Sunny days, blooming gardens and sweet cotton fabric were the inspiration for this little girl’s sundress. The bodice is knitted in DK-weight cotton, then a skirt made from lightweight fabric is sewn on, speeding you over the finish line so you can enjoy the nice weather, too! Extend the life of the dress by wearing it over a long-sleeve T on cooler days.
Finished chest sizes 24.5 (26.5 28.5)” to fit toddler/girl’s size 2-4 (4-6, 6-8)
Approx. 2” of ease is suggested, although the ribbed waist gives much flexibility in fit
Shown in size 6-8
Westminster Fibers/Nashua Handknits Creative Focus Cotton DK (100% mercerized cotton; 118 yards [108 meters]/50 grams): 0770 Hot Pink (MC), 2 (3, 3) balls; 0258 Sky Blue (CC), 1 ball
1 yd. lightweight cotton quilting fabric (shown in Westminster Fibers/Kaffe Fassett Fabrics Pink Daisy)
US#4 (3.5 mm): 16 or 24” circular, or size needed to get gauge
US#3 (3.25 mm): 16” circular, or one size smaller than above
24 sts and 36 rows = 4” in St st using larger needles.
Removable markers; stitch holders (optional); tapestry needle; thread; sewing needle; straight pins
sk4tog: Sl next 4 sts , one at a time, as if to knit; insert left needle into the front of all 4 sts and knit them together
Bodice is knitted in the round, from the bottom to armholes; then the front and back are knit back-and-forth separately. Remember to switch the even/WS rows to P when you discontinue working in the round and begin knitting back-and-forth.
The fabric is seamed to form a circle, then sewn to the bottom of the bodice to create the skirt.
Heart Eyelet Panel (over 10 rows; mult of 12 plus 3)
Rnd/Row 1: K2, *yo, k2tog, k3, yo, k1, yo, k3, skpsso, yo, k1, rep from * to last st, k1.
Rnd/Row 2 & all even-numbered rnds/rows: K when knitting in the rnd; P when knitting back-and-forth.
Rnd/Row 3: K2, *k1, yo, k4tog, yo, k3, yo, sk4tog, yo, k2, rep from * to last st, k1.
Rnd/Row 5: K2, *k1, k2tog, yo, k5, yo, skpsso, k2, rep from * to last st, k1.
Rnd/Row 7: K2, *k2tog, yo, k7, yo, skpsso, k1, rep from * to last st, k1.
Rnd/Row 9: K1, k2tog, *yo, k9, yo, sl 1/k2tog/psso, rep from *, end last rep skpsso, k1.
Rnd/Row 10: As 2.
Using larger needles, CO 74 (80, 86) sts (for back), pm (for left side edge), CO 23 (26, 29) sts (for left side of front), pm, CO 27 (27, 27) (center panel with heart motif), pm, CO 23 (26, 29) (for right side of front), pm of a different color to show beg of rnd/right side edge. 147 (159, 171) sts
Join for knitting in the rnd, being careful not to twist.
K 5 rnds.
For first & third sizes – Next rnd: P2 *k2, p2, rep from * to first marker, sl m, **k2, p2, rep from ** to 3 (–, 5) sts bef next marker, k3 (–, 5), sl m, work Rnd 1 of Heart Eyelet Pattern, sl m, k3 (–, 5), ***p2, k2, rep from *** to end.
For second size – Next rnd: *P2, k2, rep from * to first marker, sl m, p2, **k2, p2, rep from ** to 4 sts before next marker, k4, sl m, work Rnd 1 of Heart Eyelet Pattern, sl m, k4, ***p2, k2, rep from *** to end.
All sizes continue here
Rep above rnd, keeping pattern correct, and working sequential rows of Heart Eyelet pattern, until bodice measures approx. 4 (4.5, 5) in. from beg, ending on Rnd 6 of Heart Eyelet Pattern.
Divide for front and back
You will be working on first 74 (80, 86) sts (back sts) only, discontinuing ribbing and working in st st. Place rem sts on waste yarn or a spare needle while you work back sts only.
Row 1 (RS): BO 3 sts, k to end.
