I liked the crocheted Lemon Tank so much, I had to make more. I decided to use up some of the yarn stash and make a dress to wear over a swim suit at the beach (I’m always a little cold after I get out of the water, even on hot sunny beaches).
This one uses a pattern for the bottom half. It is the Tuscany Tank Dress designed by Mari Lynn Patrick, which can be found in Interweave Crochet in the 2006 Spring issue. (I got it for free awhile back, but it appears its no longer there. Found this while looking, check out their free patterns on knittingdaily, always good ones to choose from, from there you’re on Interweave’s site if you want you look up back issues of the magazine). Typical of me, I only barely followed instructions, I used Red Heart Banana Berry yarn, and a size I hook. You start with the scalloped part around the hips (the part called “offset scallop patt” in the pattern) which is worked upwards from the starting chain. Then I went right under “lower border” to “Scallop Lace” on the pattern to do the scalloped bottom edge (which I LOVE!), using the starting chain and working downward with a hook two sizes smaller (G for me).
Then I went back to the top of the scallop and the size I hook to do the lacy shirt part. The lace doesn’t follow a pattern so much, and isn’t part of the Tuscany Tank. It is just chain 6, single crochet, repeat. Then on following rows always put the single crochet in the middle of the ch 6 below so they alternate. I went upwards until I got to the place I wanted the armpits to be and did this. I had one seam where I kept meeting and turning around, so I called that the back.
I did the chain 6, sc, repeat (which is essentially the arch mesh, though they don’t use 6, from The Crochet Stitch Bible. Betty Barnden. 2004. Krause Publications, Quarto Inc. “Arch Mesh” pg. 87.) until I got to where the armhole would logically start (try it on to see), then made a chain for over the arm and attached it in front. Did more ch 6, sc, rep until I got to the front where the arm hole should start on the other side. Count the chains to make sure both shoulder straps are the same length. Attach the next strap in back and do more ch 6, sc, rep. until you get to the back seam. Then you can work upwards back and forth between the back shoulder straps until the back is high enough. Then I did double crochet, skip 2 chains, repeat on the strap until it was as long as i wanted in the front. Again, just try it on, then you will see what you need to do to make it work.
Now, the part where I embarrass myself. The part where I admit to you where I went wrong, so that you can avoid the same mistakes. My mistake on this dress was to make the hips wide, then decrease a lot for the waist. The decreasing made the scalloped part go slanted and caused some bulging and strangeness around my back seam (which was where I did all the decreases). I should have just made it a tube and let it be tighter around the hips. If I had done that it would have looked perfect. Or, I could have more evenly distributed the decreases and made smaller decreases at a time. Instead, I got this>
The scalloped bit hangs low because I did so many decreases in the lace above it. This works sort of for over your butt, because your rear pushes the fabric out where decreases make the dress bulge in other areas. You see big holes near the back seam too, where sometimes I wonder what I was thinking! Those are areas with massive decreases because I was afraid it was turning into a too big sack. So, if you make yours in a straight tube with no decreases, you’ll get a straight scalloped part, and no holes.
All in all, good enough for beach wear I says!