Showing posts with label wedding knits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wedding knits. Show all posts

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Wedding Waistcoats Wanted

Having done a tie post as part of my series on knitting for weddings, the next logical step seemed to be to do a post on waistcoats for the groom and/or groomsmen. I was looking forward to this post as I expected to find a number of nice waistcoat or vest patterns. Alas, they don't seem to exist. There are quite a lot of waistcoat patterns available, a number of which are nice enough to wear to the office with a shirt, tie, and trousers, but not really any that looked stylish enough for a groom.

The one above is the only readily available pattern I could find that looked like it might do. The design is called "The Waistcoat He Wants", it was designed by Feature Knitting Designs, and it's a free pattern.

If that waistcoat pattern doesn't do it for you, there are two routes you might take. One way is to track down a vintage waistcoat or vest knitting pattern that you like, and use that. Old style vests were much smarter than the casual, relaxed fit vests you see now. I'd recommend looking for a sharp cut, some detailing such as welts, and a shaped bottom, as these things elevate the design.

The other possible way to make a waistcoat fit for a groom is to pick out a waistcoat sewing pattern that you like, make a rectangular length of knitting in a fine gauge but in any colour and pattern you like, then take it to a tailor to be made up. I'd consult with the tailor about the project before doing any knitting or even buying a pattern to make sure s/he is able and willing to do it and to get advice, unless you are a very good sewer, in which case you might tackle sewing the waistcoat yourself. When I was researching patterns for the first post in my series on twentieth century knitting patterns and I hoped to find a great waistcoat pattern, this is what all the Edwardian waistcoat patterns I found said to do.

And I'll just throw in about the only item of wearing apparel I found on Ravelry that was specifically designated as groom wear, Groom's Socks to Prevent Cold Feet, by Eline Oftedal. It is kind of a fun idea for a gag gift, but I can't imagine any man of my acquaintance actually being willing to wear these, and it seems like a lot of work to do just for the sake of a joke. However, if you know a prospective groom who could use such socks, the pattern is available as a $5.99(USD) download.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

The Ties that Bind Off

Today's post was originally intended to be a post about ties and waistcoats for my series on knitting for weddings. But when I researched tie designs, I soon realized that they deserved a post of their own. So although this post may certainly used as a resource for knitting ties for weddings, I've tried to write a fairly comprehensive post on ties for all occasions.

Knitting a tie that looks right can be a bit of a challenge. Many of those I looked at looked too limp, too thick, had rough-looking or uneven edges, were twisted, or just didn't hang right. They looked homemade as opposed to handmade, and I'm sure you all know the difference between those two looks. It's so important that an item that is worn front and centre with a suit in a professional or formal setting looks doesn't look "loving hands at home". And achieving that seems to be a matter of getting the shape, proportions, and weight just right.

The best and most classic width for a tie is 3.25 inches, although any measurement from 2.75 to 3.5 inches is fine. The successful patterns I looked at all recommended fingering weight/4 ply yarn, and though silk was often used, a wool/nylon blend will also work, or a cotton yarn for summer wear. It seems to me that no knitter will ever need a lot of tie patterns, but should just select one good pattern for each shape desired (standard, straight, and/or skinny) and keep using it, changing the colourway and patterns as desired.

The Preppy Tie depicted above was probably the best example of the standard tie that I found. The fact that it is knit on the bias is probably the key to its success, as the usual three or sixfold woven tie that men wear is cut on the bias. It might be a little difficult to get a hold of this pattern, as it was originally published in the January/February 2011 issue of Knitting Today!

Here's another bias knit tie from Interweave Knits. It's very similar to the one above, but this time the pattern is readily accessible as a $4.50(USD) download. It is too short on the model. Make sure the length is right when the tie is on: just touching the waistband of the wearer's trousers. It always looks a little...Freudian...when men get their tie length wrong.

This pattern for Traditional Neckties, also from Interweave Knits, again looks very similar to the two above, but might provide some pattern variations, and is available as a $5(USD) download. I really like the pattern of the tie in the top right-hand picture.

If you'd like to make a straight tie, this basic seed stitch tie pattern from Benyamen Conn might serve you well. It's a free pattern.

The Ed's Tie design, by Sally Melville, has a good texture and seems to hang well. It appears in The Knitting Experience: Book 3: Color.

The Angelus Knit Tie is another straight tie with a great texture and bit of stripe. It's a free pattern.

Here's a striped tie, designed by Christy Pyles for Knitter's Magazine.

This New School Tie is from Knit 2 Together: Patterns and Stories for Serious Knitting Fun.

