Toddler dress - knit

Looking for a relatively simple toddler dress to knit for 2 darling little girls… my husband’s great niece and my great niece… One is going on 2 and the other is just about 1 year old.
Way back when my daughter was born (she’s now in her 40’s), my Mom knit her a lovely little red dress that she wore from dress to top. I still have the dress and love it so much.
I doubt I can knit one like it as it had little pleats and some fancy work on the front bodice but I would love to make one that is fairly plain… has a nice bodice and cap sleeves and just as sweet as can be.
Anyone got any ideas?
TEMA :knitting:

That’s such a nice idea. Here are a few that maybe come close:

Came across one other in my favorites on Rav:

You could do as much of the lace at the hem as you like but the little heart is so sweet.

The Sweet Sweater Dress, Pattern # 90363AD
Lion Brand… Amazing
I knit this dress flat in 2 pieces. The skirt was knit on size 5mm needles, the bodice on 3.5 mm needles… the first time, that is…
I loved the yarn I chose. Loops & Threads, Impeccable… a sweet rosy pink for a little girl.
The gauge on the pattern was 18sts/24 rows… same for Impeccable.
The pattern says to knit 4 rows and then do til the skirt is 10" from Beg. The problem was, with only 4 rows of knit, the bottom of the skirt curls up and I can’t get it to lay down.
The top of the dress was added after you bound off the skirt. Then you pick up and knit the BO sts on the smaller needle. The pattern doesn’t seem to want me to change to larger needles anywhere on the top so it was knit on size 3.5 mm.
The top looked a bit small to me… especially the little straps but I thought it would be okay because I am supposed to pick up and knit and bind off around the neckline, after I attachéd the two pieces (front and back of the dress) at the rt shoulder. That would make the shoulders look bigger.
Okay… so I finished the knitting, joined the pieces at the rt shoulder but it didn’t work out. Was I knitting the finishing round too tight? I don’t know. It pulled the knitting on the top part out of shape and there was nothing that I saw in the pattern that said I was to add anything at the corners so they pulled.
I’ve taken the dress top apart twice now… and knit it back together trying something different for the finishing of the piece. Nothing seems to be working. The dress looks awful!
The pattern looks so cute with a nice little wide skirt and a narrow top… and that is emphasized by the binding off and re-attaching of the yarn in the middle of the dress.
I really don’t feel like doing it again… not if I can’t find a solution and so far, I haven’t. I tried some crochet around the neck but it looked awful.
Any words of wisdom for me?
TEMA :frog: :frog:

I wouldn’t worry too much about the bodice or straps looking small. Children have such tiny shoulders.
Check that the dimensions of the dress, especially the size of the neck, armholes and bodice, match or come close to the schematic.
If picking up the given number of sts pulls in the neck, then pick up more sts. You can pick up 3sts (or more if you need to) for every 4 rows at the edge and 1st for every bound off column of sts. You can pick up 2 or 3sts at the corners so that the neck lies flat. Maybe it would also help to pick up sts with a larger needle?
I like the idea of crocheting around the neck and armholes. Even a simple single crochet will finish off those edges. Since I’m a perfectly awful crocheter, I tend to go for the knit edge.

Thanks for your help, Salmonmac!
I finally went back to the pattern, looking at the neck edge in particular and I realized I had done it wrong. I should have divided the neck edge up into equal parts and picked up as many sts as was required in each part to make sure the whole thing was done evenly throughout.
It seemed a hard task but, in the end, it was worth it, the neck edge came out nice and even. Then I did the armholes. The pattern called for 70 sts to be picked up there… totally impossible so I did what a could do, dividing the armholes in half and putting 32 pick up sts on each side. It was a tight fit but when they were finished, it didn’t look bad at all.
So now, the only problem that remains is the bottom of the dress with it’s curling hem. :think:
TEMA :slight_smile: :knitting:

I finally figured out how to make the dress turn in instead of out at the bottom.
I picked up the sts I had c.o. to start the little dress, by poking my needle thru to the bar underneath, picking it up and knitting that. I also used a smaller needle and did garter st. Now the dress looks great (if I ever figure out how to post a picture of it on here, I will do so). I added 3 flower buttons to the front to fancy it up and the hem turns in nicely. The decision has been made as to who gets it - my little grand niece in Calgary who just learned to walk and what a happy baby she is! So cute!
Thank you for sticking with me on this one and making it all come out right.
Hugs, TEMA

I’m so happy that you worked it out!
Jan’s instructions will help you post a photo. We’d love to see this little dress.