Thursday, 1 June 2017

CHANDU’s SHELLED BABY DRESS 1

free crochet baby dress

CHANDU’s SHELLED BABY DRESS 1


This is the first of two dresses that are being made for a really special friend’s twin granddaughters.  I have a vision in my mind and I am *hoping* that these dresses do that vision justice.

I’m glad that you’re back here with me as we explore this new creation together.

This is not my original pattern. I found this photograph and a convenient chart on the internet and inspired by this, this is what I have created.
As I work on this pattern, I’ve written down my notes that I share with you.


Materials used : Today I’ve used just over one skein of a really soft unbranded knitting cotton 4-ply yarn,  with a 3.5 mm crochet hook 
For Indians : I have sourced this unbranded cotton yarn from Mr. Vinod of Samrat Mega stores (check store on Facebook or Google).  Thickness-wise, it is somewhere between our Anchor and Laura knitting cottons.

Skill level :  Intermediate

Size :  I have made this for a one year old, but this can be made for any size.

Abbreviations used : (Using U.S terminology)
fsc : Foundation single crochet                       dc : Double crochet
ch : chain                                                              ch-sp : chain space
sp : space                                                              rep : Repeat


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

Chainless dc start : Instead of the usual 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 super video http://www.mooglyblog.com/chainless-starting-double-crochet/
In case you are unhappy with this start, or do not like it, do continue with the usual ch-2 or ch-3 start.  However, all instructions will be given assuming that you are using the chainless dc start.

fpdc : Front Post Double Crochet : Post stitches are stitches worked around the post of a stitch of the row below. 
How to work the fpdc :  yo, hk into sp between posts of st from row below – going from back of stitch, around st and into the front of the st ; yo, pull yarn through the sps (3 lps on hk), (yo & pull through 2 lps) twice.  One fpdc complete 


How to do a picot stitch :A neat video link to refresh this procedure. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GGlzZZl3I8

Here is a sizing chart for general neck sizing
https://in.pinterest.com/pin/470063279842061521/

https://in.pinterest.com/pin/470063279838533503/

How to join with single crochet : Check the links below :

How to join with whip stich : Check the links below :


Quick analysis of what we’re going to do here today.  With this stunningly simple pattern, we’re going to work a raglan like yoke from the neck down to the chest. 
We will then check the stitch count for the skirt portion of the dress and , and work the shell pattern to complete this project.

Remember that you need to work a back placket opening for the child, and I suggest that you keep it open all the way to the start row for a younger child.

free crochet baby dress

free crochet baby dress


Part 1 : Front (Make one piece)

Start : with fsc using one the charts given for the neckline above depending on the age /size of child you are making this dress for.



As I have you captive here, let me throw in a few thoughts. 
I have been often asked how I figure out the size using different yarn.  I don’t.. I also do a little bit of trial and error.  The charts have been set out and I have found that the charts that I share here do work (for me) – but what one should remember is that the age of the child (though important) is not as important as the size.  So once you get the chest size (for example) but thanks to the yarn you are using or say the hook size, and you find that you have not got the length needed - *Do Not Worry* .. this is where your creativity comes in.. you just continue on till you get the length.

If the chart given for a 0-6m does not work for your 0-6m child, that is not a worry either.. there are so many charts on that link.. just work one size up or down to fit the child.

Sadly, when I am asked a question about how you can get it to fit, this is all I can say – as I do not know the size you are looking at /for and even if you do give me those details, I can only give you ideas – you would have to physically pick up that yarn and hook and work at it.

So let’s get that hook n yarn going.. shall we?

From the following row on, we will be working on different sizes – so here’s what I suggest.  You take a look at the chart and first mark out the stitch for the four corners.  I will now give you instructions on what you will do from one marker to the next.

I suggest that we work from the centre back, past the armholes to the front and then around the 2nd armhole to the centre back again in one continuous row.

Row 1 : dc in the 1st fsc and in each fsc till the 1st marker ;
(2 dc ; ch 2, 2 dc) all in the same 1st marked stitch ;
*dc in each fsc till the next marker ; rep (to) in the marked stitch* ;
rep *to* till end.  Turn.

You can now remove the markers.  Our corners are the ch-2 sps that we have just created.  We will work the next 2-dc sets in that ch-2 sp in each row.

Row 2 : dc in the 1st dc and in each dc till the 1st ch-2 sp;
(2 dc ; ch 2, 2 dc) all in the same 1st ch-2 sp ;
*dc in each fsc till the next ch-2 sp ; rep (to) in the same ch-2 sp* ;
rep *to* till end.  Turn.

Rep Row 2 till you have the shoulder width / chest width / armhole measurements as per the chart or as per the child measurements.

Once you have got the above measurements, we will join the two corners under the armhole to then (a) work in rounds and (b) increase the length of the yoke till the waist level… or the level you wish to start the skirt portion from.

So to join the front and back yoke, you will work all the way in dc till the 1st ch-2 corner sp, skip all the next stitches till the next ch-2 corner sp and join the 1st and 2nd corner sps.  You will then work all the way till the 3rd ch-2 corner sp and once again join the 3rd and 4th corner sps.  In this way, you have a front and back along with two armholes created all in one go.

You will now continue increasing the front length if desired, till you have the length needed before you start the skirt portion.




So how long do you work?  Easy – once again, do refer to the charts given above for lengths of skirts as well as regular lengths of yoke etc and make a creative decision.



Part 2 : Skirt portion of dress




For the skirt we will work in one piece, so ensure that you join the two parts of the yoke back in the last row of work.

Our stitch count is multiples of 7.  So when you are ready to start on your skirt, ensure that you have the stitch count right.

As I have said in my blogs before, depending on how much flare you wish for your skirt, increase the number of stitches (still keeping the multiples right) so that you get a better flare.

