Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Crochet Jingle Belle Dress

 

Today I am very excited to share with you my Jingle Belle Dress.   This dress is very special to me as the idea has been floating around my head trying to come to life for a good few months, in fact since I started making the tutu dresses.  Creating dresses which are half fabric and half crochet is something I really enjoy, and allows more creativity than just crocheting the whole thing.   In fact I loved designing the tutu dresses so much, I wanted to make and sell them, however, as they come under the fancy dress category, they need testing, and there are currently a bunch of obstacles in my way, which I don't have the time nor the resources to work through at the moment.   This however, was the problem which lead to the creation of this dress.   I knew I wanted to create dresses for girls that were fun, half crocheted and half fabric, but also that allowed me to use the tulle I had left over from creating my tutu dresses.   This was round about where I was in September.

Since September, a bunch of ideas have been running through my head, some of which lead to the creation of the Snowflake Dress, which I love, but wasn't exactly what I wanted in my mind.   So I did some more thinking.   Inspired by the lovely fat quarters of Christmas fabric I had in my stash, along with the Rainbow Yarn in Christmas Colours (from Aldi) I decided to sit down and try and work on this dress and see where it took me.   I started with the crochet portion and decided to go with a similar structure to the tutu dresses, form a tube for the top and then construct the dress around that.   I think this is where the dress started to take shape.   After playing around with a few stitches, I decided to use the c2c method to create the top, and with the Christmas yarn, I think it worked up perfectly.   It looked perfect, exactly how I was seeing it in my mind.   I then made some straps with a simple button hole and added them with some small buttons then finished the whole top off with a round of crab stitch.

With the top finished, I went on to work out the bottom.  I grabbed all my Christmas fabric, a bunch of tulle and ribbon and pins and sat down to figure it out.   I decided I wanted this to be a shorter skirt rather than a longer one like the snowflake dress and I wanted it to have more flare and the ability to give a good twirl (which I know Lily really loves to do!).   In addition, I wanted to use a bunch of different fabrics, in a patch work effect giving the dress as much colour and excitement as possible.   So I grabbed 8 pieces of fabric that worked the best together and figured out the best order for them to go.   Once I Figured out the measurements I pinned the skirt together and put it next to the top and it looked great, but not exactly like it was a finished piece.

Next I cut out strips of tulle and arranged it under the skirt to give the skirt some volume but it didn't really look like a finished dress until I added the metallic silver.   It turned out after some experimenting that it really needed the band of ribbon at the bottom of the skirt as well as around the waist band to finish it all off.   Getting this far I got out my sewing machine and started sewing everything together.   I already had some lovely silver thread and that worked perfectly to sew the dress together.   It only took around an hour and a half to do all the sewing the first time, and that was with me figuring out somethings as I went.   The second dress probably only took an hour of sewing and they will probably get a bit quicker every time I make another one!

Once everything was sewn together, I decided to use the rest of the ribbon to create a bow to the right of the waistband and then the dress was finished.   After looking at it a great deal I eventually figured out the buttons were wrong.   The small buttons didn't do anything for the dress.   I looked through my button stash and found the larger buttons I had in green and they were the perfect finishing touch to the dress.  Once I changed those everything was perfect and exactly as I wanted it to be!   The next morning Lily was thrilled to see her dress and was desperate to wear it, however, she had grown since I last measured her and so it was a bit tight on her, so I had to make her a larger size.   This was not an issue since the smaller dress fitted her somewhat slimmer cousin perfectly and it also gave me the practice to tweak a few things and test out my pattern writing!

I have spent a bit of time since then working on the sizes for the dress.  Whilst I haven't tested every size, I am confident in my maths and have matched it up to some different sizing charts on children's clothing size so the dress can be made now for any child from around age 2 to 10.   It is worth noting here that it is absolutely best to measure the hips of whoever you want to make the dress for and go by that measurement rather than the suggested age.   Its the hips that the dress is at the tightest and where it needs to fit.  I would suggest going for 1-2cm bigger than whatever your child's hip size is to get the best fit for this dress.

I definitely have plans to expand the designs for this dress, with different variations as well as colour combinations and I am definitely going to start making them to sell in my Etsy shop in the new year.   If you want to make your own in the meantime then you can get the pattern for it below.

I hope that you love this dress as much as I do and I look forward to seeing other creations of this by you (don't forget to share them on my social media pages).  Finally a big Thankyou to Carolynn Utiger Clarida who suggested I call this the Jingle Belle Dress.   Its the perfect name for this creation!

See you next week,

Vicky x

Jingle Belle Dress

 

1.  Materials and Resources

Below is a list of everything you will need to make this dress

·        Aldi Rainbow Yarn in Christmas colours, 100g balls in the following amounts; 2 (2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5)

·        hook

·        2 x 1.5” buttons in Green

·        8 fat quarters (the amount you use will vary from ¼ of each panel to the whole panel depending on the dress size you make.

