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Summer Diamonds Toddler Dress

by | All Designs, Crochet, Free Patterns, Garments, Kids & Toys, My Favorites, Summer

After I made my Summer Diamonds Cardigan, I had a few balls of the We Are Knitters Cotton Wool left over and I just couldn’t let it sit unused. At the same time, I had been thinking about making toddler dresses ever since I made M her Purple Princess Dress and had daydreamed quite a bit about dress construction. So it occurred to me to try and re-use the sideways diamond motif and construction to make a dress that hopefully draped correctly, and used the rest of the Cotton Wool yarn. And that’s how the Summer Diamonds Toddler Dress came about!

Crochet this tunic dress with a modern diamond motif. Free pattern!

Like the cardigan, the bulk of this dress is built sideways, using the diamond motif. The front part of the dress is one panel, and the back of the dress is another panel. Being me, I wanted to see if I could make both panels in one go, so I only had to make one seam. To start, I needed to figure out a good length that also happened to be a multiple of 14 + 1 stitches. Using one of M’s tunics as a guide, I guessed at 14×4 = 56, + 1 = 57 stitches long. I knew there’d be some extra length for the neckline and some kind of border, but if it was more of a tunic/shirt, then that was ok too. I was just crocheting blindly into the future!

crochet diamond motif

I start with 57 stitches of a foundation double crochet row, just to get things started. Then I started my diamond motif, which is explained in more detail in my Summer Diamonds Cardigan post. The width of the dress is determined by the number of rows made, and I had to frog it once to get it right. I ended on making 35 rows, with the 35th row also being a solid row of double crochet stitches so that both sides of the dress looked the same.

To create the first “seam” and leave enough room for the arm hole, I slip stitched up the next row, stopping 8 stitches short and changing into chain stitches which is the same as a slip stitch except it’s not tethered to the row beneath. This creates the split of the arm hole. Eight stitches doesn’t seem like a lot and you think the arm hole will be too small, but it all works out. Trust me, I made it too big originally and had to fix it later. Now that the split is made, you’re officially on the second panel of the dress. As with the first panel, there’s 35 rows worked, with the first and last rows being a solid row of double crochet stitches. Finally, it’s time to seam the whole thing together using slip stitches. Again, I stopped 8 stitches short from the top so that this seam also creates an arm hole. Whew, body done.

Summer Diamonds crochet tunic dress

It was quite a lightbulb moment for me when I realized that the neckline was actually just stitches worked in the round, but that once it’s worn on a person, it drapes just right onto the neck and shoulders. I just never thought about clothing construction before! So, the neck piece here is just several rounds of simple crochet stitches. The last row gets complicated because I needed to create ruffling. The body piece I created is really wide and it needs to be “scrunched” up just right, which means fitting lots of stitches into a small space. The body is 35 rows, turned sideways, and with 2 stitches in each double crochet stitch sideways, that means the body piece is 70 stitches wide. Miraculously (yay math!), that equaled 24 single crochets with 23 pairs of chain 2 stitches => 23 x 2 + 24 = 70. So on the last row, I worked 16 stitches (for the arm hole), then 24 stitches with 23 pairs of ch 2 (for the front), 16 stitches (for the other arm), then another 24 stitches with 23 pairs of ch 2 (for the back).

summer-diamonds-toddler-dress-neckline

This is my first crochet chart, tiny as it is! I tried the demo version of a program called Crochet Charts, and I hope it helps explain what I wrote above. The program takes some getting used to for sure! I resisted the urge to fall back on pencil and paper because oh, drawing it out by hand is just so much faster, but doing it in software is cleaner and clearer. I’m hoping to spend some more time in this program, purchase the full version and use it for future projects!

Now that the body and the neck is done, it’s time to sew the two pieces together. I have 70 stitches on the body, and 70 stitches (including chain stitches) on the neck, so it’s just a matter of aligning the two and sewing it together with a mattress stitch, my go-to joining method. Here’s a quick video tutorial of how I work the mattress stitch! I’m a total newbie when it comes to video, so bear with me!

