Creating A Dress Diagram & An Exercise In Shaping

I wanted to crochet a one-piece, fitted dress for my daughter’s Barbie. However, the process of shaping it daunted me.

Previous doll clothes were rectangular pieces of fabric which achieved shape primarily through strategic positioning of snaps at the back.  This also meant some extra fabric, and I wanted to eliminate that.

I needed a diagram to help me visualize the shaping of the dress, so I set out to create one.  Note that I don’t have any sewing (or designing) background whatsoever, so I have no idea what I’m doing! 😀

With doll in hand, I measured ‘critical points’ like bust, waist and hips. Then how far they were from each other, including neckline and crotch area.  All these I drew on paper.

charting exerciseBased on this crude chart, and practicing (the dreaded) decreasing and increasing, I crocheted this.

dress template

Not exactly perfect, but not too bad for a first real exercise in shaping either 🙂 If I block this piece, the shaping will come out much better. I was banking on crochet being stretchable, that said, I threw in a couple extra stitches anyways to account for the snaps.

After sewing together at the bottom back portion, here’s how it looks from the front:

finished dress front view

And here’s what I was very particular about, the back fit:

finished dress back view

The verdict – perfect! (Yay!) The dress fits neatly with no extra fabric at the back. There’s just enough fabric for snaps, no more, no less.

I don’t have to avoid crocheting 1-piece items anymore! ❤

I’m so glad I did this exercise 😀 Prior to this I just couldn’t visualize how a dress was constructed. I expect the process to be a lot easier now and hopefully, I’ll be able to share patterns soon.

Create happy! ❤

8 thoughts on “Creating A Dress Diagram & An Exercise In Shaping”

  1. That dress turned out wonderful. I like the color combo too. A couple of snaps and there ya go. It is awsome! Your diagram idea was a hit. Now that you got the diagram for this one you can diagram previously made items. Not so much guess work next time. 🙂


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