·        Silver Ribbon 2.5cm thick x 2m (3m, 3m, 4m, 4m, 5m, 5m, 6m, 6m)

·        16 pieces of tulle (8 in green, 8 in red) approximately 70cm (75cm, 80cm, 85cm, 90cm, 95cm, 100cm, 105cm, 110cm) long and 15cm wide.

·        Tapestry needle

·        Scissors

·        Silver thread for sewing with and either a sewing machine or suitable needle for hand sewing material.

 

2.  Stitch List

Below is a list of all the stitches (and their abbreviations) featured in this pattern.  All terms used are American.

·        Sc – single crochet

·        Ch – chain

·        Dc – double crochet

·        sl st – slip stitch

·        crab stitch – reverse single crochet

·        c2c stitch

 

3.  Notes

Here are a few handy tips to help you with the pattern.

·        Gauge – 6 squares wide and 6 squares high in a 10cm square

·        You need to work the top portion of the dress, including straps and buttons first, then sew the skirt before joining them together.

·        Sizes are written as follows 2 (3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10) where the first number is the smallest size and the largest number is the final number in the brackets.

·        This dress currently comes in 7 sizes from approximately age 2 to 10, but the important measurement is their hips as this is the tightest point of the dress.   Pick the measurement that is about 1-2cm larger than their hips for the best fit.   Dress measurements are as follows;

Dress Size (Age)

Dress Waist Size (cm)

Dress Length (cm)

2

50

54

3

54

58

4

58

62

5

62

66

6

66

70

7

70

74

8

74

78

9

78

82

10

82

86

 

4.  Pattern

Top – Use 4mm hook and Christmas yarn, work a c2c rectangle in the following sizes;

Dress Size (Age)

C2C rectangle Size (length x width)

2

30 x 14

3

32 x 16

4

34 x 16

5

36 x 18

6

38 x 18

7

40 x 20

8

42 x 20

9

44 x 22

10

46 x 22

 

Once c2c rectangle is complete, then along the top edge, work 2 sc in each square for 1 row, then complete another row in crab stitch.

Sew the two shorter ends together to complete the top section of the dress.   You should have a tube shape.

 

Straps – work 2 in 4mm hook and Christmas yarn

Row

Instruction

Stitches

1

Ch 51

51

2

Sk ch and work a sc into the next 40 ch, turn

50

3

(5 sc, ch 2, sk 2,) x 5 then sc to end of row, turn

40 & 5 ch 2 gaps

4

Sc across, putting 2 sc in each ch 2 gap (creates the button holes)

50

5

Crab stitch around the entire strap

 

 

Sl st and cast off

 

 

Sew straps to the back of the dress leave 6 (8, 8, 10, 10, 12, 12, 14, 14) squares in between them for the neck line).

 

 

Sew buttons on in the front of the straps.

 

 Skirt – make as follows;

1.     Get your fabric for the skirt, you will need 8 panels cut in a trapezium shape (see diagram).   The top will have a measurement of  6.25 cm (6.75cm, 7.25cm, 7.75cm, 8.25cm, 8.75cm, 9.25cm, 9.75cm, 10.25cm) The bottom measurement will be 16cm (18cm, 18cm, 20cm, 20cm, 22cm, 22cm, 24cm, 24cm)
The length for each panel should be as follows; 30cm (32cm, 34cm, 36cm, 38cm, 40cm, 42cm, 44cm, 46cm)

The length for each panel should be as follows; 30cm (32cm, 34cm, 36cm, 38cm, 40cm, 42cm, 44cm, 46cm)


 

DO NOT FORGET TO ADD EXTRA FOR SEAM ALLOWANCE!

2.     You then need to sew each of the trapezium shapes together along their diagonal lines to form a circle shape.   The top hole measurement needs to be the same as the hip size you are working too. (see diagram below)



3.     Hem the base of the skirt

4.     Sew silver ribbon around the bottom edge of the skirt.

5.     Next take the tulle and lay them so there is a red piece on top of a green piece and fold them in half.   You then need to arrange these with the folded edge on the inside of the waist of the skirt all the way around.   Sew them in place.   Do not sew the strips together at any other point.

To Make the Dress:

1.     Now you need to sew the skirt to the top.   Place the skirt over the top a couple of cm and then sew together.
2.     Place the ribbon around the join between the skirt and the top so you cannot see it and sew together.
3.     To finish, make and sew a bow to the right hand side of the dress.
4.     Finally hang up the dress and trim the tulle so there is a about 2cm visible below the skirt line.  


© All patterns on this page belong to www.cosycrochet.co.uk You may not sell this pattern. Please feel free to sell the items you make using this pattern, however please acknowledge me in your listing. 

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