Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A crocheted dress for Nellie

Recently, I mentioned that I had crocheted a dress for the GB's baby doll, Nellie. It was fun to make. I based it on several top-down yoke-style pieces I have crocheted for the GB and other small children and babies. It's not exactly my own invention, but it required some trial and error and (oh, Lord) math to make it work well for a tiny doll. I think it worked out pretty nicely, and the GB seems thrilled with it. I have to tell you that having a little girl who loves dolls is a dream come true for me. I love dolls and always have. I'm so glad she does too.

(I would be fine if she didn't love them, everyone is different, girls don't have to like dolls, my son liked dolls too. Now that we have that out of the way, I love that she loves dolls! Hee).

It was easy to make. There are only three stitches in the whole thing: chains, (US) double-crochet and slip stitch. The yoke is crocheted flat to start, then crocheted in joined rounds to create the skirt. If you can do these things in crochet, you can make this dress.

I've been working on writing out what I did when I made it. I tend to make a few notes before I crochet something, along with a few unintelligible jottings as I work, and then I go back and write it neatly and coherently in my project notebook. I'm happy to share my pattern but I won't make any guarantees; I'm a moderately experienced crocheter and my ideas make sense in my head and as I work, but I'm very much a fledgling "designer" of crochet patterns.

The yarn is Stylecraft Special DK. From the yoke down, the colors are: Cloud Blue, Pomegranate, Spring Green, Wisteria, Shrimp, Aspen, Fondant and Aster. (We think this gives Nellie's dress a beachy look).

I used a G/6 (4 mm) Clover aluminum hook. You'll also need a small button, sewing thread and needle, and a yarn needle.

Nellie's Dress (fits 12-13 inch baby doll)
ch: chain stitch
ch sp: chain space
dc: (US) double-crochet stitch
sl st: slip stitch
sk: skip

Chain 42 to begin.

Row 1: Starting in 3rd chain from hook, dc in next 4 ch, sk1, ch1, dc in next 5 ch, sk1, ch1, dc in next 18 ch, sk1, ch1, dc in next 5 ch, sk 1, ch1, dc in next 4 ch, ch2 and turn.

Row 2: dc in first 3 stitches, (1dc, ch1, 1dc - we'll use an asterisk to represent this sequence from now on) in ch space, 5dc, (*) in next ch sp, 17dc, (*) in next ch sp, 5dc, (*) in next ch sp, 4dc, ch2 and turn.

Row 3: 4dc, (*) in next ch sp, 7dc, (*) in next ch sp, 19dc, (*) in next ch sp, 7dc, (*) in next ch sp, 5dc, ch2 and turn.

Row 4: 5dc, (*) in next ch sp, 9 dc, (*) in next ch sp, 21dc, (*) in next ch sp, 9dc, (*) in next ch sp, 5dc, ch2 and turn.

Row 5 (now begin making the skirt (and connecting the yoke to make "sleeves"): 6dc, (*) in next ch sp, ch6, (*) in next ch sp, 23dc, (*) in next ch sp, ch6, (*) in next ch sp, 7dc, ch2 and turn.

Row 6: 7dc, (*) in next ch sp, 6dc, (*) in next ch sp, 25dc, (*) in next ch sp, 6dc, (*) in next ch sp, 8dc, ch2 and turn.

Row 7 and beyond will be worked in the round

Row 7: dc in each stitch from the previous row, finishing with sl st in the top of the ch2 from the previous row to join the sides, making a back seam. Continue this way, repeating Row 7 and joining ends of each round until dress reaches the desired length (try it on the doll as you work). 

Finishing: starting at one corner of the back opening, sl st down one side and up the other, making one or two stitches at the V where the joined rows begin (for reinforcement). Sew a small button onto on side of the back opening (I lined up my button with a place on the other side where there was a ch2 at the edge to use as a buttonhole). Weave in yarn ends.

PS - Nellie is made by Corolle and is from their Mon Premier Bebe Calin line. We've had her since the GB was about a year old. She is a perfect doll for toddlers because she's easy to dress. Mommies big and small love her. 


You guys are really wonderful, I hope you know that. Your comments on my last few posts have been so touching and they've lifted my spirits a lot. It's going to be okay. I'll be talking about it more in the coming months, no doubt, because there will be a surgery this summer and I will probably need some moral support. But I think we're in very good hands now (I couldn't say that with confidence before the practitioner change), and that makes a very big difference. I know I'm always thanking people, but again...just thanks.

We have a new podcast online if you want to listen! Just click the button near the top of my sidebar to go to the Bear's website, where we house them. This time we're talking about rituals and their importance in our lives. Coffee and tea figure heavily, along with the swamp cooler, if you can believe it.


