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Friday
Aug292008

Whit's Knits: Coco's Bobble Dress

Based on her great-great grandmother's design, Coco's crocheted dress is a tribute to the craftsmanship and creativity of the past. It's amazing to me that the same design that made sense in a small Italian town a hundred years ago still makes sense today! Nothing binding or frilly or old-fashioned; just a classic A-line shape animated by rows of charming bobbles. I think this dress is going to make sense for another hundred years!

The Materials

 

The Pattern

Gauge

5 single crochets = 1 inch

Finished Size

To fit ages 2-4  (as a dress for smaller kids and as tunic for bigger kids)

17 1/2 inches from shoulder to bottom hem
22 1/2 inches chest circumference
30 inches bottom hem circumference

 

Abbreviations

Single Crochet = sc

Double Crochet = dc

M1puff = make 1 puff

To make a puff, first yarn over, then insert the hook in the next stitch, and pull a stitch through (3 stitches on the hook).

Repeat this step three more times, inserting the hook into the same stitch each time. First there will be 5 stitches on the hook, then 7, and finally 9.

Yarn over and draw through 8 of the loops (so there are 2 left on the hook).

And, finally, yarn over and pull  through the 2 last loops.

The puff stitch actually "puffs" on the side away from you. For this reason, the dress is made with the wrong side facing you. You'll turn it inside out at the end!

Sc2tog = single crochet 2 together

To single crochet 2 together, first pull a stitch through the next stitch (2 loops on hook).

Then pull a stitch through the next stitch (3 loops on hook).

And, to finish, yarn over and pull through all 3 loops.

The Bottom Hem

Chain 148.

Slip stitch into first chain to join in the round, being careful to not twist the chain.

Round 1: Chain 1, 1 sc in each stitch to end of round, slip stitch to chain 1 to join. (148 stitches)

Round 2: Chain 2, 1 dc in each stitch to end of round, slip stitch to top of chain 2 to join.

Round 3: Chain 1, 1 sc in each stitch to end of round, slip stitch to chain 1 to join.

Round 4: Chain 1, *1 sc in next stitch, m1puff in next stitch, repeat from * to end of round, slip stitch to chain 1 to join.

Round 5: Repeat Round 3.

Round 6: Chain 1 , *m1puff in next stitch, 1 sc in next stitch, repeat from * to end of round, slip stitch to chain 1 to join.

Round 7: Repeat Round 3.

Round 8: Repeat Round 4.

The Skirt

Round 1 (Decrease Round): Chain 1, *1 sc in next 35 stitches, sc2tog over next 2 stitches, repeat from * to end of round, slip stitch to chain 1 to join. (144 stitches)

Round 2: Chain 2, 1 dc in every stitch to end of round, slip stitch to top of chain 2 to join.

Round 3: Chain 1, 1 sc in every stitch to end of round, slip stitch to chain 1 to join.

Rounds 4 - 7: Repeat last 2 rounds.

Round 8: Chain 1, *1 sc in next stitch, m1puff in next stitch, repeat from * to end of round, slip stitch to chain 1 to join.

Round 9 (Decrease Round): Chain 1, *1 sc in next 34 stitches, sc2tog over next 2 stitches, repeat from * to end of round, slip stitch to chain 1 to join. (140 stitches)

Repeat Rounds 2-8.

Next Round (Decrease Round): Chain 1, *1 sc in next 33 stitches, sc2tog over next 2 stitches, repeat from * to end of round, slip stitch to chain 1 to join. (136 stitches)

Repeat Rounds 2-8.

Next Round (Decrease Round): Chain 1, *1 sc in next 32 stitches, sc2tog over next 2 stitches, repeat from * to end of round, slip stitch to chain 1 to join. (132 stitches)

Repeat Rounds 2-8.

Next Round (Decrease Round): Chain 1, *1 sc in next 31stitches, sc2tog over next 2 stitches, repeat from * to end of round, slip stitch to chain 1 to join. (128 stitches)

Repeat Rounds 2-8.

Next Round (Decrease Round): Chain 1, *1 sc in next 30 stitches, sc2tog over next 2 stitches, repeat from * to end of round, slip stitch to chain 1 to join. (124 stitches)

Repeat Rounds 2-8.

Next Round (Decrease Round): Chain 1, *1 sc in next 29stitches, sc2tog over next 2 stitches, repeat from * to end of round, slip stitch to chain 1 to join. (120 stitches)

Repeat Rounds 2-4 only.


Next Round: Chain 1, *1 sc in next 53 stitches, slip stitch in next 14 stitches (for underarm), 1 sc in next 46 stitches, slip stitch in next 7 stitches.