I don’t work into each of the ch 2 chain stitches, I just work into the chain 2 spaces themselves, which makes it easier on my eyes and my fingers. This forces the whole mass of the body panel into a teeny tiny living space (anyone recognize the reference?!) and creates the ruffled look.

The bottom border was a bit of an afterthought. I knew the dress wasn’t quite complete, but I wasn’t feeling the fringe thing. I thought about maybe a round of picots, or pom-poms, but ended up with just a few light scallops. Not too frilly, but cleans up the bottom edge. The math for the bottom is the same as the math for the top. The front and back panels are connected together here, so there’s 70 rows total, which means you should work 140 stitches around. That’s easily divisible by 5, so each scallop is 5 stitches wide. Boom, and we’re done!

diamond motif tunic dress

If you’d like to print this pattern, you can purchase an inexpensive, ad-free and comment-free PDF version of my crochet fox purse on Craftsy (US only) as well as on Etsy (international buyers, start here!). The file will be available for download immediately after payment. Thank you for helping me continue to provide these fun free patterns!

Supplies

Abbreviations

Pattern Notes

  • The whole idea of the construction is to create the front and back of the dress as one solid piece sideways, leaving slits for the arms. The body piece is then sewn to the neck piece again leaving space for the arm holes.
  • For the pattern, I used both the foundation single crochet stitch and a foundation double crochet stitch.
  • On the neck piece, I worked the foundation single crochet stitch in the round. When joining to the first stitch, turn your work counter clockwise, and place the active yarn above your row. Make sure there’s no twists in your work, and join to the first sc with a slip stitch. Afterwards, you’ll need to sew the beginning tail to the round and close up the joining seam.

Foundation single crochet in the round

  • When working single crochet stitches along the side of the diamond motif, I like to work 2 single crochet stitches into the side of each double crochet stitch.
  • Use a mattress stitch to sew the body to the neck piece. You can see a video of the mattress stitch here.
  • Here’s a great method of joining yarn, especially when it’s one color. The knots are incredibly small and can be tucked into the stitches almost invisibly.

Sizing

This pattern is designed to fit a 2T-3T, using a yarn that is just a bit lighter than worsted weight. I’ve tried my best to give some sizing help, but I have very little experience with sizing and figured out the math as I went

  • A 4×4 inch swatch = 14 stitches and 9 rows
  • For the length – always work in multiples of 14, + 1.
  • For the width – work the 57 stitches in as many rows as needed to reach desired width of one side of the dress. In order to maintain the direction of the stitches worked, you’ll need to increase or decrease rows in multiples of 2.
  • For the arm hole, the number of stitches is arbitrary, just make sure it’s the same on both sides!
  • For the neck, I got pretty lucky with my numbers. In the pattern, the body is 35 rows of dc for the front and 35 rows of dc for the back. If you work 2 sc in each row, it’s 70 stitches along the top. Then you add in however many stitches you need to create the arm hole, taking into account there’s already some room created by not seaming the body all the way up. Below are the next sets of matching numbers, one for a smaller size and one for a larger size. This only gives the width of the section where the neck piece connects to the body.
  • Smaller size (23 x 2 = 46 – 1 = 45 / 3 = 15. =>) Work a body of 23 rows. Work 46 sc across the top of the body. Follow the instructions for the NECK PIECE, adjusting the starting number of foundation stitches. For Row 4: Ch 1. Starting in same stitch, work 1 sc in each of next “x” stitches (however big you want the arm hole) . Work [1 sc and ch 2] in next stitch. Repeat [1 sc and ch 2] 14 more times. Work 1 sc in next stitch. Work 1 sc in each of next “x” stitches. Work [1 sc and ch 2] in next stitch. Repeat [1 sc and ch 2] 14 more times. Work 1 sc in next stitch. Join to first sc with a slip stitch.  Fasten off and weave ends.
  • Larger size (47 x 2 = 94 – 1 = 93 / 3 = 31. =>) a body of 47 rows. Work 94 sc across the top of the body. Follow the instructions for the NECK PIECE, adjusting the starting number of foundation stitches. For Row 4: Ch 1. Starting in same stitch, work 1 sc in each of next “x” stitches (however big you want the arm hole) . Work [1 sc and ch 2] in next stitch. Repeat [1 sc and ch 2] 30 more times. Work 1 sc in next stitch. Work 1 sc in each of next “x” stitches. Work [1 sc and ch 2] in next stitch. Repeat [1 sc and ch 2] 30 more times. Work 1 sc in next stitch. Join to first sc with a slip stitch.  Fasten off and weave ends.

