Retro crocheting with Zess

Jessica, from the blog zess.fr and the Instagram profile Zessfr, creates the cutest crochet patterns for children, adults, and decorative purposes. Her trademark? Cheerful candy colours with a retro touch! She created a stylish, crocheted wall tapestry to brighten up your wall for La Maison Victor. Curious about where Jessica’s craving for crochet comes from? La Maison Victor had a talk with her, so read all about it below!

LMV: You started your blog in 2003. How did it go at first?  

Jessica: That’s right, the first blogs were written back in 2003. At first, it was just a sort of journal in which I wrote about my life as a young adult. But my blog has changed since then (and so have I!). I never imagined that I would be here now, 14 years later, and still doing it!

LMV: Would you describe your average day for us?

Jessica: The day is focused around taking my daughter Lily-Rose to school and picking her up after school. While she’s at school, I have time to prep tutorials in my studio, write for my blog, clean the house a bit, or do some work in our new house. We watch TV series together in the evenings!

LMV: How did your passion for working with wool begin?

Jessica: I used to love watching my mother knit or crochet when I was really little. I would often browse through her magazines, looking at the stitches. But I actually picked it up much later in life.

LMV: What’s your favourite technique?

Jessica: Crocheting. Especially clusters; these are very easy to make and immediately give it a fun effect. The only downside is that you need a lot of thread to make them.

I also really love latch hooking, which is a knotted stitch using a special latch hook tool with a sort of clasp at the end – see the photo below.

LMV: How did you learn to crochet?

Jessica: I’ve always wanted to learn to crochet; I would watch in fascination as my mother crocheted a beautiful flower in less than five minutes. She didn’t have the chance to teach me before she passed away, so I taught myself how to do it about 4 or 5 years ago by watching videos online. I persevered! I remember it taking me three days to make my first granny square. But I was addicted, and I haven’t stopped since!

LMV: How would you describe your DIY style?

Jessica: A little regressive with a hint of retro.

LMV: Where do you work on your pieces at home? 

Jessica: I’m lucky because I have a very well-lit studio with a glass roof, full shelves to store all my materials, and a large working surface. That’s where I write my blogs and film my tutorials; but I also like to just relax on my sofa and crochet out there, too.

LMV: Which historical period inspires your pieces?

Jessica: I really like to thumb through old magazines from the 1970s; it’s very outdated, but incredibly inspirational for me. Sometimes, just the colour of a ball of wool – usually powder pink or camel – will get me excited to make something using it.

LMV: What was your inspiration for the wall tapestry you made for La Maison Victor?

Jessica: To stay in the LMV ambience, I opted for relatively classic colours and added a bit of fantasy in the form of fringes. It’s usually the simplest things that really complete the picture!