can I have one too?

The toddler dress has been finished, buttoned, photographed and delivered. I wish I could take all the credit for having it all done in the space of one weekend, but I can’t – I had a lot of help. But let’s take it one step at a time. I have a lot to say about this project!

The yarn I used was Serenada by ISPE Padova, a 50-50 blend of merino and acrylic. While it is listed as fingering, I’d personally classify it as light fingering, and I worked it on 2.5mm needles to get a fabric I was happy with (with 3mm the fabric was too airy, I don’t like cobwebby knits).

When I washed the finished garment, there was a pleasant and an unpleasant surprize. The unpleasant was that the yarn was extremely dirty. I don’t know if it was from sitting on the shelf for too long (Croatian yarn shops do not have the fastest turnover in the world, to put it nicely) or from the dyeing process, but I had to change water (with and without detergent) 5 times before it stopped going all black from dunking the garment in it. On the other hand, when it was finally clean, it blocked out very nicely, looking almost as if I had ironed it. Some of my other experiences with acrylic blends showed them very resistant to blocking, so I was happy that it was not the case with this yarn.

The pattern is Little sister’s dress by Tora Froseth Design. There is a Big sister’s dress pattern too, in larger sizes, but as opposed to this one it is not free, so I chose to modify the free one instead.

I was knitting for a 2-year-old who wears clothes for 3-year-olds. This took a lot of effort. Even finding what the standard measures for a 3-year-old are was extremely difficult: what with different clothing standards and impenetrable size denotations, I was completely lost. After having the child measured, I finally settled on some modifications. I increased the number of cast-on stitches and increase repeats and hoped for the best. I adjusted things as I went along. Unfortunately, it was only after having knit the whole thing that I remembered to compare my target measures with the measures given in the pattern for a 2-year-old. It turns out the pattern writers were also counting on a big 2-year-old. Their measures came out to exactly what I was aiming for. Hello, wasted effort! I am happy, though, with the fact that my dress has a larger neck opening, this will surely come in handy as the toddler grows, and hopefully some day she’ll be able to wear it as a nice pullover without hurting her ears in the process of getting it on. So some good came of it after all.

The pattern itself was very straightforward, easy to memorize and carry around with to work on during commutes and travels. I was pulling it out every chance I got and that was definitely a big plus, since there was a lot of mindless stockinette on tiny needles to be done!

The buttons were custom-made, by her own design, by my friend Maja. She made a bunch of different ones to choose from and I can tell you it took us a while to decide. When I say a while, I mean A WHILE. I’ve already reserved some of the ones we didn’t use for other projects and told her that she’ll need to make more of the ones we did use. I love both the idea and the execution of these, and I’m sure the little girl will love playing with them too!

I learned some crochet techniques with this project too. Firstly, I learned to make a simple crochet edging, which I used on the button band – it looked a lot untidier before the crochet treatment, and I’m happy to now have this technique at my beck and call. I also made little buttonhole loops out of crochet chains, which was super-easy, though of course the most annoying part was sewing them in and securing them. I do hope they stay put.

Finally, the photographs were done by another friend, more of whose work you can find here. This won’t be the end of our collaboration, and I’m looking forward to sharing more soon…

Still here? Well, I told you I had a lot to say! At least no one can tell me now that my blog is all photos, hehe! ;) Have a good week everyone!

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About fridica

I started knitting completely by accident, when I was visiting my parents for a holiday in 2008. On a boring Sunday afternoon, I decided to dig through their stash of books to see if there was anything interesting to take back to my apartment. A knitting manual happened to be one of the books I found. I got curious, my mom immediately dug out her old needles and yarn stash (which she hadn’t used in a decade at least), and in a few minutes we were both casting on - she by memory, I by following the instructions from the book… :) Since I normally prefer learning from books, this was ideal.. I took the book home with me, and very very soon - I was an addict.

52 thoughts on “can I have one too?

  1. Love this pattern! I have made this too and it was fun to do. If you want to see mine I can be found under kramarsic on Ravelry. I think I like yours better with the solid yarn- I used variegated.

    • I was dealing with very toned down parents here so variegated was not an option :) but I do love the solid look of it too. On the other hand, your version makes for one very bright child, I bet the recipient loved it!

  2. I love all your knits, but this is my favourite so far. i might even steal your idea and knit it for my daughter. And the buttons really match your nail polish! Great combo :)

    • Hehe, that’s what happens when the person making the buttons from scratch reads your blog… :) You should totally make it, I think it’s the perfect play dress, just be ready for lots and lots and lots of stockinette… :P

      • I am finishing the dress and I’m supposed to crochet the edges tonight. I haven’t done that before. Where did you find the instructions? Did someone teach you how to do it or, better yet, have you got a link for the instructions?

  3. It is beautiful. I’m glad you managed to make it work, even with the weirdo kids sized (what’s up with that?! I’m trying to knit for a 6 month old who wear 12-18m clothes because she’s so tall. It’s been a nightmare)

    Those buttons really finish the dress off. You’ve got some amazing friends!

  4. LOVE this pattern and the choice of buttons!!! I’m hoping my next grandbaby is a little girl so I can knit one (or more!) of these. Oh…am I getting ahead of myself?? ;-)

  5. This is so cool and modern looking – the colour combo is inspired :). Well done! Any 2 year old should be proud to rock this look!

    • Yeah, maybe. But I’ve NEVER seen that much excess dye, it was crazy. My mom looked at it too and we just couldn’t figure it out. If I ever work with another colour of the same yarn, we’ll have a better clue :)

  6. I love it so much that I want to make one for myself…It would take a while, since I have a lot of projects waiting to be done.
    I adore this buttons!!!!

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