The Front

Notes:

  • The front and back are worked separately in rows, rather than in rounds. So, be sure to turn the work at the end of each row in order to crochet back the other way.
  • Each side is 46 stitches (don't work the 14 slip stitches in between the front and back; they are the underarms.)

Shaping the Neck

Row 1 (wrong side): Slip stitch in next 7 stitches, chain 2 (counts as 1 dc here and for the rest of the pattern), 1 dc in each stitch to end of row, turn.

Row 2 (right side): Chain 1, 1 sc in each stitch to end of row (last sc is in top of chain 2 from previous row here and for the rest of the pattern), turn.

Row 3 (bind off for neck): Chain 1, *1 sc in next stitch, m1puff in next stitch, repeat from * 6 more times , 1 sc in next stitch, slip stitch next 16 stitches,  chain 1, *1 sc in next stitch, m1puff in next stitch, repeat from * 6 more times, 1 sc in last stitch, turn.

Now, working just the 15 stitches of the Left Front Shoulder:

Row 1 (right side): Chain 1, 1 sc in each stitch to end of row, turn.

Row 2 (wrong side): Slip stitch next 2 stitches, chain 2, 1 dc in each stitch to end of row, turn. (13 stitches)

Row 3: Chain 1, 1 sc in each stitch to end of row, turn.

Row 4: Chain 2, 1 dc in each stitch to end of row, turn.

Rows 5 and 6 :  Repeat Rows 3 and 4.

Row 7: Repeat Row 3.

Row 8: Chain 1, *1 sc in next stitch, m1puff in next stitch, repeat from * 5 more times, 1 sc in last stitch, turn.

Rows 9 and 10: Repeat Rows 3 and 4.

Row 11: Slip stitch next 6 stitches, chain 1, 1 sc in each stitch to end of row, turn. (7 stitches)

Row 12: Chain 1, 1 sc in each stitch to end of row, turn

Row 13: Slip stitch each stitch to end of row.

Cut the yarn and pull it through the last stitch.

For the RIGHT FRONT SHOULDER,

With the right side facing you, join new yarn to the single crochet just to the left of the center 16 slipped neck stitches.

Row 1 (right side): Slip stitch next stitch, chain 1, 1 sc in each stitch to end of row. (13 stitches)

Row 2 (wrong side): Chain 2, 1 dc in each stitch to end of row, turn.

Row 3: Chain 1, 1 sc in each stitch to end of row, turn.

Rows 4 -7: Repeat Rows 2 and 3.

Row 8: Chain 1, * 1 sc in next stitch, m1puff, repeat from * 5 more times, 1 sc in last stitch, turn.

Row 9: Repeat Row 3.

Row 10: Repeat Row 2.

Row 11: Repeat Row 3.

Row 12: Slip stitch next 6 stitches, chain 1, 1 sc in each stitch to end of row, turn. (7 stitches)

Row 13: Slip stitch each of the remaining 7 stitches.

Cut the yarn and pull it through the last stitch.

The Back

With the wrong side facing you, join new yarn just to the left of the 14 slipped left underarm stitches.

Row 1 (wrong side): Chain 2, 1 dc in next 46 stitches, turn.

Row 2 (right side): Chain 1, 1 sc in each stitch to end of row, turn.

Row 3: Chain 1, *1 sc in next stitch, m1puff in next stitch, repeat from * to end of row, turn.

Row 4: Repeat Row 2.

Rows 5-8: Repeat Rows 1-2.

Row 9: Repeat Row 1.

Row 10 (bind off for neck):  Chain 1, 1 sc in next 15 stitches, slip stitch next 16 stitches, chain 1, 1 sc in each stitch to end of row, turn.

Working just the 15 stitches of the Left Back Shoulder:

Row 1 (wrong side): Chain 1, *1 sc in next stitch, m1puff in next stitch, repeat from * 6 more times, 1 sc in last stitch.

Row 2 (right side): Slip stitch next 2 stitches, chain 1, 1 sc in each stitch to end of row, turn. (13 stitches)

Row 3: Chain 2, 1 dc in each stitch to end of row, turn.

Row 4: Chain 1, 1 sc in each stitch to end of row, turn.

Row 5: Slip stitch the next 6 stitches, chain 1, 1 sc in each stitch to end of row, turn. (7 stitches)

Row 6: Slip stitch each of the remaining 7 stitches.

Cut the yarn and pull it through the last stitch.

For the Right Back Shoulder:

With the wrong side facing you, join new yarn just left of the center 16 slipped neck stitches.

