In my post about how to alter a wedding dress that’s too small, I showed a picture of the bride wearing a lace collar I had made to go with her dress. This was a very special piece, because it included elements from her wedding dress that we had removed in order to turn the dress from a zip-up to a lace-up. You can see the back of the dress that we altered here, plus a peek at the collar.
What led up to making that lace collar for Katie’s dress was a Pintrest pin I’d run across, a few weeks prior. It was a link to this tutorial for making a Battenburg lace collar, and I immediately fell in love with the idea. I wanted to make one so badly! Not having the resources to make the one from the tutorial, I did remember that I had some crochet lace doilies hanging out in my linen closet. Not Battenberg but they would work, I thought. I’d pulled the doilies out with plans to dye the doily and make something similar to the Urban Threads one. Well, before I had a chance to do anything with it, I was working on Katie’s dress.
We’d removed these straps that held up the dress because they kept slipping down her shoulders and they were sequined so they scratched her. But having done that, her shoulder line seemed rather bare, and the demure necklace she’d planned on wearing was dwarfed by the expanse of skin. She needed something… and that’s when I remembered the lace collar I was planning to make. I cut the central element out of the doily, then sliced the remaining circle open so that I could slip the doily around her neck. Immediately it made a difference! So I was set in motion to turn the doily into something special. I had the satin-covered buttons we’d taken off the back of her wedding dress, and the sequined straps. I just needed some bits-and-bobs to decorate it.
I hand-stitched the straps to accent the swooping line of each scallop, and I placed the satin-covered buttons in the center of each bow where the peak of each swoop met. I have an extensive collection of beads, and found some golden pearls that matched the pearls in her dress beautifully; these I dangled with head pins from the center of each scallop around the collar. The centerpiece is the only thing we purchased for the collar, a simple pearl and crystal brooch from a craft store.
On the back of the collar, the long dangles were a happy accident. We’d been trying different pairs of my pearl earrings on Katie to see which ones would look nice, and I needed a place to set some of the pairs so without thinking, I hooked the ear wire through the back of her collar. We liked the look of it so much that I incorporated dangling pearls into the piece. The back of the collar where I cut it open is closed with a bit of bias tape and more buttons from the back of Katie’s dress.
A few months later, I was working on my Halloween Costume– a Steampunk affair that I recently blogged about. I was in a huge hurry to finish the costume because an online writer was going to feature my creations in an article she wrote. Initially I’d planned on making a cravat to go with the costume; but the experience with Katie’s wedding collar changed my mind. I dyed the doily black using Rit dye, and proceeding in a similar way to that which I used for Katie’s piece, I bejeweled the crocheted lace with satin cord, large crystals, lacy ribbons, and a faceted button.
The collar was absolutely perfect. It fit the theme of what I was wanting to portray without going overboard. I’d initially tried to use the dangling chain like in the Urban Threads tutorial, but the scale of my crocheted lace was too heavy for it and the chain just looked all wrong. I’m happier with it this way too, because the faceted button at the center front has more of a vintage-y feel than the chain would have. I could have used black pearls like I did in Katie’s piece, but I didn’t have any and I was wanting to keep this as inexpensive as possible. Not including the cost of the doilies when I bought them (I have no idea since it was decades ago), I’d say the collars cost me less than $10 each to make.
I want to thank Urban Threads again for such a great inspiration!