My son, Jeff, and his beautiful bride, KC, were wed on Friday, but I still can not get the smile off my face. Family and close friends witnessed their celebration and wishes of love and happiness filled the air. In two weeks we will get to extend the celebration from our home to include even more family and friends.
Now his wonderful family will include his handsome, smart, warm, and generous boys as well as an adorable, blond sprite. At 2 1/2 she looks and talks as a preschooler and she knows and can explain what she wants. When I was scrolling through the various dresses for young girls, I was captivated by the tulle skirt dresses. I knew that I could make them, but I wanted to make sure that I used the colors that my new step-granddaughter would want. In a three-way conversation, she informed KC and me that she would like a blue dress. We took measurements for her chest and from the bodice to the skirt hem, and I was good to go.
Tulle skirt dresses are quite popular right now, and there were many patterns to choose from online. I preferred the cap-sleeve design to the strapped ballerina models. An empire style dress by Kassia fit the bill. (http://www.theviewfrommyhook.net/2014/07/free-pattern-friday-kassia-empire-waist.html) The pattern was made for sizes 2T to 4T. A blue and white tone skein of Candy from the Toybox Collection by Plymouth was just the smooth and light worsted yarn (4) was the perfect color palette and texture. However, when I matched the blue tulle with the bodice yarn, I felt that the colors became muted. Instead, I selected 3 spools (or 75 yards) of 6 inch white tulle for the skirt. The bodice was crocheted with double crocheted stiches using an H (5mm) hook. It was done in one piece with increases to form the sleeves and body. Diagrams show how to lay our the long piece so that the ends meet in the middle before crocheting the extra rows that set off the sleeves and the foundation for the row to attach the skirt. The edging was a repeat pattern of hdc, dc, tr, skip two stitches. I liked the edging so much that I even used it on the neckline.
The tulle skirt makes every girl feel special. As my model is 40 inches tall, we needed 16 inch x 2 to make 32 inch strips. Two of each strip would be cut and folded in half before making a slipknot into the back of the row just above the trim. I decided to place my bunches every other hole to make a full skirt. My spools were 20 yarns instead of 25 yarns, and unfortunately, I had to go back to the store to get more tulle as I was 4 strips short. Luckily, I was able to get the same brand to finish the dress. I hung it on a hanger, and trimmed the ends neatly.
The beautiful treasure was encased in tissue paper and placed in a large mailing box to be mailed to my little princess's new home. The evening of arrival day, I could not wait any longer, and I called my son to find out if the package had arrived and if his daughter to be approved. With a laugh, he informed me that she was already prancing around in the dress. Later that even his fiance called to share a conversation with her daughter. When she told her that Lillian had made her a "Frozen" dress. She sighed and replied. "I'm Elsa."
Still between mom and daughter, I did know if they would use it for the wedding or just for dress-up. Either way, I was happy. I had made the dress for this darling girl to enjoy. On the morning of the wedding, she brought out her dress and informed her parents that she was wearing it to the wedding. Always the individual, she also selected her rubber-like shoes for the day. Later at the wedding dinner, she told my son that this was her "wedding dress." When he asked her if she knew who made it, she answered happily, "yes, your mommy, Lillian." She felt special all day. Many of the guests admired her garment and did not realize that it had been made for her.
The crocheted bodice and tulle skirt took only 4 hours to complete even with the crocheted flower blossom. Now I was on a roll, and decided to try a smaller version for my granddaughter who usually wears 18 month sizes. This time the bodice was a Babycakes by Caron Yarns, and the tulle skirt was pink. Now I needed 24.5 inch lengths for the 12 inch skirt plus knot.The Empire Waist Crochet Tutu Dress by Daisy Girl Crochet could fit babies from 12 months to 24 months by changing the needle size. I made the larger size as I wanted her to be able to wear the dress more than one time. When complete, the dress appeared slightly too big for my petite girl. I still love the dress, but it will wait until she grows. I bought the yarn and tulle to remake it in a smaller size. This dress will be aqua and while. If I finish this dress before the reception in our Connecticut home, she can wear it for that party.
For crocheters who want to make a tulle skirt dress for an older girl, Busting Stitches shares a free pattern "Feeling Free Dress" in sizes 188.8.131.52.
These dresses can be individuallized in many ways. I chose to use a multicolor yarn for the top and a solid bodice. They would also look lovely with a solid bodice and two or three colors of tulle in the skirt. You can accent the dress with a wide ribbon bow or sash or use lengths of tulle to make the bow. The flower crocheted for the dress would also make an attractive headband. These dresses make affordable dresses little girls in a wedding party. It is easy to pick up the colors of the wedding party. Using material like the ones I used for my dresses, the garments cost about $16.00 to make. After the special party they can always be used for dress-up days.
With these easy-to-make tulle skirt dresses, every girl can be a princess.