to disappear and hems begin to rise. After all, it's the era when women won the right to vote. A very BIG deal.

• Did you know that, in the Downton Abby era, crochet was just as important a part of a woman's skills as knitting, embroidery, tatting, sewing, cooking, and all the other "womanly" arts?

Downton Abby era women's mags.
• Antique stores sometimes carry old women's magazines which generally covered all the womanly arts and will often contain a crochet item here and there. However, they'll be in a form that is appropriate to a working woman trying to brighten her life. Doilies, tablecloths, baby clothes, corset tops, etc in crochet thread and a few things like bathing jackets, heavy shawls, or caps in yarn. 

• Lace was used to embellish everything. Lace edgings, insertions, and whole lace fabrics.

From the 1950s but timeless.
• If you'd rather have those beautiful flowing lace pieces, but you're terrified of crochet thread, use lace weight yarn. It's going to be much closer to the original but easier for a yarnie to manage.

• So lets say you're using crochet thread or lace weight yarn, but you want something really authentic. Take a look at the corset covers with the lace tops. We don't wear corsets anymore (thankfully) but we do wear tank tops.

• Imagine what you find in those antique needlework magazines. Suddenly a corset cover becomes a tank top and the motifs for a tea table cover become a delicate lace jacket or a beautiful and expensive looking wrap.

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