Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Making progress on the list

Remember my ambitious to-do list? I'm making progress. Here's the dress for LazyToddler, now completed and currently in use:

It's made in Plymouth Yarn jeannee, color 20, a worsted weight yarn that's 51% cotton and 49% acrylic. That, plus some madras plaid fabric I've had for at least seven years or so.

I'd love to share the pattern with you, but the stitch pattern is taken from one pattern, the bodice from another, the sleeves from a third, the shells around the hem and sleeves from a fourth, and the actual ruffle I just sort of faked until it looked right.

So basically this is a one-off ... but if you want to duplicate it, my best recommendation is to find a dress that's the shape you want and trace the pieces onto a piece of butcher paper or newsprint. Pick a stitch pattern and crochet until the pieces are the same size as the paper pieces. That's what I did, and I think it turned out okay. It's a bit on the wide-but-too-short side, but I'm thinking on the positive side and saying she'll be able to use it next year as a shirt, and she can just wear a pair of leggings under it this year as a dress.


Laura said...

The dress is just too cute! I don't think it's too short, and those tunic/baby doll tops over leggings are really popular right now for kids. The Children's Place has a bunch of them.

Laura said...


How did you crochet the border onto the dress? Did you crochet it seperately then sew it on, or did you use some kind of tool to punch holes in the hem to crochet into?

Gretchen said...

Laura - I crocheted it first, then sewed it to the dress.

I did a starting chain that was a smidge shorter than the circumference of the hem of the fabric, then worked from there out. I think I did one row of sc, then a row of dc increasing every sixth stitch, then a row of dc increasing every other stitch, then one increasing every stitch, and then the pattern for the scalloped edge which is endless repeats of (6dc in one stitch, skip 1/2 inch, slip stitch, skip 1/2 inch). Boy, did it suck up a lot of yarn (that's almost two full small skeins in the ruffle). And time - I didn't count because I would have lost my mind, but I'd guess there are 400 or 500 stitches in the final row of straight dc. It was a lot of Sesame Street time, I know that much!

Technically you could punch holes in the fabric - I've done it to make crocheted borders for dish towels - but it's a pain in the, um, hand, and I was afraid it would make the hem less sturdy. If you want to try it that way, I recommend using a much smaller size crochet hook - the smallest you can possibly use and still catch all of the ply of your yarn. Poke through the fabric with the tiny hook, pull a loop up, complete the stitch LOOSELY. On the subsequent rounds, switch to a larger hook.

Laura said...

Wow, who would have known such a small border could take up so much yarn? Thanks for the info! One of these days, I'll learn how to sew too, so I can make cute stuff like that! : )