Summer Diamonds Toddler Dress Instructions

BODY:

Row 0: Work 57 foundation double crochet stitch. Turn.

Row 1: Ch 2. Work 1 dc in each of next 6 st. Work [Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in next st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 11 st.] 3 times. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in next st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 6 st. Turn. (57)

Row 2: Ch 2. Work 1 dc in each of next 5 st. Work [Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 3 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 9 st.] 3 times. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 3 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 5 st. Turn. (57)

Row 3: Ch 2. Work 1 dc in each of next 4 st. Work [Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 5 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 7 st.] 3 times. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 5 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 4 st. Turn. (57)

Row 4: Ch 2. Work 1 dc in each of next 3 st. Work [Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 7 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 5 st.] 3 times. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 7 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 3 st. Turn. (57)

Row 5: Ch 2. Work 1 dc in each of next 2 st. Work [Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 9 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 3 st.] 3 times. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 9 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 2 st. Turn. (57)

Row 6: Ch 2. Work 1 dc in next st. Work [Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 11 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in next st.] 3 times. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 11 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in next st. Turn. (57)

Row 7: Ch 2. Work 1 dc in each of next 2 st. Work [Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 9 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 3 st.] 3 times. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 9 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 2 st. Turn. (57)

Row 8: Ch 2. Work 1 dc in each of next 3 st. Work [Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 7 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 5 st.] 3 times. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 7 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 3 st. Turn. (57)

Row 9: Ch 2. Work 1 dc in each of next 4 st. Work [Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 5 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 7 st.] 3 times. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 5 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 4 st. Turn. (57)

Row 10: Ch 2. Work 1 dc in each of next 5 st. Work [Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 3 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 9 st.] 3 times. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 3 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 5 st. Turn. (57)

Rows 11-20: Repeat Rows 1-10.

Rows 21-30: Repeat Rows 1-10.

Rows 31-33: Repeat Rows 1-3.

Row 34: Work 1 dc in each stitch across. Turn. (57)

Row 35: Work 1 slip stitch in each of next 49 stitches. Chain 10. Turn.

Row 36: Starting with 3rd chain from hook, work 1 dc in each stitch across (1 dc in each of 8 chain stitches + 1 dc in each of 49 body stitches). Turn. (57)

Row 37: Ch 2. Work 1 dc in next st. Work [Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 11 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in next st.] 3 times. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 11 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in next st. Turn. (57)

Row 38: Ch 2. Work 1 dc in each of next 2 st. Work [Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 9 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 3 st.] 3 times. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 9 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 2 st. Turn. (57)

Row 39: Ch 2. Work 1 dc in each of next 3 st. Work [Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 7 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 5 st.] 3 times. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 7 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 3 st. Turn. (57)

Row 40: Ch 2. Work 1 dc in each of next 4 st. Work [Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 5 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 7 st.] 3 times. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 5 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 4 st. Turn. (57)

Row 41: Ch 2. Work 1 dc in each of next 5 st. Work [Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 3 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 9 st.] 3 times. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 3 st. Ch 1, skip 1 st. Work 1 dc in each of next 5 st. Turn. (57)

Rows 42-51: Repeat Rows 1-10.

52-61: Repeat Rows 1-10.

62-69: Repeat Rows 1-8.

Row 70: Work 1 dc in each stitch across. Turn.

To seam the dress, bring the beginning edge up to align with Row 70. Holding both pieces together, you’ll see 4 loops to work through. Only work through the 1st loop (closest to you) and the 4th loop (farthest from you). The stitches from Row 1 are loops 1 and 2. The stitches from Row 70 are loops 3 and 4. Work 1 slip stitch in each of next 49 stitches. Fasten off and weave in ends.

toddler dress seams

Work a standing sc into the top of body piece (where the arm splits are). Work 70 sc evenly across the top. Repeat for the other side of the body piece.

