For the Miss Santa Monica pageant I knew I wanted to make a dress for my interview. I love being able to share something that is so important to me with the judges! So as soon as I signed up, I went to Alamitos Bay Yarn Company & picked out a few balls of Sirdar Baby Bamboo Dk in the color Poppy!
At first, I started to make a Peplum top with a deep plunging neckline & planned to wear a matching skirt. But as I started to make the top, I wasn’t really feeling it. I did not love the overall look. So, I set the Baby Bamboo down & started to create another design with my favorite Katia Cotton Stretch.
Twice I tried to recreate the neckline & shape of one of my favorite dresses from Arnhem Clothing using the Katia Cotton Stretch in the color 22. But still I felt like the pieces were not going to be good enough.
Although, Katia is one of my favorite yarns, the color does not photograph nearly as well as the Sirdar. Because the Sirdar is made with bamboo, it is extra shiny! All of the colors look so rich & vibrant in photographs, which is one of the reasons I always go back to it!
So after 3 failed attempts and 7 days before the pageant, I picked up my Poppy Sidar yarn & worked endlessly to finish before the big day!
I am not one to use a pattern. I like to make it up as I go. That way it fits by body the best. But this dress wasn’t so simple…
On Monday, I began to make the top of the dress & planed to work my way down. I started with a foundation chain & added rows of double crochet that matched the size of the dress I was modeling it after. Some rows I would do a double crochet in every stitch, always adding a few stitches on each side so the garment would grow as I went down. Then, I would alternate doing a stitch, with doing a chain, to create holes & interest in the pattern.
On Tuesday, I was down to my hips. I originally envisioned the dress to flare a little at the bottom, mimicking the flow of the Arnhem dress I love so much. But before I got there, I realized I had made a mistake. Somehow, I had accidentally flipped my work & done 8 rows (hours of work) the wrong direction. This created a line of different looking stitches right at the most unflattering part of my body. Sadly, I had to undo the rows & do the work over again. 🙁
*Note to self, pay attention!!!
By Wednesday, the dress was finally starting to cover up my lady bits! I was so excited! I put it on to finally get a feel for what the finished dress would look like. Only to discover I was far from finished.
From the chest down I was adding 4 stitches to each row, 2 on the left side & 2 on the right. But in order to create more of a flare at the bottom I started to add 6 or 8 stitches to each row. It wasn’t until I put the dress on that I realized how big of a mistake that was. The sides of the dress were creating a strange wiggle at both my hips. Super NOT cute. Which meant for the second time, I was going to have to undo my work & re-do hours of crochet.
Thursday went much like the day before. Finally the dress was long enough again, & I went to try it on. Unfortunately, I did not undo enough rows the day before & the dress was still creating an ugly unflattering shape at my hips. So for the final time, I took the stitches out & started again.
Luckily, the I finished the dress Friday, just in time for the pageant! I used 9 balls of yarn & had to undo my first Peplum top to finish. It cost me $65.00 in yarn. But I loved the dress & was so excited to wear it for the pageant. I just needed shoes! Thankfully, one of the pageant sponsors Shoedazzle gave me some that happened to match perfectly!
Currently, I am working on making this dress again in another color for Coachella. Hopefully, I learned from all the mistakes & will be able to create an even better dress the second time!
If you have any questions, feel free to ask! I’m always here making mistakes so that you don’t have too!
The pattern for this dress is now included in Golden Years Crochet Dress Pattern! Full disclosure, the fitted skirt pattern was not attempted by testers but the flare skirt was completed successfully. However, If you have any questions please leave them below & I would be happy to help!
Click HERE to get the patter & start making it for yourself!
What I’m Wearing & Who Helped!
Jewelry by The Urban Charm
Shoes by Millicia by Shoedazzle
Photography by Raphael Maglonzo