This week I would like to share with you my Crochet Planned Pooling Snowman Dress. This was my Christmas Project that I slowly worked at in between having fun with the kids playing with their new toys and catching up with all the family. I didn't really intend to make a dress as such, I was just experimenting with the Aldi Rainbow Snowflake yarn to see if it would actually pool. If you follow my blog regularly, you may have seen my Snowflake Cardigan I knitted last year, which started to show signs of pooling in places, which gave me the idea to try it.
As it happens this yarn is the easiest I have ever worked with the pool. There's only two colours which helps and the colour changing is fairly even, for the most part it changed every 5 single crochet's (at least for me using a 4mm hook) and when there was an occasionally shorter piece it wasn't too hard to stretch it out to make it work. I had a few patches where it went wrong and had to be ripped out, but on the whole it worked really well. Even changing to a different skein didn't seem to stop the pattern flowing nicely, and although it took me a few days to get the length I finally settled on, it was definitely an easy process (compared to the nightmare I had when working on this planned pooling bag!)
I had initially thought I might turn this into a scarf as the yarn is really soft, but after working up a little, it just seemed a bit to thick to use for that purpose, but I had, unintentionally made it the perfect width to make the top part of a dress for Lily. after settling on that plan I found the correct length to fit around her and then slip stitched it together to for a round. The sleeves, were made in a similar manner, I just made smaller planned pooling strips and finished off the outer edge with a row of shell stitch, before sewing them to the top. This actually took me a couple of attempts to get them in the right place so that they didn't fall off and were not too tight.
I then worked on the skirt portion of the dress. I did this in a very similar manner to the Jingle Belle Dress, although I made four double width panels instead of 8 as I only had
4 pieces of fabric which worked together. This dress ended up being the perfect place to use my snowman fat quarters which I had picked up from Hobbycraft last year and had sitting on my shelf. My kids don't really know the program 'The Snowman' but it was one of my favorites as a kid and I love to watch it every Christmas. I didn't want to use the silver ribbon for this dress, as I didn't want it to detract from the planned pooling top. However, I did have some glittery tulle that my Dad had given me (they bought it as a table cloth and didn't end up using it) and this seemed the perfect use for it. I made the tulle section exactly as I made the snowman skirt and then simply sewed it over the top of the skirt. It ended up see-through enough to see the fabric underneath, but the sparkle kind of adds a snow effect to the fabric which I really like, as well as making the dress a little bit more special.
Having decided not to finish the dress of with ribbon, I still felt it needed a little something extra, and so I decided to make a planned pooling bow to go on the dress. I basically made a long rectangle and then sewed it together, before wrapping a long length of yarn around the middle to pull the centre in tight to make the bow shape. I then added two curly tails under the bow to finish it off before sewing it to the front of the dress. Although I have put the bow on the front, it could just as easily be the back, depending on how you wanted to wear it, as the dress can really be worn either way round without any issues.
To finish it off, I decided to make a couple of little hair bows in the same yarn to match the dress. (I will be uploading a load of bow patterns on the blog later this year, so I will have the pattern for them then). I really love how adding these bows has really finished this outfit off.
I haven't really written out a pattern for this dress, partly because it involves crochet planned pooling, which varies a great deal depending on the batch of yarn, the hook size and the individual crocheter's tension. However, if you wanted to create your own dress, then you can use all the measurements from the Jingle Belle Dress to create your dress. The Top is a long rectangle and can be created to the same measurements as detailed in the Jingle Belle Dress, before it is joined to form a tube. The skirt portion is made exactly the same (although with 4 pieces of fabric, rather than 8, but either option works well) and the skirt overlay is made exactly the same as the skirt portion. The only real difference is the sleeves, and these are essentially double the width of the straps in the Jingle Belle Dress, with a shell edging to one side. The length with vary depending on the age of the child, but you can make them as long or as short as you need (just measure the child from top of the shoulder blade to the front top of the chest to get the length (for the 4-5 size its 18cm long and 6cm wide before the shell border). To make the bow, just make a large rectangle (mine was 40cm long and 7cm wide, although you can change dimensions as you see fit) then wrap yarn around the middle, once the rectangle is joined together, before sewing on. The tassels are made by chaining a length and then putting 2 double crochet's into each ch to the end and then sewing them to the bow.
In total to create the dress for a 4 - 5 year old I used a little under 300g of this yarn.
I hope the brief instructions help you create your own dress, in conjunction with the Jingle Belle Dress pattern, and if you want any further help with this then please feel free to get in touch and I will try my best to help you out. I really love this dress and especially the fact that I managed to only use materials that I already had at home to complete it! Join me next week for some home decor crochet projects which will help you to start working through your yarn stash.