Gabrielle, the Christmas Angel – Part Two

And now, the Finale…

Gabrielle's Wings - first stage

Gabrielle’s Wings – first stage

“Angels need wings.  I have never made big wings before, only gauzy ones, so these grew a bit like Topsy! I had, fortuitously, a ball of crochet cotton which exactly matched Gabrielle’s dress, but I had already used crochet to make the lace on the overdress. Needlelace seemed an option if I could find a suitable former to hand.  Wire proved to be too thin, and the thread slipped about, so in the end I made a frame from one strand of the plastic coated wire of electric cable.  Yes, I know you can buy purpose made formers but I wanted to do it now.

Sequins, crystals, and wire support

Sequins, crystals, and wire support

After drawing the shape on heavy card, and arriving at a good shape was an interesting exercise in its own right, I couched on the wire at widely spaced intervals, then covered the wire and its plastic coat in blanket stitch using my turquoise crochet cotton. Not only did this cover the wire but it provided a anchor for the needlelace itself. I used pea stitch at first then increased the number of loops in each group first to five and then to seven to add “weight” towards the lower edge. I hadn’t provided a former across that edge as I didn’t want it to be rigid, but needlelace requires just such an edge! A single thread helped a bit but a piece of applied crotchet finally did the trick.

She looked balanced, if a bit subfusc for Christmas, so I added sequins, left over from one of Rachel’s childhood projects, mainly cup-shaped but the lower ones are long ovals to suggest pinions. Again, the colours, turquoise and silver, were a perfect match.  Some people have all the luck.  Rachel added crystals to increase the “bling”.  The halo is a cardboard former covered with cloth of gold.  I used the gathered side to suggest an aura of radiating holiness and backstitched a banner “Gloria in excelsis Deo” in red on cloth of gold, too.”

Gloria In Excelsis Deo

Gloria In Excelsis Deo

We timed our photography just right, too – the last sunny day of Autumn, before the weather turned thoroughly nasty on us…

Outside, hanging from a fir branch in the garden, Gabrielle made a remarkably effective member of the heavenly choir.



  1. Sue Jones says:

    The graduated pea stitch on the wings is very effective – lacy but not too wispy. And the radiating halo – simple but very effective.

  2. Terrie says:

    Such glorious Angel of Christmas ! A treasury !

  3. Janice says:

    The wings are beautiful, and the entire angel is a delight, so full of personal history. I’ve never tried needle lace. This is clearly a perfect project for it. Hope you had a good Christmas. Happy New Year!

  4. Carolyn says:

    I hadn’t looked closely at the wings now that I have I think they are perfect.

  5. Lady Fi says:

    Those wings are amazing! Wishing you a lovely and creative 2015.

  6. Jules says:

    I think that your mother achieved the perfect makeover for this lovely lady. The wings are lovely – but it’s the little ‘Gloria’ banner that set’s her apart for me.

  7. Penny says:

    Definitely wings suited to this lovely angel. She’s wonderful — and I love it that she’ll is there to take you into the new year.

  8. Alex says:

    She’s gorgeous, and the description of the process is fascinating.

  9. karen says:

    these wings are exquisite…whatever you used to create them…