Row 2 (WS): BO 3 sts, p to end. 68 (74, 80) sts
Next row (RS): K2, ssk, k to last 4 sts, k2tog, k to end.
Next row (WS): P.
Rep these 2 rows 1 (2, 3) more times. 64 (68, 72 sts)
Work w/o further dec until armhole measures 4 (4.5, 5)”, ending with a WS row.
Next row (RS): BO5, k to end.
Row 2: BO5, p to end. 54 (58, 62) sts
Next row: BO 4 (5, 5) sts, k8 (8, 9) sts needle, place rem sts on left needle on holder, and work on these sts only.
Next row (WS): BO 4 sts, p to end.
Next row: BO rem sts.
With RS facing, rejoin yarn, k30 (32, 34) sts and place these sts on a holder, k to end.
Working on rem 12 (13, 14) sts only, BO 4 (5, 5) sts, p to end.
Next row: BO 2 sts, k to end.
BO rem sts.
With RS of front facing, rejoin yarn; BO 3 sts, k to m, work Row 7 of pattern, sl m, k to end.
Next row (WS): BO 3 sts, p to marker, work next row of pattern, sl m, p to end. 67 (73, 79) sts
Next row (RS): K2, ssk, k to m, work next row of pattern, sl m, work to last 4 sts, k2tog, k to end; 2 sts dec’d
Next row (WS): P
Rep these 2 rows 1 (2, 3) more times. 63 (67, 71) sts
Cont working in this fashion, w/o further decreases, keeping pattern correct, until you have completed Row 6 of the Heart Eyelet pattern.
K 16 (18, 19), leaving remaining sts on spare needle, and turn.
Work in St st until shoulder is same length as back up to beg of shoulder shaping, ending WS row.
BO 4 (5, 5), k to end.
P 1 row.
BO 4 (5, 5) sts, k to end.
BO 4 sts, p to end.
BO rem sts.
With RS facing, rejoin yarn and BO center 31 (31, 33) sts, leaving 16 (18, 19) sts on left needle.
K to end.
BO 4 (5, 5), p to end.
BO 4 (5, 5) sts, p to end.
BO 4 sts, k to end.
BO rem sts.
Block as desired. Sew shoulder seams tog.
Using CC & smaller circ needle, pick up and knit approx. 58 (64, 70) sts around armhole. Place marker to show beg of rnd and join for knitting in the rnd.
P 1 rnd; K 1 rnd.
P 1 rnd. BO kwise.
Rep for other armhole.
Using CC & smaller circ needle, and beg at left shoulder, pick up and knit 2 sts, k 30 (32, 34) sts from holder, pick up and knit 2 sts across shoulder, 12 (15, 18) sts down left side of neckline, 31 (31, 33) sts across neckline, 12 (15, 18) sts up right side of neckline. Place marker to show beg of rnd and join for knitting in the rnd. 91 (97, 107) sts
P 1 rnd.
Next rnd: K 45 (50, 55), k2tog, k29 (29, 31), k2tog, k to end.
P 1 rnd, then BO all sts k-wise.
Weave in ends.
Prewash fabric if desired, and iron. Laying fabric out with selvedges running vertically, cut fabric into half across the horizontal. Place one piece of fabric face down on the other, lining up selvedges and making sure that patterns are aligned the same way. Sew 5/8 inch seam on each selvedge edge to create skirt. Align each seam with the side of the knitted bodice. Using basting stitch or pinning by hand (whichever you prefer), attach skirt to bodice, creating gathers evenly. Adjust if necessary, then carefully sew by hand or using machine. Remove pins or basting stitches. Hem to desired length.
About the Designer: Carol J. Sulcoski
Carol J. Sulcoski is the author of Knit So Fine and Knitting Socks With Handpainted Yarns (both published by Interweave Press), and she has designed for Knitty.com; Big Girl Knits; JCA/Reynolds; and KnitScene. She blogs at Go Knit In Your Hat, where her “No-Bull Book Reviews” are a popular feature. She is proprietress of Black Bunny Fibers, where she sells handdyed yarns and spinning fiber.
Text and images © 2009 by Carol J. Sulcoski.