You all have to know that swap knitting is not all that I was doing while on maternity leave. (I’m going to take a moment and just say how much I could have used a couple more weeks at home before returning to work…) There were things knit for my family as well.
Today I share with you Little Sister’s Dress by Tora Froseth Design. My friend Lyndsey knit this awhile back, although she didn’t make it a dress, she left it at a tunic. Just another reason to give this pattern 2 thumbs up.
I wanted a knit dress for Lovebug during the holidays. We have several Christmases to attend and I wanted her to be festive. She
has had very few dresses in her wardrobe at the time, so I chose this
I chose it because it was a top-down construction that didn’t require cutting the yarn and rejoining on the opposite shoulder to finish the look. I had several patterns picked out at different times that were a little fancier, but each time I looked into the pattern, I found that it wasn’t knit in the round. This was a problem because I had a very specific yarn in mind. I knit this with Premier Yarns Serenity Garden in Hibiscus. It took two skeins for this size. (At least I think only 2 – I bought 3 skeins and can only find 1 in my stash so I must have used 2…) This is a self-striping yarn. While I can appreciate variegated or striping yarns, it doesn’t work well for patterns that divide and knit the shoulders separately because it breaks up the color pattern and isn’t symmetrical. Yes, this is an issue for me. There must be symmetry (at least in color if not in the pattern).
So, again, I say, this pattern was terrific for that. Serenity Garden is a microfiber which is a type of acrylic. I’m not a huge fan of acrylic, but this yarn is so soft and squishy and I didn’t find it the least bit squeaky. One of the best features of the yarn is that it didn’t require blocking. When looking up microfiber on Google, I found some information saying it’s designed to not need blocking. (Now, I know some of you will say –but you can’t block acrylic!! To that I say, yes, you can. In a couple different ways. And I had planned on blocking this dress until I saw it finished. The information proved true – no blocking needed and it STILL looked straight and even and lovely.)
Knit in the 3 month size, this pattern went along very quickly. Only a few days and it was finished. (It helps that I was knitting it for a bitty baby!) I learned a new cast on called the Old Norwegian Cast On (also known as the elastic long tail cast on). I don’t remember at the moment how to do it, but it’s always good to have tried something once – the more you use something, the easier it gets.
Lovebug was just under 2 months at Christmas and it was obvious (at least to me) that the dress was a little big. The armholes, especially were large. I think they would be large on a 3 month old who’s a little more rotund than Lovebug even. The good thing about this is that as she gets older, she can continue to wear the dress and eventually it will become a tunic that she can wear with leggings or over a little pair of jeans, depending on the fit. I love the idea that she can wear it for so long. We knitters, crocheters, sewers, etc. put so much effort into the things we make, it’s nice to know they’ll be of use for a long time.
I have to mention that I had something very specific in mind when I went searching for buttons. A little back story – when I was little I had a red dress with teddy bears and hearts on it. Although I don’t exactly remember what it looked like, I remember really liking the dress. And it had a little white apron (is that called a frock?) that went over top. The little bears were holding hearts and just something about it made me love it so much. This dress, although wildly different than my dress, reminded me of that dress. No buttons would work unless they were similar to what was on MY dress.
So when I found these little teddy bear buttons and had flashbacks to my childhood, I knew they were perfect for the job. They’re not Christmas-y or even winter-y, which allows this piece of clothing to be worn year round without looking out of place.
I highly recommend this pattern for knitters with little girls in their lives. You’ll love the end result and how effortless it was to get there.
My only regret is that I bound off too loose. I wanted to ensure the hem on the dress wasn’t too tight, especially as Lovebug grew. I achieved that, but in my opinion, the bottom looks less finished than I would like.