I love looking through vintage crochet books. (If you do, too, you may want to check out the archives of my Vintage Needlecrafts Pick of the Week series.)
But, let’s face it. The farther back you go, the harder it is to understand the stitch patterns. There aren’t as many “conventions,” like standard naming. And, there’s often not much detail because it is assumed the readers would be familiar with a variety of “women’s crafts.”
It was in one such book that I came across something called the “Melissa Stitch.” I have no idea if I made what the author intended, but I really liked the look of it.
This post contains affiliate links. Yarn for the sample was generously provided by Rowan.
Start by crocheting two panels flat, join with a sturdy single crochet seam, and then finish with a covered elastic waist band crocheted in the round. The dense Tunisian crochet stitches make lining optional, or you can wear it over leggings, tights, or slip shorts.
It makes a great first garment pattern for an adventurous beginner, but it’s interesting enough to keep a more experienced crocheter interested. I’ve included a video tutorial at the end of the post where I walk through all of the special stitches, the different methods of decreasing, and the bind off.
If you want an easy print format, you can buy the ad-free PDF version on Craftsy.
Modern Melissa Skirt
Tunisian Crochet Pattern by Underground Crafter
- Adult Women’s XS (S, M, L). Photographed sample is size M.
- XS: 24” (61 cm) waist, 34” (86 cm) hips, 21” (53 cm) length.
- S: 26.5” (67.5 cm) waist, 36” (91.5 cm) hips, 21” (53 cm) length.
- M: 30” (76 cm) waist, 38” (96.5 cm) hips, 21” (53 cm) length.
- L: 34” (86.5 cm) waist, 44” (111.5 cm) hips, 21” (53 cm) length.
- Rowan Pure Wool Worsted (100% washable wool, 3.5 oz/100 g, 219 yd/200 m) – 5 (6, 6, 7) skeins 113 Pretty Pink, or approximately 1,095 (1,314, 1,314, 1,533) yd/1,001 (1,201, 1,201, 1,402) m in any medium weight wool yarn.
- US K/10.5 mm Tunisian crochet hook, or any size needed to obtain gauge.
- Yarn needle.
- Stitch marker.
- 0.75” (2 cm) elastic for waist band – 1 yd/1 m length
- Sewing needle and thread.
- 13 sts x 9 rows = 4” (10 cm) in pattern before blocking. For best fit, always check your gauge.
Abbreviations Used in This Pattern
- ch – chain
- ea – each
- rep – repeat
- Tks – Tunisian knit stitch
- Tss – Tunisian simple st
- sc – single crochet
- st(s) – stitch(es)
- yo – yarn over
- * Rep instructions following asterisk as indicated.
Special Stitch Patterns
- Decrease Return = *Yo and draw through 2 loops; rep from * across to last 3 sts, yo and draw through 3 loops.
- Standard Return = Ch 1, *yo and draw through 2 loops; rep from * across.
- Tks = Tunisian knit stitch = Insert hook between loops of next vertical bar, yo and draw up loop onto hook.
- Tss = Tunisian simple stitch = Insert hook under next vertical bar, yo and draw up loop onto hook.
- Always sk first vertical bar (below first loop on hook) at beginning of row.
- For more even edges for easy seaming, insert hook under both loops of last st for final Tss of each row.
- Panels are crocheted from hem to waist. Front and back panels are connected with single crochet join on the wrong side. (A photo tutorial for making a single crochet seam can be found here.) Skirt is finished with an elastic waist band covered with crochet in the round. Waist band is crocheted in spirals without joining.
- Video tutorial for special stitches follows the pattern.
Front and back panel– Make 2
- Ch 59, (63, 69, 75).
- Set Up Row: Forward: Skip 1st ch, *insert hook in next ch, yo and pull up a loop; rep from * across, rep Standard Return.
- Row 1: (Right Side) Forward: *Tks, ch 3, Tks; rep from * across to last 2 sts, Tks, ch 3, Tss in last st, drawing loop up to height of other sts. Rep Standard Return.
- Row 2: Forward: *(Tks, ch 3) in top loop of 3rd ch, Tks; rep from * across to last 2 sts, (Tks, ch 3) in top loop of 3rd ch, Tss in last st, drawing loop up to height of other sts. Rep Standard Return.
- Rep Row 2 Forward and Return until panel measures approximately 14” (35.5 cm), or approximately 7” (18 cm) shorter than desired final length.
Begin tapering for waist
- Row 3: Rep Row 2 Forward. Rep Decrease Return. – 57, (61, 67, 73) sts.
- Row 4: Forward: Skip first ch 3, *Tks, (Tks, ch 3) in top loop of 3rd ch; rep from * across to last 3 sts, Tks, skip ch 3, Tss in last st, drawing loop up to height of other sts. Rep Standard Return. – 55, (59, 65, 71) sts.
- Row 5: *Tks, (Tks, ch 3) in top loop of 3rd ch; rep from * across to last 2 sts, Tks, Tss in last st, drawing loop up to height of other sts. Rep Standard Return.
- Row 6: Rep Row 5 Forward and Return.
- Row 7: Rep Row 5 Forward. Rep Decrease Return. – 53, (57, 63, 69) sts.
- Row 8: Forward: Skip first Tks, *(Tks, ch 3) in top loop of 3rd ch, Tks; rep from * across to last 3 sts, (Tks, ch 3) in top loop of 3rd ch, skip Tks, Tss in last st, drawing loop up to height of other sts. Rep Standard Return. – 51, (55, 61, 67) sts.
- Rows 9 & 10: Rep Row 2 Forward and Return twice.
- Rep Rows 3-10. – 43, (47, 53, 59) sts.
- Bind off: *Insert hook in next st as for Tks, yo, draw up a loop, yo and draw through 2 loops; rep from * across to last st, insert hook in last st as for Tss, yo, draw up a loop, yo and draw through 2 loops, fasten off.
- Weave in ends with yarn needle. Spray block to waist and hip width and 20.5” (52 cm) length (see finished measurements diagram).
- With right sides of each panel facing, seam first long side from bottom to top with sc. Fasten off. Seam second long side from bottom to top with sc. Do not fasten off. Turn right sides out.
- Ch 1, sc in ea st around, place marker. — 86 (94, 106, 118) sts. Sc in ea st around until waist band measures approximately 1.5” (4 cm), do not fasten off.
- Cut elastic to 1” (2.5 cm) longer than skirt waist measurement. Fold overlap of elastic and sew closed. Insert elastic inside of skirt in waist band rounds. Fold over waist band. With yarn needle, sew waist band closed over elastic. With yarn needle, weave in ends.
© 2016 by Marie Segares (Underground Crafter). This pattern is for personal use only. You may use the pattern to make unlimited items for yourself, for charity, or to give as gifts. You may sell items you personally make by hand from this pattern. Do not violate Marie’s copyright by distributing this pattern or the photos in any form, including but not limited to scanning, photocopying, emailing, or posting on a website or internet discussion group. If you want to share the pattern, point your friends to this link: http://undergroundcrafter.com/2016/02/03/free-tunisian-crochet-pattern-modern-melissa-skirt. Thanks for supporting indie designers!
Watch the video tutorial for this pattern below.
If you can’t see the video above, click here to watch it on YouTube.