It’s a while now that I worked on this project, but I thought I might tell you about it anyway. It is a Victorian combination with quite a bit of lace. The lace is handmade and actually still not finished after one year now.
But let’s start with the pattern, since this was the base for the project. I saw a picture of some beautiful combination at the online catalog of the MET museum, and of course I watched the video of Bernadette Banner making her version of it.

I thought to myself, that I might want to try making the lace for it myself, and the one technique I knew quite well at the time was crocheting. So I went for this technique and looked for some interesting patterns on the internet. The overarching theme should be “icy” in any way, since the combination were planned as part of my project “The Ice Queen Gown”. So I thought some elements of snowflakes or icicles would be just right. In the end, the smaller lace edges weren’t that obviously in theme, since they are quite narrow. The lace I planned for the legs hem, was way more in theme, since I find they look like some snowflakes.

A watercolor sketch of a woman in a Victorian Combination
Close-up of crocheted lace swatches
Close-up of a crocheted lace edging

After I had decided on what laces I want to make, I also wanted to know if I would really like the arrangement and the lace before I put all the work in it. I simulated the combination with Clo3D and was able to simulate the lace too. I had crocheted little samples of each lace, just enough to create a pattern rapport, and then duplicate it to create the whole lace for the simulation. I was quite pleased with the appearance, and also surprised that the simulation worked that well.
I also added some petrol ribbons, to pep it up a little. I thought it would make it even more interesting, and this way I already knew how much of the ribbon I would need.

Then I decided to start with the waistband, since this was the centerpiece. I chose a pattern mad of two edgings I set together, in order to be able to thread the ribbon through the gaps. With the waistband finished, I added the pattern pieces of the legs and the bodice. The gatherings were made at the same time, as finishing the raw edge by working a rolled gathered hem. I wanted to make the whole project by hand, so it took a while to make the gatherings and then sew it to the lace.

I added another lace edging to the upper edges and also to the front as a closure. I wasn’t quiet sure about how to close this Victorian combination, but then decided to make some yarn buttons, which almost disappear in the lace, so they don’t interrupt the crochet pattern.
These buttons were apparently made long before this kind of combination were ever made, but were used for shirts. So I thought it would be still fitting.

A crocheted lace band wound onto cinnamon

This basically finished the whole garment, except the lace I had planned for the legs. I made one side, which is already 2 meters long, but then I lost interest in it and used these Victorian combination as is.
One day, I pinned the finished lace to one leg and since then it stayed like this. This is now 1 year ago and unfortunately, I forgot the pattern of the lace. I didn’t write it down back then, which is quite a stupid mistake. Now I have to rework the pattern based on the part I have already done. And this feels really daunting, but maybe, since I have now written this blog post, I might find the motivation to finally pick up this project again.

Detail of crocheted lace with a yarn button
Crocheted lace pinned to the fabric of a leg

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