Neck piece

Row 0: Work 80 foundation single crochet stitches. Join to first single crochet stitch.

Row 1: Ch 1. Starting in same stitch, work 1 sc in each stitch around. Join to first sc with slip stitch.

Row 2: Ch 2 (does not count as stitch). Starting in same stitch, work 1 dc in each stitch around. Join to first dc with slip stitch.

Row 3: Ch 1. Starting in same stitch, work 1 sc in each stitch around. Join to first sc with slip stitch.

Row 4: Ch 1. Starting in same stitch, work 1 sc in each of next 16 stitches. Work [1 sc and ch 2] in next stitch. Repeat [1 sc and ch 2] 22 more times. Work 1 sc in next stitch. Work 1 sc in each of next 16 stitches. Work [1 sc and ch 2] in next stitch. Repeat [1 sc and ch 2] 22 more times. Work 1 sc in next stitch. Join to first sc with slip stitch.  Fasten off and weave in ends.

summer-diamonds-toddler-dress-neckline

Assembly

In Row 4 above, the italicized section is the part that has to be aligned with the body piece. It covers 24 stitches in the neckline, but if you count the ch 2 in between each single crochet, you’ll see there’s actually 70 stitches, which is exactly how many stitches are in the body piece! Sew the first sc along the top of the body piece to stitch 1 in the diagram above. Sew the second and third sc of the top of the body piece into the chain 2 space. Sew the 4th sc of the top of the body piece into the second sc in the diagram above. Continue sewing each of the 70 stitches into the sc or ch 2 space. Fasten off and weave in ends. Turn the dress around and repeat for the other side.

Bottom Border

Row 1: Work a standing sc into the bottom of the dress by one of the seams. Work 140 sc evenly around the bottom of the dress. Join to first sc with slip stitch.

crochet standing stitch

Row 2: [Ch 6. Skip 4 sc. Work 1 sc into next stitch.] Repeat *[ ] around. Join with slip stitch.

Row 3: Work 1 slip stitch into each of 3 chains. [Ch 6. Work 1 slip stitch into next ch 6 space.] Repeat *[ ] around. Join with slip stitch. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Summer Diamonds Toddler Dress

M was pretty excited to get into her new dress, but when I pointed a camera at her, she got a bit shy. She wanted to brush my hair, so we traded. I took a few photos, she brushed my hair. She posed for a few more shots, I got to sit and have someone brush my hair. I think I fared pretty well in this bargain!

close-up of neckline

At one point, she just completely gave up and I grabbed a couple quick shots before the onset of the complete meltdown!

Summer Diamonds Toddler Dress

I’m really pleased with how this project came out, considering I didn’t have much of a plan for it going in. I’m even happier that M was willing to spend the whole day in it – the girl knows comfort for sure! Between this project and my previous cardigan, I’m been bitten by the clothing bug! It’s so interesting to see how clothes are put together from very simple shapes. Stay tuned by following me on Facebook (One Dog Woof) or Instagram (@1dogwoof) as I’m sure I’ll be experimenting with more clothing designs in the future!

I’d also love to know if you make this dress for a little girl, or if you decide to size it up or down for another age group. Share it with me on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #1dogwoof. I can’t wait to see your creations! Happy hooking!

I received product from We Are Knitters for this project and post. The pattern, all notes, instructions, photos and opinions are 100% my own. 

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Please be respectful and do not sell or distribute this pattern in any way, especially as your own. Instead, share the original blog post link! You can sell finished products made from this pattern by giving credit to One Dog Woof as the pattern designer and linking to the blog post. If you have any questions regarding distribution or translation of this pattern, please see my Terms of Use. Thank you for your consideration!

28 Comments

  1. Annjael

    Thank you so much for this pattern! Just completed it for my 18m old daughter and she loves it =)

    Reply
  2. Jeanne

    Thank you…Love this pattern & completed over a weekend. However did cheat by doing neck from body upwards. First row 2 SC tog over body parts & chain 16 over gap for armholes. 2nd row (2sc tog SC) repeat over body part & 16 SC onto chain. 3rd row DC. 4th & 5th rows SC.

    Reply

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