Friday, 12 June 2015

BABY’S SHELLED DRESS

BABY’S SHELLED DRESS

The world of internet has opened up a crazy superb selection of ideas, patterns and inspirations – how have we managed without this for so long??
Yet another super pattern I found on the net and this one is shelled too.

This cute dress has been made from neck down.  In the original pattern, the designer has started with plain chains. However, I prefer the foundation chain start as it lends a softer and better finish to “little” clothing, so have changed the pattern a little.  Original charts have been used here, so if you prefer the chain start, do follow chart.

Inspired by this photo, this dress is going to be a part of a layette for a friend’s grand child.



Materials used : 3-ply acrylic with a 4 mm crochet hook
Size made : 0-6 months
Difficulty level : Intermediate to advanced level

Stitches used :
fsc : Foundation Single Crochet : To refresh your skill on the fsc, do view this superb video by Tamara Kelly at http://www.mooglyblog.com/foundation-single-crochet-fsc/

Chainless dc start : Instead of the usual dc row start with ch 2 or ch 3, I’d like to introduce this lovely new way of starting a dc row. Do take a look at this self explanatory video at http://www.mooglyblog.com/chainless-starting-double-crochet/ In case you are unhappy with this start, do continue with the usual ch 2 or ch 3 start.  However, all instructions are given assuming that you’re using this chainless dc start. 

V-stitch : V-st : (dc, ch 1, dc) all in the same st or ch sp
Shell stitch : Shell st : (dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc) all in the same st or ch sp
Border shell : 7 dc in the same st or ch sp
  
Abbreviations used :

fsc : Foundation single crochet                                  ch : Chain
dc : Double crochet                                                         sp(s) : Space(s)
st(s) : Stitch(es)

So before we set off on our new creative journey, let’s take a quick look at what we’re creating here today.  So we start with the yoke and then work down to the skirt part of our cute little dress.
Now the yoke is worked in one piece, and we work back and forth so that we leave a 4 dc placket at the back for closure.

So how do you calculate how many stitches you would need for a round neck ?  The simplest way would be to keep a well fitting dress of the child you are making this dress for – if unable to do that, then see if you can get a loose round neck measure and then work your first foundation row to that measure.

We will work our yoke in rows, and then our skirt portion in rounds.

Part I : Yoke

Start with fsc in multiples of 7, ending with an uneven number.
(So not 14 or 28 which are also multiples of 7, but 21 and 35 etc will work).  Turn

Row 1 : dc in the 1st 4 dc ; *ch 1, sk next fsc, dc in next fsc* ; rep from *to* till last 4 fsc ; dc in last 4 fsc.  Turn.

Row 2 : dc in the 1st 4 dc ; V-st in next ch-1 sp, *sk next dc, V-st in next ch-1 sp*; rep from *to* till last ch-1 sp ; dc in last 4 dc.  Turn.

Row 3 : (Increase) : dc in the 1st 4 dc ; Shell st in the 1st ch-sp (of V-st) ; *V-st in next two ch-1 sps, Shell st in the next ch-1 sp* ; rep from *to* till last 4 dc ; dc in last 4 dc.  Turn.


Row 4 : dc in the 1st 4 dc ; V-st in each ch-1 sp till last 4 dc ; dc in last 4 dc.  Turn. 

 Row 5 : (Increase) : dc in the 1st 4 dc ; *V-st in next three ch-1 sps, Shell st in the next ch-1 sp * ; rep from *to* till last 4 dc ; dc in last 4 dc.  Turn.

Row 6 : dc in the 1st 4 dc ; V-st in each ch-1 sp till last 4 dc ; dc in last 4 dc.  Turn. 

Row 7 : (Increase) : dc in the 1st 4 dc ; V-st in the 1st two ch-sps ; *Shell st in the next ch-1 sp , V-st in next four ch-1 sps* ; rep from *to* once ; Shell st in the next ch-1 sp ; V-st in next two ch-1 sps ; dc in last 4 dc.  Turn.

Row 8 : dc in the 1st 4 dc ; V-st in each ch-1 sp till last 4 dc ; dc in last 4 dc.  Turn. 

Right so depending on how large / wide you want your yoke, rep an Increase row followed by the next row of just V-sts, but with every increase row, add one more V-st between shell sts.  
i.e In our last increase row (Row 7) we have 4 V-sts followed by one Shell st ; so for the next increase row, you will have 5 V-sts followed by one Shell st.
Once you have the yoke you are happy with, do the border shelled row (below) for the yoke.
So the perennial question .. how does one calculate the yoke sizing.  Well, I usually take the easy way out and use a well-fitting dress of the person for whom this is intended as a marker, but the thumb rule is also that the yoke is just about 1/3rd of the whole dress length, for younger kids (i.e till Age 1).  For older kids, the yoke should come just under the armhole, so that the skirt portion of the dress starts just under the armhole.

Next Row : dc in the 1st 4 dc ; sk 1st ch-1 sp, border shell over next 2 dc ; * sk next ch-1 sp, sc in next dc ; sk next ch-1 sp, border shell over next 2 dc* ; rep from *to* till last 4 dc ; dc in last 4 dc.  Turn. 



