My motivation in designing this dress was to create something summery for my daughter that was modern, but also ladylike. I knew I wanted to emulate the look of circle skirts. I love circle skirts because the way the fabric falls is so feminine. Combining this with the same yoke concept used for the Racerback Crop Top , I created the Racerback Toddler Dress. Or as BB calls it, her ballet dress.
This is the perfect toddler dress for hot summer days! It can be paired with a plain white shirt underneath for that super cute 90's look.
I decided to use Lion Brand's Comfy Cotton Blend because it's a lighter weight than some of the other cotton yarns out there. I also love the way the colorways of this yarn work up with crochet stitches. I chose something bright and playful. If you'd prefer a more formal look, I suggest choosing the colorway "Chai Latte", or something similar.
- Lion Brand Yarn, Comfy Cotton Blend (392 yd; 358 m/200 g; 7 oz)
- Hook: U.S. H/8 (5 mm)
- Yarn Needle
- 7/16" buttons, 4 in total
- st(s) - stitch(es)
- ch – chain
- sl st - slip stitch
- sc - single crochet
- inc - 2 single crochet in one st space
- hdc - half double crochet
- fo - fasten off
- rsc - reverse single crochet
4”x4” = 15 sc and 10 rows
Please note: If you'd like the skirt to be longer, simply work additional rows!
Ch 2 does not count as a stitch throughout
First we'll begin by making the yoke. If you're unfamiliar with this term, a yoke is "a fitted or shaped piece at the top of a skirt or at the shoulder of various garments".
In this pattern, the yoke includes the shoulder straps and first row of the length of the bodice.
Foundation: Ch 6, turn
Row 1: Sc in second st from hook, sc in next 4 sts, ch 1, inc in same st sp, ch 1, turn
Row 3: 1 sc in each st, ch 28, turn
Row 4: Hdc in third st from hook, 1 hdc in each st of the ch, 1 hdc in next 2 stitches, ch 28, turn
Row 5: Hdc in third st from hook, 1 hdc in each st of the ch, sl st in next st, fo
Attach the yarn with a sl st (or your preferred method) at the middle of the bottom back tail of the straps.
Row 1: Ch 30 (32, 34), sl st in first strap, ch 17 (17, 17), sl st in second strap, ch 30 (32, 34), sl st to join (80, 84, 88 sts)
Do not break the yarn before moving on to the next section! Work into all sts: do not skip sl sts.
Bodice & Skirt
Rows 2 - 18: Ch 2, hdc in same st sp, hdc in next 79 (83, 87) sts, sl st with first st to join (80, 84, 88 sts)
Row 19: Ch 2, 2 hdc in same st space, 3 hdc in next st, * 2 hdc in next st, 3 hdc in next st, repeat * around, sl st with first st st join (200, 210, 220 sts)
Rows 20 - 44: Ch 2, hdc in same st space, hdc in next st and each across (200, 210, 220 sts)
Finally, we're at the finishing touches. Now I don't know about you, but when I near the end of a project I already have my yarn and pattern primed for the next one. This makes completing the finishing touches seem like a bit of a chore (especially after taking the time to weave in ends).
So while these are technically optional, I recommend completing the following finishing touches. They will vastly improve the quality of your finished object.
Attach yarn to the right of the back tail
Row 1: Ch 1, rsc along top edge, fo
Where the bodice becomes the skirt:
Some pulling is bound to occur in this area because 1.) the skirt is heavier than the bodice, and 2.) we increased a decent amount to create pleats. To take some of the stress off of the fabric I surface crocheted between rows 18 and 19.
I think the buttons really elevate this piece to another level. Long live pointless buttons!
I got mine from JoAnn for $1.50 (using one of their 50% off coupons). They had a ton of cute colors that looked great with this colorway. I ended up settling on the mint color because I thought they added a nice, cool contrast.
To get them right in the center, lay the dress flat with the front side facing you. Find the 17 hdc sts you made in the middle of the straps. Sew the buttons on the 9th st from the left, on rows 2, 5, 8, 11.
If you make this project, I'd love to see your finished objects! Be sure to tag me, @yarndrasil on Instagram, or give me a shoutout on Facebook, so that I can see your beautiful creations!