Earlier this winter I made this lovely ripple dress (maybe you would call it a tunic?) for Maia. I love that it turned out exactly as I imagined it would, stylish but warm too… The perfect winter garment for a busy little girl!
Would you like to make one too? It’s not difficult, and Ive broken it up into sections to make it easier to follow.
You will need:
1-2 balls in each color of 8ply yarn (I used a merino wool which was a nice light/soft yarn- but Im guessing it would be lovely in a cotton or cotton blend too if you wanted a dress that you could wear across seasons)
First up you need to make the ripple section. Rather than re-write a whole tutorial on how to crochet a perfect ripple, I suggest you use these fabulous ripple instructions, starting with a chain of 101 (98 + 3), this comfortably fits my five and a half year old who is quite tall for her age. I’d suggest about 94 (91 + 3) would suit a 3-4 year old and probably 108 (105 + 3) would be right for a 6-7 year old. You might have to play around a bit to get it right… make a start – maybe ripple 4 or so rows, pin it together to form a tube and try it on to see how it fits, you want a bit of room so it’s not going to be restrictive.
In terms of length I went for 11 pairs of rows and the first row as a single row. The first row will become the bottom of your dress, and this will have a picot edge in the same color, which evens up the rows. Really how long you want it to be is up to you and the height of your model. Sew the edges together to form a tube, this is your dress section completed.
With the right side facing out, join your contrasting color to the center back (ie this is the seam you have just sewn up) and crochet around the top of your last row of the ripple (the magneta row above), putting a single crochet into the top of each double crochet around. Continue working in a continuous circle (don’t join at the end of the round) for 15 rows. I did a decrease row at row number 5 because I tried it on at this point and wanted to make the top a little more fitting. On this row I decreased; *sc 5x, sc 2 together (decrease)* repeat between * and * around the entire row. Once again this might take a bit of trying on to get right… But that’s the beauty of a custom made garment, you can get the fit perfect!
Mark out the straps.
With the right side facing count your stitches all the way around the top of the yoke. With a small piece of contrasting yarn mark the center back and center front. Now you need to turn on your mathematical brain for this bit! Your straps are going to be 8 stitches wide… so you need to figure out an even number of stitches between your straps. There is 7 stitches between the front center and the start of my straps… so I counted 7 stitches past the center marker and marked it out with a piece of yarn:Repeat this step and mark the center back, and count 7 stitches either side and mark to show where your straps will be joined.
The straps are crocheted on the front of dress with right side facing. You will begin the straps on the left or right to ensure each strap starts on a right side row, so use the left front start at marker and work to left for 8 stitches. The right strap will start 7 stitches past marker, and work back to finish on marker (making the strap 8 stitches wide). Working back and forth, sc in each stitch across 8 stitches, chain 1 and turn. Repeat until straps are desired length (pin them up, try on and see). These straps are 36 rows long.
Sew the back of the straps in place corresponding with the marked stitches.
Complete the yoke:
Join a new piece of yarn at the center back, ch 1 and sc in each stitch around working 1 sc into each stitch all around the neckline, but decreasing – sc2tog at the four points where the straps join to the bodice. This will tighten in the yoke and make it sit nicely. Continue in this way for 5 rounds, decreasing at each of the four points on each round. Fasten off.
Join a new piece of yarn in the center of the arm hole and sc in each stitch around. Round 2, Sc in the first 9 stitches and then picot (worked over 3 stitches): 2 dc in next stitch, 2 dc in next stitch, ss in next stitch, repeat 8 times; or until desired cap sleeve is achieved. Repeat for both straps. See photo below for detail:
Bottom edge of dress:
With right side facing, Row 1: Sc in each stitch around. Row 2: Picot row – Worked over 3 stitches; *2dc in next stitch, 2 dc in next stitch, ss in next stitch*, repeat between * and * around, join with a ss to finish.