Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dress Up

I bought Meg a cute and simple knit dress at Value Village and figured I could use it as a template to make her more. Just before that, someone in one of the Yahoo machine knitting groups I'm in asked about making a sideways knitted skirt. I spelled out how I would do it, and I was really intrigued with actually trying it out. I tried several ways of doing short row wedges to get the flare of the lower edge. Then I measured out her dress and wanted to make a paper pattern for my knit contour. I initially wanted to do the entire dress in one piece. However, even though she's just a girl, the skirt would be too long to graph--the length is the width when you do it sideways and it was too wide for the narrow contour paper. Just the skirt itself was too long (wide when knitted) to chart out. And it would be challenging to graph out. So I opted to just graph the top and the sleeve (oh, that was fun!), and knit the skirt sideways without a pattern.To make the skirt, I did some math. Yeah, lots of math in knitting! Then, I put all but the bottom two sts in hold, and started doing short rows, putting 4 sts back in work each time, and not wrapping the out of work needle so that there'd be the tiniest little hole (for detail, and for speed, LOL). Originally I was going to do 2sts each time, but the math indicated that would make the skirt extremely wide at the bottom. I didn't go all the way up to the waist with the short rows, as I wanted it flat over the belly. However, I think her shape might work better with the wedges going all the way up. I think a much more full skirt would be more youthful, too.

Then I knit the bodice, using the knit contour pattern. I don't remember if I did the sleeves next or the waistband. I know that while I was trying to chart the sleeves, I realized I could have just used the knit contour pattern that came with the machine for a child's sweater with set in sleeves! Oh well, the sleeves did fit in the end.

The waistband/casing is taken directly from "Window Dressing", the beige bathing suit coverup I made and showed again in the last post. I wanted a casing so I could put in ribbon or elastic if needed, but it didn't need it. I think it ended up being a bit more work than necessary for the dress (and also because I was tired when I was doing it and that's never good).You can see where the stitches become 'horizontal' for the skirt. That took many attempts to get the right pattern of stitches to pick up. I tried basic math at first, but that didn't work, so I tried the general row to stitch ratio and that didn't work. Sadly, I should have written down what finally did work. I think I picked up two rows, skipped a row, then three rows, skipped a row...You For around the neckline, I did a simple single crochet. I don't always have good luck with this, usually ending up with it pulled in or flared out. But it turned out good. The front neckline actually already laid flat, but the back neck edge did curl where it was cast off.
Finally, to finish it off, I did a 'worm trim' around the bottom, using 3 sts and 10 rows and skipping two rows between each loop.

I wasn't sure about the sizing on the bodice, and adding the casing. As a result, the casing is lower than originally planned, but this means as she grows, the dress will just become empire waist. There actually is less flare in the skirt than I wanted, but the math worked out good for 10 wedges, 30 straight rows between them (for a total of 300 rows at the waist, and I'm not sure off hand how many around the bottom; I think that's written down if anyone's interested). Combine with Meg's physique and the pale, dusty pink colour, I think the dress makes her look like a Ukranian mother of the bride. But she loves it.

Oh, and the dress is made from Tamm Diamante, T7 on the Singer 327. I haven't weighed it, but there's still a lot of yarn left on the cone. Plus, I have another full cone of the yarn in a co-ordinating white/purple/pink....

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

She's so cute! That color is really sweet on her, though I can see what you're saying about the flares going all the way up instead of only to the knee. It will look more youthful that way. ps..."Ukrainian mother of the bride?" LOL!