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« Molly's Sketchbook: Breezy Friendship Bracelets | Main | New! DIY Map Quilt Patterns from Haptic Lab »

Molly's Sketchbook: Sweet Crochet and Sew Dress

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


For my pink size 2 dress I used…

For my gray size 4 dress I used…


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


Crocheted Front

Front Band

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.

Crocheted Back

Back Band

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! 

Reader Comments (18)

Really sweet and you reminded me that I had made a crochet and sew dress that I had forgotten to showcase! So... thanks for the inspiration to update my blog, if you'd like to take a look at mine, it's here:

May 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNoraathome
This was one of those "I have to make it NOW" projects -- I'd bought a hank of the Euroflax ages ago but could never find just the right project for a newbie at crochet --any tips on keeping the initial chain row a little loose? Could I use a larger hook for it, like using a larger needle for casting on to keep the first row from being to tight in knitting? My yoke pieces are curved a bit at the bottom and the linen is so firm, not sure how much blocking will help? Many thanks for any tips!
June 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSarvi
I am definitely going to try this out as a grown up top!
June 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGrace Shalom Hopkins
Oh, I just love this! I've been so busy lately that I never have time to knit or sew, but this is something I could probably manage to get done! Plus, I've been wanting to make a kerchief for myself out of a linen yarn, and the pattern I have calls for the same weight, so it must be kismet! Ha!
June 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
So sweet and I LOVE the Instagram pic of Lupe wearing it.
June 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJosie
Hi Sarvi-

Crocheting into the first chained row is always hard for me too! I just made sure my chains were nice and loose on the E hook by being slow and deliberate but using a larger hook could work as well.

The curling is totally natural and it will block flat. Mine was very curled before it was blocked and it came out totally flat in the end! Just make sure the get the linen nice and wet and lay it flat to block. The linen also gets a lot softer when you do this.

Thanks for your questions!

June 2, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I'm going to "steal" your idea and make a shirt for myself:)
Thank you for the inspiration
June 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBuffy
Precioso y supersencillo, gracias por todas tus ideas, esta web est√° llena de ideas maravillosas!! ¬°gracias!
June 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercande
Cute dresses!! with beautiful colors!!!
June 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Manitas
would love to knit this as I do not crochet. it seems very basic but anyone able to tell me specifically (number of stitches/rows, etc) to knit instead of crochet?

so adorable! would love to make these for my girls . . .
June 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermegan
I LOVE this sweet little dress and am going to learn how to crochet and make this for my granddaughter! Thank you so much for sharing and inspiring - I've learned SO much from this blog and have enjoyed many projects! Thanks again for everything - happy creating!!!
June 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen
Hi Megan-

We don't have plans to re-work this as a knitting pattern at the moment but single crochet really is very easy! You might want to check out our crochet basics tutorial and see what you think!


June 5, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I think this is a great idea for a quick summer dress for my daughter. Great for using up those bits of fabrics too.Thanks for sharing Kel x
June 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKelly
I was sent this link by a friend, and of course, needed to make them for my grand girls immediately. I would attach a picture, but have no idea how, sorry! I have now seen the new summer top and will be digging through fabrics in the next day or 2 for the next cute little bit for my little bits :)
June 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKym
Hi Kym-

So glad to hear you like this dress! The best way to share a picture is on our Facebook page:

Or by tagging us in a picture on instagram, or if you have a blog and you post it you can leave the link in the comments... I'd love to see it!

Thanks so much for your enthusiasm!

June 13, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thanks Molly, I have shared on Instagram and Facebook. On to the next next cute idea... and I like that striped sweater too. Busy, busy
June 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKym
Could you please add some more description regarding the last step of sewing the Front and Back straps together using the 10-inch yarn tails? Do you weave between the two pieces to try to blend the seam? Is the notch (last 2 shorter rows) at the end of each of the straps there to create a slope off the shoulder? I thought these notches would lock like puzzle pieces to help join the seam, but instead they appear to line up directly front and back. -thank you!
June 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterOlivia
Hi Olivia-

Yes, the notch is to create a slope for the shoulders. I would suggest sewing them together with the wrong sides of the pieces out and weaving in and out as you say, to blend the seam. That way the seam will be on the inside.

I hope this helps! Thank you for getting in touch!

June 27, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

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