Part 2 : Body of dress

We work the body or skirt portion of the dress in rounds.  So remember to join with a sl-st at the end of the round.
When working with the lower skirt portion, you could either overlap the 4 dc border / placket (for older children) or you work in a loop along one edge and add the button on the other placket edge.  If overlapping, do remember that you need to do that before you work the bottom skirt bit (i.e overlap it and then work the stitches over both plackets.  See chart below.

The other thing we need to mark off is the armhole openings.  So depending on the round arm measure of your child, let’s mark this off.
So we fold the yoke ; mark the centre front  and two sides. Then mark off the round arm measure from the two side and place markers along the back and front of your yoke.

Our pattern repeat is 6 – so after marking off the armholes, ensure you have this stitch count.
The hardest part is now calculating how many shells you need on this first round of the skirt.  So what I usually do is just work the basic number of shells per pattern count, see if I am happy with the result, and if not, then add shells to give it the ‘body’ / flared skirt that I want.  Once this first round is done, we are ‘stuck’ with the number of shells we have. 
So how do I add shells / or body to the skirt portion .. well…
You can either work in extra shells reducing the number of skipped stitches (i.e if the pattern says sk 3 sts, then you sk 2 sts instead and add in one shell)
… or you do a row of sc along the edge first, adding scs in a way that will easily give you the pattern repeat and keep the distance between shells (i.e you add in sc’s in multiples of 6, for this pattern, such that you get the number of shells you want for the body of the dress).  You could also add a chain length under the armhole ensuring that you keep the pattern stitch count.

Round 1 : dc in the 1st dc ; 
*ch 2, sk 3 sts, 5 dc in the next st ; ch 2,  sk 3 sts, sc in next st* ; 
rep from *to* all around, and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.

Round 2 : dc in the 1st dc ; 
*dc in the next dc ; (ch 1, dc in the next dc) ; rep (to) 3 times ; dc in next sc* ; 
rep from *to* all around, and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.

Round 3 : sl-st into the 1st ch-1 sp, sc in the same ch-1 sp ; 
*(ch 3, sk next dc, sc in the next ch-1 sp)  ; rep (to) 2 times ; ch 4,  sk next 3 dc,  sc in next ch-1 sp* ; 
rep from *to* all around, and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.

Round 4 : 2 dc in the 1st ch-4 sp ; 
*ch 2, sc in the next ch-3 sp ; ch 4, sk next ch-3 sp, sc in the next ch-3 sp ; ch 2,  2 dc in the next ch-4 sp* ; 
rep from *to* all around, and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.

Round 5 : sc in the 1st dc ; ch 2, sc in the next dc ; 
*ch 3, 5 dc in the next ch-4 sp ; ch 3,  sc in next dc ; ch 3, sc in the next dc* ; 
rep from *to* all around, and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.

Round 6 : sl-st into the 1st ch-3 sp ; 2 dc in the same 1st ch-3 sp ; *dc in the next dc ; (ch 1, dc in the next dc) ; rep (to) 3 times ; 2 dc in next ch-2 sp* ; rep from *to* all around, and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.

Round 7 : sl-st into the 1st ch-1 sp, sc in the same ch-1 sp ; 
*(ch 3, sk next dc, sc in the next ch-1 sp)  ; rep (to) 2 times ; ch 4,  sk next 4 dc,  sc in next ch-1 sp* ; 
rep from *to* all around, and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.

Round 8 : 2 dc in the 1st ch-4 sp ; *ch 3, sc in the next ch-3 sp ; ch 4, sk next ch-3 sp, sc in the next ch-3 sp ; ch 3,  2 dc in the next ch-4 sp* ; rep from *to* all around, and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.

Round 9 : sc in the 1st dc ; ch 3, sc in the next dc ; 
*ch 3, 6 dc in the next ch-4 sp ; ch 3,  sc in next dc ; ch 3, sc in the next dc* ; 
rep from *to* all around, and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.

Round 10 : sl-st into the 1st ch-3 sp ; 2 dc in the same 1st ch-3 sp ; 
*dc in the next dc ; (ch 1, dc in the next dc) ; rep (to) 4 times ; 2 dc in next ch-2 sp* ; rep from *to* all around, and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.

I am sure you’ve figured that we’ve done the same four rounds twice now – so that’s Rounds 3-6 and Rounds 7-10 that are similar – the only difference is that we’ve increased one dc in the second set of rounds.

So using this repeat as a basic idea, go ahead and make as many repeats as you need to get the desired length that you need for your baby’s dress, ending with Round 8.

Now I found that I was pretty happy with the ‘flared’ shape after Round 10, and did not make any increases, but then I’m also making this dress for a younger child. 

Right then.. as usual, once done, fasten off.. weave in all ends…

 Detail of shell pattern

Detail of edging / finish round


Enjoyed this ?? I sure did.. come back right here for more freebie patterns

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Have a great day and see you soon. 


I have a few girls dresses already made, and just in case you want a dekho at those free patterns … here you go  ...

 http://shyamanivas.blogspot.in/2015/06/lovely-shelled-girls-dress.html