If you'd like to make a skinny tie, the Rustic Elegant Tie is a good textured skinny tie pattern. It appears in Knitting Classic Style: 35 Modern Designs Inspired by Fashion's Archives.

If you like a more sporty skinny tie, the Tsubaki Cotton Necktie might be the design for you. It's a free pattern.

And of course, I can't leave out the bow tie. Here's a pretty good one, the linen stitch Gestrikt design, by Malia Mather, as modelled by Stephen West. It's a free pattern.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Knitting down the Gauntlet: Gloves and Purses for a Bride

This post is the third in my series of posts on knitting for weddings, and features a selection of patterns for purses and gloves for the bride. (You can see the other posts on knitting for weddings here.)
Let's look at the purses first. It may take some planning to manage both a bouquet and a purse on your wedding day, but you may want to do it anyway, because you will likely want to freshen your makeup and to have some tissues handy. (Or, if you have second thoughts, bus fare.) The purses here may be used as an evening bag after the wedding, or perhaps as a handy sachet for the bride's dresser drawer. The purse above is the Heirloom Bridal Bag, and the pattern is available for £3.00(GBP).

The pattern for this simple little beaded bag is available for free. There will be a lot of ways in which a bride's purse can be made to go with her dress and/or the wedding decorations: by using similar beading or other notions or a similar lace pattern, or lining the bag with fabric that is in the wedding colours or is left over from some other item or garment that has been made for the wedding.

Here's another beaded bag, the pattern for which appeared in Knitting the Easy Way by Terry Kimbrough.

This Valentine's Day Wedding Bag uses beading and also an elegant silver frame. The pattern is available as a $6 download.

I would want to use a more polished-looking yarn than the one employed in this Bridal Clutch, but it has a cute shape and I love the frame. You can also add beading if you like. The pattern is from the November 2011 Crafty Ever After.

Here's a felted Bridal Rose Bag that may make you decide you don't need to carry a bouquet. The pattern is available for $7.50(USD).

There are so many beautiful glove patterns on Ravelry that you'd be much better off looking for yourself than just looking at the few I can feature here. But, since we are here, I've picked out a half dozen or so I think are lovely. The Terzetto Lace Mitts are quite something. I'd put these with a fairly simple dress that didn't have much lace on it. The pattern is a $7(USD) download.

The Lillyana Fingerless Gloves are simpler and, if knitted in cashmere as shown here, perhaps more suitable for a winter wedding. I did try to find fingered gloves for this post but didn't like any of those I saw and had to settle for a selection of fingerless ones, which after all are better for the ring ceremony. This pattern is available as a £3.00(GBP).

The Armstulpe wrist warmer pattern, with its falling ruffle, might appeal to the bride who doesn't want a full glove. This pattern is available as a $2.90 download.

These beaded wristlets are a little more dramatic and arty. This pattern is available as a €3.90(EUR) download.

The Water Lilies Gloves are a simple pattern that would probably suit the most brides of any of those in this post. This pattern is available as a $4.75 download.

Another pair of beaded lace wristlets. This pattern is available as a download for $2.90.

I don't think a bride will want to wear these Wedding Mittens for her wedding unless there are skis, snowboarding, snowshoes, ice skates, rubber tubing, or snowmobiles involved in the ceremony, but they were too cute not to include. They'd be nice for a honeymoon at a ski chalet. The pattern for these mittens is available for $6(USD).

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Bridal Bo-Peep has Sheared Her Sheep

If anyone thinks you're slightly yarn-mad for say, knitting a wedding dress, you can always tell them about the bride who made her dress out of shearings from her own sheep. Louise Fairburn, a sheep breeder from Lincolnshire, England, used wool from her favourite Lincoln Longshire sheep, Olivia, to make the wedding gown for her 2009 wedding. The dress, which was almost entirely of her own design, took a spinner and a dressmaker a total of 67 hours to make.

The whole wedding was sheep themed. The groom's and groomsmen's waistcoats and the bodices of the bridesmaids' dresses were made of embroidered wool, the bride carried a Bo Peep-style crook, the ring bearer's cushion was made from a fleece, the felted cake topper (above) included a pair of sheep, there were sheep-shaped chocolate favours for the guests, and the wedding dinner featured lamb dishes. The Daily Mail has the story here, and has an interview with the bride, in which Louise Fairburn discusses the process of making the dress, and claims the dress didn't feel hot or heavy.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Something Knitted

Last week I published a post of selected bridal gown knitting patterns, and I've decided that post will be the first in a series on knitting patterns for weddings. I can't say how many posts there will be in this series, but I do have quite a few ideas in mind, so I'll just try to do one a week until I'm done. (You can see the other posts on knitting for weddings here.) This is the second post, and it features selected patterns for garters and hand-knitted bridal stockings. I'm trying to write this series of posts in such a way that they can also be of value to those who aren't planning a wedding. I've no intention of ever getting married myself, but I'd just love to knit myself a fancy pair of thigh-high stockings at some point.

