Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Strings and Stitches part II

See Strings and Stitches part I.
I still stink at sewing bodices that fit and using a sewing pattern is not my cup of tea.  However, I have discovered that I can CROCHET bodices much better than I can cut and sew!  This has taken my dressmaking skills to a whole new level of the Molly Weasley school of stitching!

I love these basic dresses for summer, especially to wear over top of a swimsuit.  They dry easily on a hot day!  You can even leave them out for winter with a turtleneck and some cute leggings.

I'm horrible at writing patterns, but honestly all you need to do is single stitch crochet and keep a child nearby for measuring.  I use cotton yarn, so I make sure it's a little snug because it will stretch some with wear.  If you need a pattern, I looked up a few for you on Ravelry...
Beautiful Red Dress
Kindergarten Dress
How to Crochet a Child's Dress

Along the bottom of the bodice, I usually do a small shell stitch and along the top and the sides of the straps, popcorn stitches.  Most popcorn patterns call for 5 double crochet stitches, but I make a more petite edging for these by using 4 half double crochet stitches.

I have actually washed these and they held up, but remember cotton yarn is going to fade a little.  If you are going for rich, bold colors, you may want to look for another fiber.

Spending less time worrying about the exact cut and stitching of the bodice allows me to be more creative and experiment with the skirt (see "hobbit dress" below).  I actually used wool yarn for this bodice because I knew it would be worn over top of a blouse in October.   After this photo was taken, I took the straps up a bit because, well... they needed it.

I did not make the bunny (lamb) costume!

Notice the "furry" hobbit feet!

Of course, crochet works beautifully with tulle!  

 For very basic and amateur instructions, see How To Make a Butterfly Fairy Dress.

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