Working at Purl Soho is like going to Craft University. Co- workers, customers and readers are all professor-like founts of information, creative ideas and practical know-how. Over the years, I’ve learned so much about sewing, but along the way, I’ve also picked up some knowledge of knitting, embroidery, needlepoint and crochet. While I remain first and foremost a sewist, I sometimes feel the draw of a bigger craft world out there!
I created this little girl’s Sweet Crochet and Sew Dress as an interdisciplinary adventure. I used Louet’s beautiful Euroflax Linen to hook up a simple, pretty neckline, and for the breezy skirt, I chose summer-light cottons. Not only is this a great dress for the hotter months, but because crochet is so portable and linen is so cool to the touch, it’s also a great project to make when the mercury rises.
You don’t have to be an expert in either crocheting or sewing to make your own Sweet Crochet and Sew Dress. If you’re a crocheter who rarely dusts off the machine or a seamstress who once made a granny square in home ec. you can do it! Consider it Interdisciplinary Crafting 101 and welcome to Craft University! -Molly
- Size 2: 1/2 yard of lightweight cotton fabric.
- Sizes 4 or 6: 3/4 yard of lightweight cotton fabric.
- All sizes: 1 skein of Louet’s Euroflax Linen, 100% linen
- Gutermann’s Cotton Thread to match the yarn
- Gutermann’s Cotton Thread to match the fabric
- A size E (3.5mm) crochet hook
- A hand sewing needle
For my pink size 2 dress I used…
- Rowan’s Shot Cotton in Apricot
- Louet’s Euroflax Linen in Natural
- Gutermann’s Cotton Thread color #4980 (to match fabric) and #3310 (to match yarn)
For my gray size 4 dress I used…
- Kokka’s Fine Solids in Grey
- Louet’s Euroflax Linen in Cream
- Gutermann’s Cotton Thread color #9090 (to match fabric) and #1040 (to match yarn)
20 single crochets = 4 inches
2 (4, 6) years Finished width of crocheted band (to sit across the chest at armpit level): 7 ¼ ( 7 ¾, 8 ½ ) inches Finished armhole depth: 6 (7, 7 ½) inches Finished length from top of shoulder to bottom hem: 18 ½ (21 ½ , 25 ½ ) inches
Chain 37 (40, 43) stitches. Starting with the second chain from the hook, make one single crochet (sc) into each chain. 36 (39, 42 stitches) *Turn the work towards you and make 1 sc into each stitch. 36 (39, 42 stitches) Repeat from * 5 (6, 7) more times or until the work measures approximately 1 (1 ¼, 1 ½) inches from the bottom edge.
First Front Strap
*Turn the work towards you and sc into the next 6 (7, 8) stitches. Repeat from * until strap measures 2 (2 ¼, 2 ½) inches, ending at the inside (neck) edge.
*Turn the work towards you and sc into the next 4 (5, 6) stitches. Repeat from * one more time.
Cut the yarn, leaving a 10-inch tail, and pull it through the last stitch.
Second Front Strap
Join the yarn to the opposite top corner of the Front Band and sc into the next 6 (7, 8) stitches. Work exactly as for the First Front Strap. Decide which side you want to be the backside and weave into that side all the ends except the two 10-inch tails at the top. Block the Crocheted Front piece and set it aside for now.
Make the Back Band exactly how you made the Front Band.
First Back Strap
*Turn the work towards you and sc into the next 6 (7, 8) stitches. Repeat from * until strap measures 1 ¼ (1 ½, 1 ¾) inches, ending at the inside (neck) edge. *Turn the work towards you and sc into the next 4 (5, 6) stitches. Repeat from * one more time. Cut the yarn and pull it through the last stitch.
Second Back Strap
Join the yarn to the opposite top corner of the Back Band and sc into the next 6 (7, 8) stitches. Work exactly as for the First Back Strap. Decide which side you want to be the backside and weave all the ends into that side. Block the Crocheted Back piece and set it aside for now.
The Crocheted Front and Back pieces should look like this.
Sew the Skirt
Skirt Front: Cut one 16 X 17 (18 X 20, 19 ½ X 23)-inch rectangle. Skirt Back: Cut one 16 X 17 ¾ (18 X 20 ¾, 19 ½ X 23 ¾)-inch rectangle. With right sides together, place the two skirt pieces on top of one another, short sides at top and bottom, long sides at left and right. Align the bottom short edges so that the top of the Skirt Front is ¾ inch below the top of the Skirt Back. Mark the left and right sides of both pieces 2 ½ (3 ½, 4) inches from the bottom corners. Mark the left and right sides of the Shirt Back 4 ½ (5, 5 ½ ) inches from its top corners; and mark the left and right sides of the Shirt Front 3 ¾ (4 ¼, 4 ¾) inches from its top corners.
Pin the two pieces together between these marks on both the left and right sides. Using the thread to match the fabric, sew the two pinned areas together with a ½-inch seam allowance.
Press one of these seams open to create ½-inch folds from top to bottom, including along the unsewn sections.
Press one side of the seam allowance under itself once and pin down the now ¼-inch fold.
Edgestitch down this fold and repeat for the other side of the seam allowance. Repeat for the opposite side’s seam allowances.
Press and pin the bottom edges (the ones that are the same length) of both skirt pieces ¼ inch twice towards the wrong sides. Edgestitch these folds down to create the bottom hems. Turn the Skirt right sides out.
Gather and Attach the Skirt
Still using the thread to match the fabric, zigzag stitch across the top edges of both skirt pieces. Adjust the straight stitch length on your machine to be larger than usual. Using a contrasting thread (or the yarn thread if you don’t have anything lying around), sew a row of these larger stitches ½ inch from the top edge of the Skirt Back. Backstitch at the beginning of this seam but not at the end, and leave a long tail before you cut the thread. Starting at the side where you ended the previous row, sew another row of stitches in this same manner, ¼ inch below the first. Repeat this for the Skirt Front. These are the gathering stitches.
Fold the Skirt Back piece so it’s out of the way. Pull the tails of the Skirt Front’s gathering stitches to gather the top of the Skirt until it is the same width as the bottom edge of the Crocheted Front. With right sides facing up, pin the two pieces together, lining up the top line of gathering stitches just under the bottom edge of the Crocheted Front Using the thread to match the yarn (and making sure that you adjust your stitch length back to normal), sew the two pieces together along the pinned edge. Try to sew between first two rows of single crochets to hide the stitches.
Turn the piece over so that the wrong sides are facing up and finger press and pin the fabric’s seam allowance down towards the fabric and away from the crochet.
Hand stitch this fold into place with a running stitch at the very top of the fold, making sure to just go through the back of the crochet and not poke through to the front.
Attach the Crocheted Back to the Skirt Back in the same manner. Sew the Front and Back straps together using the 10-inch yarn tails. Weave in the ends and you’re all done!