Let's look at the garters first. They're a purely decorative item for most bridal outfits, and though garters are normally not an item for public display, bridal garters are commonly tossed to the male guests by the groom at the end of the wedding (as the bride's bouquet is tossed to the single female guests by the bride), with the catcher being supposed to be the next person to get married. Brides often consequently supply themselves with a second, simpler and/or less expensive bouquet and garter specifically for tossing so that they may keep the more elaborate bouquet and garter that saw actual use during the wedding. If you're knitting a garter for a wedding that will feature a garter toss, you may want to make one special garter to be worn and buy or make a simpler version for tossing.

Garters are probably one of the items a knitter might be most likely to make for a wedding, because it can be done so quickly and inexpensively. As I found when I looked for garter patterns, they are very likely to be the standard white lace with a blue ribbon threaded through it, and so be the "something blue" the bride wears for luck. I've tried to find some different styles, but even then they were pretty much all in blue and white or ivory. There's really no reason why a bride can't wear a garter made in her favourite colours or wedding colours.

The garter above is knitted of ribbon, and of course it's possible to use a variety of ribbon types or colours. The pattern is designed by Julianne Smith and is available for free.

This Angora Mohair Garter pattern appears in Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders: 101 Small Indulgences, edited by Judith Durant. I'd say this one is for a winter wedding, because if I had to wear anything angora all one hot summer day, I'd be taking it off and chucking it at someone long before the end of the wedding.

Pretty garter with a ruffle and a bow. I'd be inclined to make this one in a higher-end or more delicate fibre than is used here to give it a lacier, more lingerie-like look. This garter is designed by Deby Lake and is a free pattern.

A classic lace garter with two shades of green ribbon run through it to give it a bit of a different look. This garter was designed by Diane Willett and is a free pattern.

This garter pattern is actually a slightly altered version of the one above, and uses a single ribbon and a different fibre for a softer, more ruffled look. This garter was made by Christy Wall and is a free pattern.

Gina's Wedding Garter plays with the usual proportions and the result looks like something different. I also like the idea of adding a little charm to the garter, though you'll need to make sure whatever you add doesn't catch on the bride's dress. This pattern was designed by Lara Neel and is a free pattern.

Now let's have a look at some knitted stockings. Some of these stocking patterns won't be compatible with wearing any of the garters above, so you may have to choose which item you'd like most to wear. Fortunately you won't need to wear garters with these stockings because they're designed to stay up on their own. Some have garters built right into the pattern. This pair of lace stockings have a different view front and back. They were designed by Mari Muinonen and are available as a $5 download.

Susie's Long Stockings are one of the stocking patterns with built-in garters. This pattern was designed by Elizabeth Wolden and is available as a $6 download.

The Agnes's Silk Stocking pattern is probably the most traditional of the stocking patterns I've picked out, and I should think it would be impossible not to feel like a princess while wearing them. As long as you can keep from yelling at the caterer. These stockings were designed by Karen E. Hooten for the September/October 2011 issue of Piece Work.

These ribbed stockings would be for the more informal winter wedding and perhaps one for which one was wearing traditional Scottish dress. This pattern was designed for A Handknit Romance: 22 Vintage Designs with Lovely Details by Jennie Atkinson.

The Haapsalu Lace Socks pattern looks quite racy in black, but of course they could be made in any colour and would have a completely different effect in the traditional white or ivory. This pattern was designed by Tiina Kaarela and is available for €5.00(EUR).

The Delphyne is another lacy stocking pattern, this time less openwork than the previous. This pattern was designed by Stephanie Mason and is a $7(USD) download.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Married in White, You've Chosen All Right; Married in Knitting, It's Only Fitting

I've been meaning to write some posts on knitting for weddings for some time now, and here at last is the first one, on knitted dresses for the bride. (You can see my other posts on knitting for weddings here.) I was surprised when my initial search for knitted wedding gown patterns turned up very few patterns on Ravelry and elsewhere, and that those few were generally unimpressive. The key to finding attractive bridal dress patterns turned out to be searching through knitted dress patterns for dresses that would make appropriate wedding dresses when properly styled. So here's a selection of a dozen knitting patterns that I think would make beautiful wedding dresses. They range from fairly formal classic styles to more simple ones that could be worn again to any other dressy event, and from somewhat daring to demure. If you're looking for a wedding dress design for a bride, you must look past the styling of most of these designs to re-imagine them knitted in different fibres and/or colours and accessorized in a different manner.

