Crochet Insider's Passion for Fashion

Shameless self-promotion for my new book!

Jean Leinhauser's review of Passion for Fashion (from
This is far more than a collection of trendy crochet fashion designs. The author/designer explains her approach to design in detail, and each chapter is an opportunity to learn something new. Dora uses truly innovative methods of shaping, and loves to work vertically, which gives a special flair to her designs. Dora is a professional voice teacher, and her teaching ability shows as she guides the reader through her personal viewpoint and approach to design, color and texture. This book is a must-have for anyone who loves really interesting crochet fashion and has dreams of one day beoming a professional designer.

Click on Maiden's Corset Belt

Once upon a time, crochet was valued as a fashion vehicle, starting with the exquisite laces of Irish Crochet right up to American pattern books from the mid-twentieth century, where stunning crochet coats, suits, sweaters and dresses are featured side by side with knitted garments.  In the decades after, crochet fashion fell out of favor, and it seemed the skill of making beautiful crochet garments had disappeared.  Thankfully, today's creative crocheters are bringing back the art, and I’m trying my best to do my part.

To help nourish the crochet fashion revival, I have endeavored to do more than present a collection of patterns in this book. I wanted to get at the fact that crochet stitch patterns, since they were invented on threads, don't easily adapt to the heavier, complex yarns of today.  To make them work requires considerable knowledge which isn’t easily accessible.  Every time I make a new design it’s a process of discovery -- how will this particular yarn behave, what is the right stitch pattern to bring out it’s best qualities, how large a hook is needed for drape, what are the best shaping strategies.  For each design in this book, I’ve shared my design process, exploring in depth the issues I encountered and the solutions I found.  I’m hopeful my discoveries can be useful to others.

Passion for Fashion is divided into four large chapters, organized by stitch patterns.  No suprises here, I have an ongoing attachment to certain ones:  shells, clusters, diamonds, waves and ripples.  The graphics of these patterns are so bold they hold their own against almost any yarn, meaning the beauty of both the yarn and the stitch pattern are evident and complement each other. I really enjoyed delving ever deeper into these stitch patterns, discovering how they could be shown, shaped, and manipulated in radically different yarns and gauges.

Within each chapter, there are simpler items made of rectangles, other projects showing how the stitch pattern can be used to create more complex shaping, and at least one or two designs made “on the vertical.”  That’s another obsession of mine:  garments worked with vertical rows, because the drape and shaping are so lovely with this construction.

So if you love fashion and designing and being creative with yarn, I hope this makes you curious!