Row 1 (wrong side): Chain 1, *1 sc in next stitch, m1puff in next stitch, repeat from * 6 more times, 1 sc in last stitch, turn. (15 stitches)

Row 2 (right side): Chain 1, 1 sc in each stitch to end of row, turn.

Row 3: Slip stitch next 2 stitches, chain 2, 1 dc in each stitch to end of row, turn. (13 stitches)

Row 4: Slip stitch next 6 stitches, chain 1, 1 sc in each stitch to end of row, turn. (7 stitches)

Row 5: Chain 1, 1 sc in each stitch to end of row, turn.

Row 6: Slip stitch remaining 7 stitches.

Cut yarn and pull through the last stitch. (One thing to ignore about this picture:  the tail of the right back shoulder will actually be coming from the left end of the last row, not the middle.)

 

Finishing

Join the Shoulders
With the wrong sides facing each other, thread the yarn under a slipped stitch from one shoulder.

Then thread the yarn under the slipped stitch directly opposite on the other shoulder.

Continue sewing back and forth until the shoulders are joined.

The Armholes
With the right side facing you, join new yarn just to the left of the 14 slipped underarm stitches, point "A" in this photo:

Slip stitch from point A to point B (around the armhole, but not including the underarm). Try to make about 20 stitches along the front and 20 along the back.

Repeat for the other armhole.

The Neck
With the right side facing you, join new yarn just to the left of the 16 slipped front neck stitches, at point "A" in this photo:

Slip stitch from point A to point B (to just before the slipped stitches of the back neck). Slip about 20 stitches up the front and 8 down the back. Cut the yarn.

Join a new yarn at point C and slip stitch around to point D (8 stitches up the back and 20 down the front). Cut the yarn.

Sew in all the ends and block the dress and you're all done!

Reader Comments (51)

This is so cute! Any chance we could see a photo of the original? Just curious.
August 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
This is so cute! Thank you for posting the directions!
August 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSue
Thank you for sharing this treasure! I can't wait to get started... I just inherited a huge cone of yummy merino with a splash of alpaca...mmmm.

Funny question: What brand shoes is your sweet model wearing in the picture? I'm finding it to be quite a challenge to find the perfect little girl shoe for my little girl. You know, sans glitter and cartoons creatures?
August 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJulie
I think the gauge might be off. Is that 20 single crochets to 4 inches, maybe?
August 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
Hi Karen,
Whitney checked and you were right. The pattern has been edited to reflect the correction. Thank you so much for pointing it out!
August 30, 2008 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
oh my goodness, i love this dress. now i must fantasize a way to make it adult-sized!
August 31, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteraudrey
I also would love to see a picture of the original. Thanks for posting a very stylish crochet project. Knitting too often overshadows this craft. The dress is adorable. And, I love how practical it is. It will make a great gift.
September 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPicot
i'd love to make this as an adult-sized sweater vest... mmmmm
September 19, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterangelune
Has anyone made the dress a little larger? For a 4-5 year old, for instance? How did it scale up?
October 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbabyalgebra
has anyone had a problem with the left front shoulder? Mine doesn't seem to be working out right? i've done up to the seven bobbles and row 1 with sc to end of row but row 2 the 2 slip stitches just do not look right. can anyone help me? This is my first dress and i am far from being an expert crocheter.
December 3, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdeb
Hi Deb,

The two slip stitches are important for shaping the neck. I'm not sure what you mean by not looking "right", but do keep in mind that at the end of the project you will be making a slip stitch edge all around the neck line, so little inconsistencies will be smoothed away!

I hope this answers you question. Please let us know if you have more!

Good luck!
Whitney
December 4, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
I am definitely making this for myself in an adult M or L. It is one of the prettiest patterns I've ever seen, and simple dresses are good on me! Anybody else interested in trying it at the same time?
December 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEmily
Hello,
I am up to the front section and I am wondering why one underarm is 14 slip stitches but the other is 7 sc and 7 slip stitiches?
Thanks
December 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAntonia
Hi Antonia,

You slip 7 stitches at the very end of the "Skirt" section, and then slip another 7 stitches at the beginning of the "Front" section (Row 1), making a total of 14 slipped stitches.

I hope this clarification allows you to move forward with confidence!

