Sweet as Honey Dress

My favorite type of project is the one that looks complicated but in reality is just really clever. You know those projects, the ones that folks—especially nonweavers—ooh and aah over, exclaiming how difficult it must have been. Barb Wainright’s Sweet as Honey Dress from the November/December 2018 Handwoven is that sort of project. Using honeycomb, Barb creates gorgeous, lacy fabric using just 4 shafts! Here’s what Barb has to say about her design:

Sweet as Honey Dress

Barb Wainright cleverly uses 4-shaft honeycomb to create areas of beautiful lace in her Sweet as Honey Dress.

Designer Barb Wainright’s Statement

Weavers often guess that the “lace” on this sweet dress is a complex doubleweave, whereas nonweavers simply assume there’s a lace overlay of some sort. So what’s the truth? The lace is actually humble 4-shaft honeycomb, fun and easy to weave.

I altered a commercial sewing pattern to minimize sewing, replacing the zipper with shoulder snaps and leveraging honeycomb’s stretchiness to make a one-piece bodice. Then with data from sampling, I planned the treadling of this dress for my grandniece Ruby. I plan to weave this project again using hand-dyed shaded yarn for weft and balancing the woven motif at the dress center front.

Whether you use Barb’s technique to weave a dress or something else entirely—I’m picturing really fun throw pillows!—I hope you love it as much as I do.

Happy Weaving!
Christina

Project at a Glance

PROJECT TYPE: 4-shaft.

STRUCTURE: Honeycomb.

EQUIPMENT: 4-shaft loom, 31″ weaving width; 25-dent reed; 1 temple adjustable to 31″; 3 shuttles; 3 bobbins.

YARNS: 30/2 unmercerized cotton (12,064 yd/lb; Vävstuga); 16/2 unmercerized cotton (6,429 yd/lb; Bockens; Vävstuga).

OTHER SUPPLIES: Simplicity pattern 1452 (size 3, view B without ruffles); tracing paper for modifying sewing pattern; sewing supplies; lightweight interfacing for neck facings; six ¼” snap closures.

Featured Image: Barb Wainright’s Sweet as Honey Dress is true to its name.


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