Help! my dress looks like a potato sack!

well, i have just knitted my very first garment. a dress for my 3 year old. i started with the yarn she chose. a lovely lady at a knit shop used a computer program to print out a pattern for me. i wanted a plain, stocking stitch tank dress for the gauge of yarn my daughter chose. i made the dress (and taught myself how to make a funky ruffle for the bottom of it—which looks FAB).

BUT…the neck hole is too small…it took several tries to get it over her head. (but she loves the dress and wont take it off!!! she says she will wear it EVERYDAY!)

other than the tiny head hole…the dress is far too big for her. the tank top straps are too wide, and the dress really does look like a potato sack!

is there a way i can salvage this? or should i tear it apart and start over?

i am considering trying to gather along the shoulder seams to make them sit on her shoulders…but that will be very bulky i think.

—as it is very chunky knit…could i do some kind of gathering along the back waist to give it some shape? (is is supposed to be just above the knees!)

the pattern is clearly not a tank top on top…and really it is just too big.
but she LOVES it (in fact she has gone to preschool today looking like an orphan in a potato sack because she doesnt want to take it off!!! ha ha ha)

any suggestions on how to make this passable are warmly welcomed!

also–does anyone have a tank dress pattern in st st for a 3 year old? perhaps my best solution will be to make her a dress that actually FITs! (as i am on bedrest, i am limited to trying to get patterns on the internet and i have not had much luck finding a simple tank dress)

the yarn my daughter has chosen is 9sts=10cm on 10mm needles. i am using straight needles right now…the next project i will teach myself to use circulars!

thank you so much for any help and suggestions!

ps—doesnt that ruffle look FAB!!! (im super proud of myself for figuring it out…and adding it on after the fact! yippeeeeeee!)

i have heaps of extra yarn, so if i can make another dress, i can tear the top off this one, knit a casing on it and turn it into a long, draw string skirt…? does that sound like my best plan?

i will sit anxiously awaiting some of your kind assistance! thank you in advance!


i hope i posted this correctly…sorry for the length. pics of the dress are below.

She looks darling - and in my experience, 3 yo girls are very particular about what they wear - so long as it’s their favorite color. My nieces have done striped leggings with polka dot dresses.

Here are 2 free patterns I found:

What about this freebie from Berroco?

This one is more like a jumper:

thank you for the links to the patterns! i have saved them on my desk top. if i can work out how to adjust a pattern for a very different gauge yarn they will work! but i love to accumulate patterns…things to try in the future!

thanks again for your reply!

and my daughter would totally wear stripes and polkadots too!


i just realized that i posted this question in a ‘magic loop confusion’ thread.

im not sure how to move it to somewhere more appropriate…is there a way?



I looked in that thread, but don’t see it. :??

hi jan,
my question is called “help! my dress looks like a potato sack”. and it has come up in the thread about magic loop questions.
im brand new to this forum business and dont really know what i am doing! but i am desperate for help with my first project!
thanks for posting to help me.

OH! i just checked again…and perhaps it is in a thread of its own now!? yippee! maybe i will get some suggestions later today! sorry for the confusion.

Yep, it’s in it’s own thread. :thumbsup:

The yarn gauge you mentioned seems to be a very bulky yarn. What is the name of it? You’re going to have a very hard time finding a pattern for a dress in that weight yarn. This pattern that was posted already is in bulky weight, but not quite as bulky as you’ve got. You might be able to knit it in a smaller size and have it fit. :shrug:
It is knit on circular needles though. You really should learn because once you knit on them you’ll never want to seam again. :teehee:

Anyway, if I see anymore I’ll post them.

ETA: if you can get a less bulky yarn… maybe worsted or DK here’s a few cute tank dresses.

I think this dress is absolutly adorable…the top is knit but then the bottom is fabric, sewn on…not sure if you want to fuss with the fabric but I’d thought I’d share.


love it! thank you. will definitely try that one soon!

I think your daughters looks super cute!
As for de-potato sacking the dress, what about knitting a belt to add? It might do the trick of the gathering at the back that you suggested. You could sew in a few loops of yarn to hold the belt in place. Maybe make the belt long enough to tie it into a big bow?

yes! i thought of that too! but she did not like wearing the belt!

so i spent the day experimenting and i have knitted a small tank top to see how it fits her and i think i have the fit right. so i am going to re-knit this dress with this pattern that i have fudged together myself!

i am going to unravel the top of this dress and it into a long skirt…perhaps put some more ruffles on the bottom and give it a spanish flair! (3 yo love dora!)

i have just cast on for the re-make of the dress… i will post pics of the new and improved version when it is done!

thank you for replying!

i have made a proto type for re making this dress. ive done a tank top and i am ok with how the decrease in the arm holes look. i am doing a square neck on it. the straps are 5 stitches in width and the neck is 9 stitches. i am doing the bind off of those 9 stitiches on a knit row. and the bind off rolls forwards (as bind offs do!) but because the yarn is super think and chunky (knobbly really) the bind off does not look nice, it is messy and uneven (the yarn is uneven in thickness) is there a way to make the bind off roll to the back so that it does not look so sloppy?—like the way the arm holes roll in because they are in st st… is there some way to make the bind off do the same to hide the messiness of it?
what happens if i bind off on a purl row but do it in knit stitch…will that make it roll to the inside?
thank you for your help. here is a pic of the tank top proto-type i have fudged together! where i am pointing is the sloppy looking bit i am talking about.

If you know how to single crochet, doing a single crochet edging might fix it.

What kind of bind off did you do? Another possible solution is to do a different kind of bind off. A double crochet bind off might produce a nicer edging (there is a video for it on the cast-off/bind-off page).

If you haven’t blocked it, you might also try that.

thank you! i do not know how to bind off in crochet…but i just looked at the video and i think i can manage that! as these videos have completely taught me how to knit so far… it will be great to try a new technique. thank you very much. i will let you know how it turns out.

well, i stayed up till 1 last night to make the 2nd draft of the dress…and here it is—im much happier with it! thank you for replying to my questions!
:happydance: :happydance:

That is adorable!!! Great job!!!

VERY Cute!

I bet your daughter LOVES it!


she obviously loves it!!!..
she is a cutie :blooby:

she does love it! i had to wrestle it off her tonight–she wanted to wear it to bed!!!

as for the original potato sack dress…ive picked out the top of it and i have added a casing. it is now an ankle length skirt. it was inspired by a picture of dora the explorer that my daughter was coloring the other day! i am in the process of putting a third row of ruffle on the bottom of it!!! it looks really great–very dora-spanish-esque! i will post a pic tomorrow when it is done. this knitting business i a blast! im having so much fun!!!