Tutorial is written for two sizes, but it is extremely easy to make it in any other size. All you need to do is to make as many squares as needed to make it fit around child’s chest. And then cut the fabric according to your own measurements – desired length and width of the skirt part.
Toddler (up to 3 years)
- any sport weight yarn, approx. 50g for smaller size and up to 100g for bigger sizes (I used linen/viscose blend yarn from yarn paradise - http://www.yarn-paradise.com/linen-camel-brown, but any other yarn will work just fine. With the yarn weight you can also make experiments and use some thicker yarn as well. In this case you will simply have to make less squares.)
- crochet hook 3.25mm (D) or size needed to obtain gauge
- 4 small buttons (can use only 2 if prefer)
- tapestry needle
- fabric (two pieces each 15x18inches for baby size or 18x21inches for toddler size
- 4 stitch markers (optional, you can use contrasting color yarn as well to mark stitches)
- pins (optional)
- sewing machine (optional, all seams can be hand sewn as well)
11dc and 5 rows = 2inches
st(s) – stitch(es)
ch – chain stitch
sc – single crochet
dc – double crochet
tr – treble crochet
sl st – slip stitch
3-dc bobble – work 3 incomplete dc stitches by leaving the last loop of each stitch on hook, so that 4 loops remain on hook. Yarn over and draw through all loops on hook. Stitch completed.
4-dc bobble – work 4 incomplete dc stitches by leaving the last loop of each stitch on hook, so that 5 loops remain on hook. Yarn over and draw through all loops on hook. Stitch completed.
Foundation ring: Ch4, join
Rnd 1: ch4 (counts as first dc and ch1), *dc into the ring, ch1*, repeat from * 10 times more, join with sl st in first dc
Rnd 2: sl st in first ch-1 space, ch2, 3-dc bobble in same ch-1 space,
*ch2, 4-dc bobble in next ch-1 space, ch3, tr in next dc, ch3, 4-dc bobble in next ch-1 space, ch2, 4-dc bobble in next ch-1 space*,
repeat from * twice more, ch2, 4-dc bobble in next ch-1 space, ch3, tr in next dc, ch3, 4-dc bobble in next ch-1 space, ch2, join with sl st in top of first 3-dc bobble. Fasten off.
Make 8 for baby size and 10 for toddler size, or as many as needed for any other size or if using different kind of yarn.
First I suggest to weave in the ends which remained at the centre of each square. With other ends we will deal later.
Now you have to join the squares.
Starting from the tr on the angle of the square join both pieces working sc evenly across.
Sure there are many different ways how to join the squares and this one is probably the most primitive way, but it works well and I am totally happy with the result.
Only in case you are using much thicker yarn, like worsted weight yarn, it would be better to join the squares with other method, for example with sewn stitches.
When joining the squares take care that all tails (the ones from each square) you leave on the same side. In other words – for top part there should be less tails left, only the ones from joining, but all the rest of tails go on bottom. Join all squares until you have a long line of them. Now join in the same way first and last square to shape a big ring. Fasten off.
It looks quite scary right now with all those tails, but NO worries! We will get rid of them very, very easily! First step is to trim them, so that they all are more or less in same length and approximately 2inches long.
Working on the edge where you have fewer tails (this will be top part), join yarn in any joining seam and work evenly sc all around hiding the tails between stitches – you have to work sc leaving the tails between stitches.
Take care that you hide in this way all the tails.
Join with sl st in first sc. Don’t fasten off.
Now mark where the armholes will be. For smaller sizes I suggest to leave one square for the arm, for bigger sizes you can leave up to two squares. It is not said that you have to leave entire square. You can choose. Just take care that it all looks symmetrically correct. First marker goes into the same stitch (or just the one next to is) where is opened loop from previous round.
And now work top front in the following way:
Row 1: Ch3 (counts as first dc), dc in each next st until next marker, turn
Row 2: ch3 (counts as first dc), dc in each dc to end, turn
Repeat Row 2 – four times for baby size and six times for toddler size (or as many times as needed to get desired length)
Last row: *ch3, skip next st, sl st in next st*, repeat from * to end. Fasten off. (you can work ch4, or even ch5 instead, especially if you prefer to use bigger buttons, as these will serve as button loops)
Skip the squares left for armhole. Join the yarn into the next marked stitch, and repeat instructions for the Top front.
Now you have to work across the bottom edge. Join the yarn on the side of the dress and work evenly sc across hiding all the tails between stitches as you did for the top, join with sl st in first sc.
Rnd 2: ch3 (counts as first dc), dc in each stitch to end, join with sl st in top ch of ch-3
Rnds 3-5: ch1, sc in each st, join with sl st in first sc.
And now you can actually choose – or you make the skirt part from fabric, or you make the dress entirely crocheted.
If you prefer second version, don’t fasten off, but work next rnd increasing stitches – you can double them for extra wide skirt or increase stitch amount just slightly.
How to increase – work 2dc in next st. You can work 2dc in each next st, or work *2dc in next st, 1dc in next st*, and repeat it all around. Then work evenly dc in each stitch until the dress is long enough. The length of the dress you can choose as well, and the best way is to adjust it for each child’s needs and for the way or occasion it will be worn later. When it is long enough work the last rnd in following way, to add nice edging:
Edging: *ch3, skip next st, sl st in next st*, repeat from * to end. Fasten off.
If you prefer fabric skirt here is how to make it.
1. First step is to choose the fabric. I suggest to use similar fabric to the yarn you used. For example, as we used linen yarn we made the skirt part with the linen fabric as well. If you use cotton yarn – use some cotton or jersey fabric. In this way the dress will look more uniform and professionally done.
2. Cut two pieces of fabric each 15x18inches for baby size or 18×21 for toddler size.
3. First finish the edges with your preferred method. If you are using jersey fabric you can skip this step as the fabric will not fray. Otherwise you can choose to work zig zag stitch, or if you have a serge you may serge the edges now, or cut with pinking shears the edge to prevent fraying.
4. Make the side seam – right sides of the fabric together, with ½ inch allowance, sew side seams.
5. Gather one edge of skirt and adjusting the gathers to fit, sew to lower edge of crochet top. You can first pin it to the crochet top and then sew. Press 1/4 inch to wrong side along remaining bottom edge of skirt and hem to desired length.
All sewing can be done by hand or using sewing machine.
And at the end sew on the buttons – two one each shoulder!
With same method you can make a dress using any square pattern of your choice.