Updated: May 29
I am so happy to introduce my latest garment design: the Dizzy Lizzy Dress for girls!!! I called her Dizzy Lizzy because as a child I used to spin a lot when I wore a dress to see how the skirt would splay out and ruffle, and …(no surprise) I would get dizzy. I can certainly imagine 6yo me wanting to spin to watch this hemline go around!
When I first started designing crochet garments I went with toddler clothing because it was small. I learnt that while it might take less time to physically make, it still takes just as much technical effort to calculate and describe stitches, shaping and sizing, so it’s actually a good way to develop designing skills for all garments. Inspired by beautiful mandalas, shawls and blankets I see on socials, I wanted to tackle using some overlay crochet in a garment. I applied the same learning principle of start with toddlers and the idea for the girl-sized Dizzy Lizzy Dress was born.
I really enjoyed making this hemline it was heaps of fun! Writing it down so others could follow the instructions was not very much fun.
The overlay hemline IS the most difficult part about the design, and I have included a LOT of photos for this section of the pattern to make sure you can study an up-close photo as well as the written instructions. My pattern testers all followed along really well though, and their helped enormously to optimise my instructions. The first two testers made the dress, then with their feedback the pattern was revised and tested by a third person, and then after their feedback it was fully revised and tested by a fourth person!
Thank you so much to my Mum (Mothergoose is my chief pattern tester), Mariana Muller (my 2nd chief tester who publishes her own crochet patterns under the moniker Sweet Crochet Dreams – check her out on Facebook/Insta), Annemie Celens (crochet-star living in Belgium and English is not her first language yet she had successfully made some of my most difficult designs – she is amazeballs), and Fiona Kelly (look for Kelly’s Krochet on Facebook/Insta)!
The Dizzy Lizzy Dress uses the colour gradient in Scheepjes Whirl cakes as a key design feature. I have already played with ombre colour gradients in my Blue Willow dress which won quite a bit of attention at the CGOA design awards in 2019 (yay!) but keeping track of how the colours change over different sections of a shaped garment is pretty tricky for a single dress let alone how it plays out over multiple sizes! This project gave me an opportunity to practise logistically how to do that as I further develop my designing skills. So back to Spinning Elizabeth...
How about a little Dizzy Lizzy fashion show?
Here are a few pics of the 2yo size, crocheted by my Mum in Whirl 559 Turquoise Turntable, fabulously modeled by the highly energetic 18mo Frankie so its a tiny bit big for her at the moment (thank goodness for sports mode on my camera!!) No complaints about it being scratchy or wanting it removed – all Frankie wanted to do was run towards the dogs or play in the sand, and she seemed perfectly happy to do all that in this little tunic. So I think we can say the fabric is soft enough against the skin!
Next is the 4yo sample size that I originally made – this Lizzy just hangs out in my rooms against the colourful back-drop of my purple-black limewash wall at the moment. I do love how the red-pinks graduate for this skirt!
Here is another 4yo size Dizzy Lizzy test garment made by Mariana. Check out this natural little model! Clearly very happy with her outfit! This dress was made using Whirl in 770 Black Forest Zinger which creates quite a striped effect to the garment. It’s loud and proud!
And just hanging around...
Annemie helped me a great deal to add in the 10-12 yo size which wasn’t part of my original plan as she has two tall slender daughters Floor (aged 10) and Kaat (aged 14), with body circumference measurements that fall in approximately in the 8 and 12 size ranges. Annemie worked very hard to try a few different things according to my changing instructions to refine bodice proportions for the taller frame of a 10-12yo (meaning lots of emails back and forth, photos, and a serious amount of frogging – what a trouper!) This process enabled a proper revision of the bodice grading before the final pattern test. In the photos below, Kaat’s dress is a bit of a meld and isn’t quite like the final pattern. Her bodice is close to that of a 12yo and the skirt is that of an 8yo and is crocheted in Whirlette 868 Bilberry with Whirl 783 Brambleberry.
The take-home message here is to make the size that matches the closest “to fit” chest/bust circumference while allowing a small amount of positive ease, then adjust length of skirt if you need to. (People can vary quite a bit in terms of torso to leg proportions).
The final test is an 8yo size made with Whirlette 855 Grappa & Whirl 758 Lavenderlicious by Fiona Kelly for her daughter Niamh who has done a wonderfully fierce job of modeling! I totally love Niamh’s attitude – she just oozes powerful young woman going places on her bike and rocking the Dizzy Lizzy with some all-class boots. Yasss!!
And now for the technical details:
Sizes and Yarn Allowances
Dizzy Lizzy is sized 2yo, 4yo, 6yo, 8yo, 10yo and 12yo as a knee-length dress so girls can run about and be active if they feel the mood take them, and the dress fabric is soft and breathable as Whirl and Whirlette are yarns have a fibre blend of 60% cotton and 40% acrylic.
Here are the yarn and hook requirements:
And here is the measurement table:
The pattern includes specific written swatch instructions and yarn allowance for 1 Bodice Fabric swatch for all sizes. If you need to swatch multiple times to achieve gauge, then use leftover Whirl or Whirlette from other projects – particularly for sizes 4yo, 8yo!
Tipfor in-between sizes: If you have achieved gauge with your swatch (as a baseline to match the pattern), you could make a Size 1 (3: 5: 7: 9: 11) yo dress by reducing hook size by 0.5mm and following the 2 (4: 6: 8: 10: 12) yo instructions.You should achieve an in-between size by using a tighter gauge.
SO - we all know what comes next - COLOUR CHOICES!
There are like, gazillions of Whirls to choose from and they are all amazing but I think the design best suits those with an ombre effect where the tone of colour moves from light to dark as well as changing colour. The Frosted Whirl range and the Woolly Whirl range would work out for gauge but the colour changes for these are quite striped. It just comes down to personal preference.
I have popped together a bit of a table of colour palettes to kick-start some ideas along my ombré design theme: When the Whirlette is used with the Whirl for the larger sizes, the bodice uses the Whirlette, then the skirt is added top down in the Whirl, so the idea is to match the Whirlette to the top of the skirt, then it gradually changes towards the hem. Where the table has no Whirlette listed it’s because there isn’t a colour I could find to match that Whirl, so that Whirl would be great for the smaller sizes if you are looking for an ombre sort of effect.
But these are just my suggestions... There are heaps of possibilities. Scheepjes actually have a page for Whirl/Whirlette combos too! Check it out here.
The Dizzy Lizzy pattern is a paid ad-free 22-page PDF with full written instructions, a schematic, lace stitch chart and a photo tutorial for the overlay section. Available only in English at this stage, written in UK terms & includes a UK-US conversion chart along with links to appropriate supporting crochet tutorials here on my blog.
You can source the pattern for Dizzy Lizzy Dress either from my Ravelry Store or my Etsy Store, and here is a code to use at checkout to receive a 20% discount on the Dizzy Lizzy Dress Pattern: DLSPIN20 (valid for 1 week only).
Once you have managed to choose colours (sometimes the most difficult part of the creative process! - lol), Scheepjes retailers worldwide can be found here.
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