  1. Lovely little dress, I bet your Girl Bear loves it. Glad you feel confident that you're in good hands now with your new medical practitioners. CJ xx

  2. The Dress is really cute, GB must be thrilled. My girl is too big for dolls now, although a little playing dolls with her neices is always enjoyed! She too loved dolls, which really pleased me too:-). I spent hours sewing clothes for them. I am glad you feel more confident with the new team, I will be thinking about you all, LB especially.. Sharon x

  3. A beautiful dress, delightful colour combination.

  4. Such a cute dress, making things for your children is just the best, isn't it. Glad you're feeling a little more up, we all love you and there are warm hugs floating your way from all corners of the globe (((hugs)))

  5. I was never a crocheter for dolls, but I did used to love knitting cardys and things for the Princess' dolls (there were a lot!!)
    Go enjoy and make some more clothes x

  6. Nellie looks cute in her posh new frock, it's lovely Jennifer, I always loved dolls too even more than my daughter did, I used to made dresses for her barbie doll and I played with it more than she did. :) xx

  7. The dress is lovely, it's such a shame that Eleanor's way past dolls otherwise I'd be giving this a go myself. Glad to hear that some sort of treatment plant has been worked out, and though surgery is on the cards, it sounds as though it will be for the best. You know you'll have lots of support here. Yay! a new podcast, I've been waiting for the next one. I don't have time to listen now but I shall look forward to sitting down when I'm on my own tomorrow and enjoying it.

    1. Treatment plant? I meant plan. Just listened to your podcast, really interesting. I like to have rituals in my day, would I call them rituals or order? I'm not sure. I'm like you though, I like to unwind on an evening and don't like any kind of rituals then, apart from pouring myself a glass of wine.

  8. Awww, the dress is adorable! :o)

  9. So glad that you're happier with your son's doctor. That dress is adorable and I love the name Nellie! I look forward to listening to your next podcast - tea rituals; sounds right up my street! xx

  10. Nellie is adorable in her colorful, handcrafted dress. My kids had only a brief doll loving period to my dismay because I loved dolls and the pretend world I created for them. I understand your delight!

  11. What a cute little dolly dress, I just love those colourful stripes.
    Anne xx

  12. A cute little dress for Nellie and yes she does look well loved ♥ Nice to have a little girl who loves dolls, mine did, she is now 37yr, oh dear I am sooo old lol and she still has lots of her old dolls and soft toys too ☺ Medical stuff can sure be scary but yes you have us all here too and thank you for you lovely comments to me re my mum too xo

  13. This dress is so sweet!!! And like you and your sweetie I loved dolls! My little beans like dolls too!! I have all of the clothes my grandmother made for my dolls and have given them to the beans....wishing you more sunny days this week my friend! Nicole xoxo

  14. Jennifer, I LOVE your voice! Your Podcast was adorable. It really adds an extra element to getting to know a blogger don't you think? And yes, everything WILL be OK, it sounds like the new GP was exactly what was needed. We are all here for you xxx

  15. So cute, that little doll dress ! I was more of a dinky toy girl... Only child and daddy's girl, so I played with Lego, cars and trains... My poor mom... buying Barbies for me, trying to "convert" me :-)))
    We'll all keep our fingers crossed for you and LB. Good thing you feel better with the new team of doctors. That will help to keep you a bit more "tranquil" (hope that is a correct english adjective ?). And for moral support, you know, we are here when you need us.....

  16. A very good pattern, I cannot wait to make doll clothes for Holly x

  17. Nellie's dress is cute and pretty, Jennifer, with your usual wonderful blending of colour. You are an artist!

  18. The dress is adorable, Nellie looks like a colorful jelly bean.
    Thanks for the pattern,

  19. Such a cute little dress for Nellie! I love the pretty colours too. It is a pleasure to see children playing with dolls, I think ( and as you say, either boys or girls) and I love hearing the things they say to the dolls and the imaginative games they invent with them :)
    I am so glad the new doctors are giving you confidence in looking after LB in the best way, and wish you well for the next step.
    Have a happy week, Jennifer.
    Helen xox

  20. It's lovely, it's very satisfying creating something with your own pattern isn't it? So glad to hear that you feel you are in good hands with regard to LB's care, that must be very reassuring for you.

  21. Hi Jennifer,

    Nellie is one lucky little dolly and love the sweet dress. Well done for working out the pattern
    Hope you are enjoying the week

  22. Nellie's' dress is beautiful! well done! very lucky little lady there
    there are many patterns online for dolls cloths & i have often come across many dolls cloths books in opshops (thrift) you might be able to get yourself some different patterns to play with as well. keep up the good work, you will be a budding designer yet!
    glad you are feeling much better too
    thanx for sharing

  23. The dress turned out really well. I'm sure it was a bit frustrating to get it right!

  24. so cute x I just tried to comment on your bread podcast but it wouldn't let me, so here it is -

    Even though I can't eat normal bread due to the gluten I found this fascinating! I had no idea you would have to adapt your baking due to high altitude.

  25. Thanks so much for sharing how you made Nellie's dress. I hope to try the pattern one day. I am glad that you have been encouraged by the new plans for LB's care and the supporting comments you have received, Jennifer. My son Tim and I were just remembering today when he was five and ended up spending almost six weeks in hospitals in CO and NY. They were anxious times as the doctors tried to help him feel better, and thankfully he is a pretty healthy 39 year old today :) Wishing you and yours well and hoping to listen to your latest podcast soon! xx

  26. When i was three, I was given a dolly wearing a dress that my mum had knitted, pale blue,with a ribbon through the waist. I was in heaven! I'm sure your daughter was thrilled with Nellie's lovely dress! ( my dolly was Lucy, for the record!). Very glad to hear you are feeling a little more relaxed with your son's health care now X


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