I would also like to add that though I have indicated number of row repeats, I would suggest that you work it your own way with these ideas in mind :
a)   Work a few rows and see how many inches you get (in length) per row – i.e work out your gauge
b)   Decide how long you want your skirt part and the whole dress from shoulder down
c)     Working with your gauge, figure out how many rows you can repeat with the pattern.  So say I have indicated 2 rows per increase, you could work more rows if you are not getting as much as a length increase as needed
d)   With this pattern, as with many of my earlier patterns, I urge you to be creative and explore the pattern a bit.

In this part of the pattern, we also use the fpdc or front post double crochet.  Check the top of this blog for a “how to” refresher.

May I also suggest that you start at the back of the dress for a neat finish.

From the very first stitch, we will start with a post stitch – fpdc.  To get the stitch right, I suggest we start with a ch-1, which does not count as a stitch, but just to get the fpdc right.

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

From this round on, we will always be working a fpdc around the fpdc of the earlier round, and we will work the other set of stitches in the ch-sp of the earlier set of stitches, skipping all the dc in between.  Got it?

Rounds 2 & 3 : sl-st into the 1st ch-2 sp , (3 dc in the next ch-2 sp ; ch 2, 3 dc in the same ch-2 sp);
*fpdc in the next fpdc ; rep (to) once in the next ch-2 sp* ;
rep *to* all around and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.  

Please remember the points I’ve raised just above as you jump into the next set of pattern and increases.

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

Round 5 : sl-st into the 1st ch-3 sp , (4 dc in the next ch-3 sp; ch 3, 4 dc in the same ch-3 sp) ;
*fpdc in the next fpdc ; rep (to) once in the next ch-3 sp* ;
rep *to* all around and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.  

Rounds 6 & 7 : sl-st into the 1st ch-3 sp , (5 dc in the next ch-3 sp; ch 3, 5 dc in the same ch-3 sp) ;
*fpdc in the next fpdc ; rep (to) once in the next ch-3 sp * ;
rep *to* all around and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.  

As you can see, we are slowly increasing the number of stitches in our shelled pattern.  With every slow increase, we are increasing the flare of our lovely dress.

Round 8 & 9 : sl-st into the 1st ch-3 sp , (6 dc in the next ch-3 sp; ch 3, 6 dc in the same ch-3 sp);
*fpdc in the next fpdc ; rep (to) once in the next ch-3 sp* ;
rep *to* all around and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.  

Round 10 - 13 : sl-st into the 1st ch-3 sp , (7 dc in the next dc ; ch 3, 7 dc in the same dc) all in the same 1st ch-3 sp ;
*fpdc in the next fpdc ; rep (to) once in the next ch-3 sp* ;
rep *to* all around and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.  

Put your work down and check the length of your dress.  If you feel you have the length needed, please move to the Last round instructions.

Round 14 : sl-st into the 1st ch-3 sp , (8 dc in the next dc ; ch 3, 8 dc in the same dc) all in the same 1st ch-3 sp ;
*fpdc in the next fpdc ; rep (to) once in the next ch-3 sp* ;
rep *to* all around and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.  

Continue working Round 14 till your dress is about the length needed.

For our last round, you can decide to work a picot in the middle of your shell pattern.  This is optional and you can well decide to just leave it as a ch-3 sp as well. 
IF you decide to work in a picot, please first check the top of this blog for a “How to” refresher.

We will work a ch-3 picot which is (ch 3, sl-st into the 3rd ch from hk).

Last Round : sl-st into the 1st ch-3 sp , (8 dc in the next dc ; ch 1 + picot + ch 1, 8 dc in the same dc) all in the same 1st ch-3 sp ;
*fpdc in the next fpdc ; rep (to) once in the next ch-3 sp* ;
rep *to* all around and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.  

Fasten off and weave in ends.

Final touch : You can add a small rose and a satin ribbon.  The satin ribbon is ofcourse, store bought.. and for the small rose, check out this link and you’ll get not only the rose but also some fun stuff for hair.. and which little girl doesn’t like stuff for hair.. so have fun.


Part 3 : Sleeves

For the sleeves, I’ve decided to make them oversized and puffed.  For this, first run a round of sc all around the armhole edge.  Remember as usual, that you will work one sc in each st, and 2 sc per horizontal bar of dc.  Ensure that you have an even number of sc when you finish.

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

Rounds 2 - 4 : sl-st into the 1st ch-1 sp ; (2 dc ; ch 1, 2 dc) in the 1st ch-1 sp ;
rep (to) in the next ch-1 sp and in each ch-1 sp all around ; 
and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.

In our following decrease row, we will work an sc in the ch-sp and one sc in the sp between 2 sts, avoiding all the dc stitches all around.

Round 5 : (Decrease row) : sl-st into the 1st ch-1 sp ; sc in the 1st ch-1 sp ; *sk the next 2 dc, sc in the sp between the next 2 sts ; sk the next 2 dc, sc in the next ch-1 sp*
rep *to* all around ;  and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.

Note : Check to see if you think the round arm will fit the baby or will be too loose, and work a further decrease row accordingly.

Round 6 : (Decrease row) : sc 2-tog over the 1st 2 sc ; *sc 2 tog over the next 2 sc* ; rep *to* all around and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.

Note : Check to see if you think the round arm will fit the baby.  If you think this is too tight, then go back and change the decrease a bit… work a sc 2-tog over every alternate set of stitches and see if that works for you.

Round 7 : hdc in the 1st sc and in each sc all around and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.

Round 8 : hdc in the 1st hdc and in each hdc all around and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.

Fasten off and weave in ends.  Repeat for the 2nd armhole as well.

And that’s done.. yet another project brilliantly executed ! J

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