These dresses might also work as bridesmaid dresses, though I'd advise brides to think at least twice, and possibly undergo a thorough psych evaluation, before undertaking the knitting of dresses for four or five bridesmaids as well as her own gown. And of course even those who are already married/have no intention of ever getting married may find this post of interest, because a number of these dresses could perfectly well be made and worn for various non-wedding events. And I promise you nothing I have selected will make you look remotely like this.

The photo above is the Principesa Dress, by Sarah Wilson, and the pattern is available as a $6(USD) download. I love this one and keep doing the math in my head as to how inexpensively it could be made. You'd need between two to four 115g/4oz skeins to make this dress (it's sized from Xs to XXL), and even at a luxury quality yarn priced at, say, $30 a skein, that's only $60-$120, plus $6 for the pattern, which seems very reasonable for even the most modest of wedding budgets. I certainly don't know anyone who has bought or made a new wedding dress in anything like recent times for less than $60. Making your own wedding gown will be time-intensive, but could really help you cut costs.

Here's another backless design, the Posy Slip, which was designed by Joanne Krantz and is a $5.50(USD) download. Be warned the rosettes are crocheted. I'm imagining this one sans boots and in a solid tint.

But perhaps you're not the backless dress type, in which case the Greenary dress, by Tatiana Tatianina, which is available as a $5(USD) download, might be more your style. You have the option of shortening the sleeves.

If you like the basic style of the Greenary dress above, but not the empire cut, this little Saturday In The Park Perfect Dress might be more your style, though you'll probably want to dress it up by adding some beads and/or making it in a high-end luxury yarn, and may want to make it in a more traditionally bridal tint. This dress was designed by Stefanie Japel and appeared in Fitted Knits.

If this little black dress were done in ivory, perhaps in one of those yarns that have bits of sequins and beads embedded in them, it would make a lovely wedding dress for a more low-key yet elegant wedding, such as second weddings tend to be. You will need to wear a slip underneath it. This dress was designed by Val Love and is available as a $7(USD) download.

If you like the idea of a knitted lace overlay worn with a silk or satin sheath, I've found several patterns along those lines. This airy little number, designed by Louise Harden, is the first. It's available from Verena Knitting for $4.95.

This knitted lace dress by Lily M. Chin has very simple lines. What you might do is make it in ivory with an ivory satin sheath for your wedding, and then have another sheath made in your favourite colour so as to be able to wear the dress again without it looking too bridal. The pattern is available as a $6(USD) download.

Here's a fitted lace dress design by Shirley Paden. The pattern is available as a $6(USD) download.

But then perhaps you're having a more formal wedding, and none of the dresses above will do. You want to see some more showy floor-length styles that will be suitable for your big day. All right then, I shall move on to some more elaborate styles. If you love vintage styles, this 1940s Inspired Gown, by Cheryl Nelson, might work for you. It is a $9(USD) download.

If you're not into the vintage look but instead prefer simple and modern styles, you can hardly do better than this perfect sheath. It was designed by Lisa Gentry and appeared in the May/July 2007 issue of Cast On, so you might have some trouble getting your hands on a copy of the pattern. I usually try not to include patterns that aren't readily available as it seems rather perverse of me to make you desire what you can't have, but this really was too lovely to exclude, and a really experienced knitter probably could recreate this pattern from the picture with perhaps some help from similar existing patterns.

Here's a long wedding dress that's simple and yet romantic. This is the La Lune pattern by Tatiana Tatianina, which is available as a $4.50(USD) download. It's intended to be worn over a crinoline.

If you want the traditional big white dress, this wedding gown by Linda Daniels and Jill Montgomery is your best bet of any in this post. In this pattern, which is depicted on the left, the skirt and bodice are knitted separately and sewn together. You'll have the option of replacing the pattern's bodice with any style that you prefer, as the bride on the right has done. This is a free pattern.

The Knit Dress as Deep as Your Love by Fashion Martina, with its long, fitted bodice and tiered skirt is definitely both high-impact and a big time commitment — that skirt is knitted in fine mohair and is 10 metres in circumference at the hem. The pattern is available as a $9(USD) download.

Stay tuned for more knitting for weddings posts, though I can't tell you when the next one will be posted.