Thanks for your question!
Whitney
December 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
Wow! Your instructions for this adorable dress are just beautiful! I'm bookmarking this page because I know my 3 year old would love to wear this dress! Thank you so much for sharing.
Kalisha
December 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKalisha
I made this dress for my niece for Christmas and it turned out just as I imagined. Now I have to make one for my daughter. Thanks for the instructions and the excellent photos. I hope you have more darling crochet dresses coming!
December 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCissy
So pretty! Any advice for a newbie crocheter looking to make this adorable dress for a 6-year-old? I know newborn and 6+ year old girls, but nobody in the 2-4 yrs range! Making a dress 2 years in advance for the babies seems like extreme planning to me, but sizing it up for a 6-year-old seems manageable. Anybody have tips for doing that?
January 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
Thank you so much for sharing this pattern. I am making this lovely dress for my daughter :) does anyone have a good tip for not twisting the chain?
January 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterzhen
Hi! I love this dress and have started on it. However, my seam up the back has started to migrate to the left. I am not sure why. Is this something that can be fixed, or do I need to start taking out stitches? I am really hopeful you have a fix because I'm pretty far along :-) Thanks!
January 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Hi,

I live in the tropics, can you recommend another yarn to use? I'm afraid merino wool just isn't suitable.

Thanks.
February 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEloise
Hi Eloise,
Check out this 4 ply cotton from Rowan, its the same gauge:
http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/yarndetail/385
we're very low on colors right now, but we'll have more in a couple of weeks.
Hope this helps!
February 23, 2009 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
What a beautiful dress! I just finished it for my friend but ended up with a seam going down the right and a bit to the front. That can't be right, can it? I was sure I followed all the instructions carefully. The sample photos certainly show no seam. What did I do wrong?
March 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
I love this dress, thanks so much for sharing the pattern! However, I too seem to be having issues with the seam. I've started and restarted at Round 6 twice. I'm on round 6 again, same shifted seam, but have decided to go with it and pray the seam will work itself out once I am completely finished. From the previous post I'm guessing it won't though, darn! The only change I have had to make to the instructions was reverse directions due to being left handed, which shouldn't make a difference.

On the join instructions since we are slip stitching to each SC or DB from previous row I am not counting that as a stitch. I thought maybe we should be joining at each rows previous slip stitch join and counting that first sc or dc as a stitch?? Does that make sense?

Again, thanks so much for sharing!
March 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTeresa
Hooray! The seam straightened out once I blocked it. The dress is ADORABLE!
March 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
This is so cute!!! Only problem is that it doesn't fit me! I am a teenager and I think that this is a really cool pattern. Is there any way that you could change it and make the pattern bigger?
Thanks
June 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHali
Can you suggest another cotton yarn for this dress since Rowan discontinued 4 ply cotton?
June 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine
Hi Catherine,
There isn't really another 4ply yarn that we stock or are familiar with (but there may be something out there). We're so sad that Rowan discontinued this yarn! I would try Rowan's Cotton Glace, which is a little bit thicker, so your dress will turn out a bit larger than Whitney's but its the closest cotton I know of. Here is a link to the Cotton Glace:
http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/yarndetail/387

Hope this helps!
Joelle
June 24, 2009 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Just finished this wonderfully cute dress. For those wanting to scale it up I used a size 3 hook and some sport wieght sock yarn I had to drop an entire set of bobbles and do lots of decreases and it still turned out large enough to fit a five or 6 year old maybe even an 8 year old as a tunic. It's durable warm and very washer dryer friendly. If anyone wants to know more precise what decreases I made etc... I'm Rogueturtle on Ravelry feel free to message me. I can't thank the pattern maker enough for this lovely dress and the best instructions I've ever seen.
August 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKris
This is my first crochet project, and was the reason I learned to crochet. Thank you for this pattern. Here is an incredibly elementary question that I have. In the instructions, you always start out the new row by "Chain 1" or "Chain 2". I'm two rows past the hem, and am starting to get a hump from all the stitches I'm adding here. Am I reading this completely wrong? What should I be doing here instead of adding stitches? Thank you so much for your help.
September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnn-Elise
This is GORGEOUS!!!! *THANK YOU!* for the pattern! (((((HUGS))))) sandi
October 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter(((((HUGS))))) sandi
I love this dress! I plan to make it for both of my daughters. I was thinking of doing the bobble rows in KPM and the non bobble rows in the KPPPM. DO you think that 3 skeins of the KPPPM (non-bobble) and 2 KPM (bobble) would be sufficient?
January 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
I am a beginner crocheter (this is my first project *yikes!*), and I'm a little confused. When I am starting at the beginning with the hem and I am on going to start Round 1 with my sc do I start three stitches in? or at the first stitch? I have reviewed several different how-to's online and none seem consistent. Some say two, some say three. I made it up to Round 4 and I second guessed myself because I had 152 stitches, so I am now starting over. Advice please.
February 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
I just finished making this in soft pink for my daughter and it is absolutely gorgeous. Thanks so much for sharing this pattern!
March 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFiona
I just finished the "skirt" section and was starting the "front" section and it says to slip-stitch 7, chain 2, the dc until the end of row. I only have 5 slip-stitches until I reach my seam though. Is this correct, or am I short two stitches? If so, how can I correct the mistake?
March 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
HI Melissa,

You should have ended "The Skirt" section by slipping 7 stitches. Each underarm has 14 slipped stitches, so the 7 slip stitches in Row 1 of the "Shaping the Neck" section are the second half of those underarm stitches.

