I laughed when I saw that my most recent post before this one was the baby blanket I was making just before my daughter was born and now I’m updating to share a new free pattern I’ve put together of the toddler dress I just made for her… let’s just say 18 months between posts is a long time! Don’t worry, I’ve still been crafting away all this time, I just haven’t documented it really well. I’m always very busy with my small business, GEEKSOAP, which hit its 5 year anniversary back in February (YAY!) and have made several new designs over there for you to check out.
Recently on a 3-hour road trip, I got the itch to knit or crochet something and decided I wanted to make a dress for my now-17-month-old daughter. Back before she was born, I had purchased a newborn pattern that was a crochet top with fabric skirt combined, and I loved the idea. (My sewing machine was collecting dust – I missed it!) but when I looked at the pattern again a few weeks ago, I found that it was only written in a newborn size with no real “recipe” that I felt comfortable modifying to fit my daughter now. It was also very heavy with a lot of puffy crochet stitches, meant for cooler weather, which just wouldn’t work in July! I started researching free crochet dress patterns online to figure out a method for making just a collar or bodice that could be adapted for different sizes. After I made a top that fit, I was hooked! (haha.) I tried again and again with different hooks and things like holding multiple strands together for different effect, and finally loved the end result. After making my first dress – which had a bit of an empire waist – I made some adjustments to have a bit more length. And then I couldn’t stop making dresses…
I had a lot of people ask me how I did it, so I just threw together all of my notes and tried to create a pattern for others to follow if they also want to make dresses for their little ones. I haven’t personally tested the larger sizes on kids, but I did include notes on suggestions where to make adaptations in order to make the crochet bodice larger for older kids. I would imagine that changing the yarn and hook size could also help you make a smaller size if you wanted, too. You could also adapt the pattern to start with 2 less stitches and adjust the rest of the numbers in the other rounds accordingly to go smaller.
As for the skirt – the pattern includes all of the notes and dimensions I used for making the skirts for my dresses, which includes notes to help you decide what dimensions you need to use when making yours. I’m no seamstress, though, so this isn’t fancy stuff. I just sort of “winged it” from doing past sewing projects and it all worked out just fine!
The pattern is now over on Ravelry as a free download – be sure to grab a copy and give it a try! And if you try some of the larger size adaptations, let me know how it goes. Also don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions! Hope you enjoy. :)
â€¢ Size I crochet hook, or whatever hook to reach gauge
â€¢ Medium weight yarn, like a cotton or acrylic
â€¢ At least 1/2 yard of coordinating fabric
â€¢ Coordinating thread
â€¢ Sewing machine
â€¢ Double folded bias tape
13 sts = 4â€ and 9 rows = 4â€ in hdc
This pattern is for size 2 years with a 21â€ chest. Pattern includes suggestions for adapting to larger sizes: 4, 6, and 8. This theory could be used to go smaller, too. (Or try a smaller hook!)
Fhdc = foundation half double crochet. This creates a foundation chain and a first row of half double crochet stitches all in one.
sl st = slip stitch
ch = chain
hdc = half double crochet stitch
sc = single crochet stitch
blo = back loops only. Insert your hook into the back loop only instead of both loops of the st.
Pattern also includes 16 different variations and ideas for spicing up your dresses!