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Crocheted Halifax clock tower dress turns heads

Textile artist Alexandria Masse is a crochet master, her fingers flying with speed and dexterity every time she creates.

"Honestly, I would say throwing loops together is a very accurate representation of what I do," she says.

The 21-year old started knitting when she was younger, taught by her mother and grandmother.

Later in life, she became interested in working with fabrics and came to Halifax to study textile art at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD).

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it meant she had more time on her hands, so those hands picked up crochet needles.

"What attracts me so much to crochet is that I can form things in the round," she says, "and create 3-D sculptures."

Her creations are fantastical works of wearable art – fabric sculptures like crochet headwear that looks like a teapot, complete with handle and spout.

As her graduation date from NSCAD approached, she decided she wanted to design a special dress to mark the occasion.

"I was thinking about landscapes and how interesting they are in the round, and how I could put that on the body," she says.

She thought of maybe crafting Citadel Hill or Peggy's Cove, but then inspiration came from the everyday.

"Throughout the year I’ve just been walking by this clock tower every day and thought I could do a miniature clock tower, and that led me to creating this dress."

Masse created some of the colours herself, dying her own wool to match the grass and sky. She estimates the dress took forty hours to finish.

"I started by drafting a pattern, and then I created an underdress and then I started creating different layers, like the grassy hill part, the sky part," she explains, "and then I started layering them on top and started sewing them to the dress, and I did the clock tower, that was the last piece."

A photo of her creation shared online - has garnered plenty of attention, with more than 1,600 likes on Twitter alone. Sharing her work has also brought forth new inspiration for possible future projects.

"I've had some people reach out to me to say, 'you should do a series of landmarks across Canada,'" she says, "and I think, 'perfect, I could start out on the east coast.'"

Masse returns to her home province of Ontario soon, but the dress is a piece of Halifax she can take with her and wear with pride. Top Stories

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