Does this make sense with what you have? I'm a little concerned that you're "hitting a seam" since the 7 slip stitches I think you're talking about should be happening after the side "seam".

Please let me know if I'm misunderstanding something or if you need further clarification. We can work it out!

Thanks -
Whitney
March 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
Love this dress! Any suggestions for scaling it down for a 9 month size? I would greatly appreciate the advice!
March 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKara
Thanks for helping me out Whitney! I'm still having problems. I am new to crochet and I have some basic questions to ask. When I start a new row of single crochets do I start the row in the second stitch of the previous row? How about for double crochets? I am coming out with extra stitches, and my dress isn't looking as pictured. I am very determined, so I will be tearing out my stitches tomorrow to start over with the dress. Eek!
March 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
I've started this dress twice as I am absolutely in love with it! I'm having difficulty with my puff stitches though. I find they take forever to complete (it seems to be the pull through 8 loops that takes the longest). Does someone have a trick for me? Am I making my YO steps too tight perhaps?
March 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNathalie
@Nathalie. I am almost done with this dress now and have had the same problem with the puffs. I find that if my hands are sweaty, and if I pull too tight I have a really hard time completing my puffs. So loose tension and clean hands are the key for me :) Hope this helps you!
March 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
Thanks for a very easy, straight-forward pattern. Looked good once completed. Loved making it as crochet & knitting is a dying hobby.
I made this little dress to fit my 3yo. It turned out perfect. Made the dress in pastel pink and the bobbles in pastel green (her favourite colours at the moment).
Thank you so much for clear-cut instructions.
March 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTanya
This dress is adorable, the directions are so clear, before I get too far along I would like to know if when I finish a row and slip stitch the last stitch, do I turn the work or always work in the row in the same direction? Using cotton yarn (live in FL) and is working beautifully!

I love Purl, wish we had something like it here in FL, but your website is the next best thing. Visited Purl at the old location, and hope to visit the new store next time we are in NY, looks beautiful!
April 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJackie
Hi - can't wait to try this little dress. My 3 yr old niece will love it! Can I make a suggestion? could you make patterns like this a PDF? it would be much easier to print out. =0) Thanks! Tina "The Book Lady" www.familyliteracyandyou.blogspot.com
May 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTina Peterson
Loved this pattern! Made it for all 3 of my daughters. The original pattern was perfect for my 4 yr old. Added more length for my 7 yr old...and shortened it (plus modified the bodice part) for the 18 month old. I added a scalloped edge at the bottom which I thought looked pretty and then made up a pattern for matching bobble beanies. You can see the final results on my blog. (http://igotdibbs.blogspot.com/2010/06/bobble-dresses.html) Thanks again for a great pattern!
June 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim
I, too, would like to make this jumper in a larger size for my granddaughter who currently wears a size 8. (I also have granddaughters in high school and college). I am pretty good at adapting patterns, but if you have any suggestions for how to make such adjustments, I'd appreciate it. Thank you.
November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara Paulson
Hi Barbara,

The Bobble Dress is a bit of an involved pattern to size up, but if you're up for the challenge and have some experience, then I say, go for it! You'll want to cast on more stitches (keep the count even), make the dress longer before you start the Front, and make the armholes deeper and the neck opening proportionately bigger. Whew!

Good luck - we'd love to see the results!

Whitney
November 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
Lovely dress! with the simplest stitches! Can't wait to try it!
February 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAngela
This was my first "big" project. I worked on it over a period of 3 months and finished it right before Easter. I love it, and my daughter received many compliments while wearing it. Thank you for the pattern and clear directions!
April 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnna
this is just gorgeous!!!
December 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjenni
Gorgeous dress and such a detailed pattern! Many many thanks :D
I have just started making it and plan to try the popcorn stitch in place of bobbles, just to see if that's easier and/or uses less yarn

If anyone's successfully scaled it up to adult size, please do come back and share the pattern - it sounds like I'm one of many who would be interested :)
December 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPoppy
This is so beautiful!!!

Can this dress also be made with cotton yarn or will it get too heavy? I have never made a dress for my daughter yet and so am unsure as of how it will turn out with that kind of yarn. Can you help me?

Thanx a million!
April 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNadine

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