Sometimes I force myself out of my ‘knitting comfort zone’ and try to knit something a little bit harder than cute bows so I can learn new techniques. This often leads to a lot of frustration and the result is not always satisfying, but sometimes it turns out to be a lot easier than I initially thought.
When I picked up my needles again a few years ago, I was given a huge folder of Creative Knitting patterns from the 80s which mostly featured – no surprise here – oversized jumpers). As a beginner at the time, the idea of trying to follow any of these patterns just terrified me! So the folder had been gathering dust in my knitting room ever since until a few months ago when, while tidying up my room, I flicked through the pages and came across this cute pinafore dress. I loved the style and decided to give it a go!
I wasn’t a big fan of the motif and, in order to make this dress a ‘Julie’ dress (as my friend Shivani would say), I went for a nautical theme instead and also changed the top design. I charted some anchors, looked for cute buttons in my stash, ordered some lovely yarn and I was ready to go!
I would have linked to the original pattern but I couldn’t find it online. So I have typed it below and included my tweaks . If you’re a beginner yourself when it comes to knitting clothing, do not worry, this is actually super easy.
– Pair of 3.25mm (US 3), 4mm (US 6) & 4.5mm (US 7) straight knitting needles
– DK acrylic & nylon yarn in navy, red and white – I used Sirdar Snuggly DK Light Navy (224), Flamenco (242) & White (251)
– Tapestry needle
– 2 buttons
To fit chest approx. 46cm
Skirt width 65cm & length 17cm
22 stitches and 30 rows to 10cm in stocking stitch on 4mm (US size 6) needles.
K – Knit
P – Purl
P2tog – Purl 2 stitches together
RS – Right Side
WS – Wrong Side
– Using 3.25mm needles and navy yarn, cast on 142 stitches.
– Beginning with a Knit row, work 5 rows in stocking stitch.
– K1 row to form the fold line.
– Beginning with a Knit row, work 4 rows in stocking stitch.
Anchor Pattern: Change to 4.5mm needles and work the pattern using the Intarsia technique and stocking stitch – follow the written instructions or the chart (I’m a big fan of charts).
I know this looks pretty tiny, so you can get the (bigger) PDF chart here.
N=Navy – R=Red – W=White
ROW 1: K8N, *6R, 11N, 6W, 11N, repeat from * 3 times, K6R, 11N, 6W, 9N.
ROW 2: P7N, *2W, 1N, 2W, 1N, 2W, 9N, 2R, 1N, 2R, 1N, 2R, 9N, repeat from * 3times, P2W, 1N, 2W, 1N, 2W, 9N,
2R, 1N, 2R, 1N, 2R, 7N.
ROW 3: K6N, *2R, 2N, 2R, 2N, 2R, 7N, 2W, 2N, 2W, 2N, 2W, 7N, repeat from * 3 times, K2R, 2N, 2R, 2N, 2R, 7N,
2W, 2N, 2W, 2N, 2W, 7N.
ROW 4: P6N, *4W, 1N, 2W, 1N, 4W, 5N, 4R, 1N, 2R, 1N, 4R, 5N, repeat from * 3 times, P4W, 1N, 2W, 1N, 4W,
5N, 4R, 1N, 2R, 1N, 4R, 5N.
ROW 5: K6N, *1R, 3N, 2R, 3N, 1R, 7N, 1W, 3N, 2W, 3N, 1W, 7N, repeat from * 3 times, K1R, 3N, 2R, 3N, 1R, 7N,
1W, 3N, 2W, 3N, 1W, 7N.
ROW 6: P11N, *2W, 15N, 2R, 15N, repeat from * 3 times, P2W, 15N, 2R, 10N.
ROW 7: K10N, *2R, 15N, 2W, 15N, repeat from * 3 times, K2R, 15N, 2W, 11N.
ROW 8: P8N, *8W, 9N, 8R, 9N, repeat from * 3 times, P8W, 9N, 8R, 7N.
ROW 9: K10N, *2R, 15N, 2W, 15N, repeat from * 3 times, K2R, 15N, 2W, 11N.
ROW 10: P10N, *1W, 2N, 1W, 13N, 1R, 2N, 1R, 13N, repeat from * 3 times, P1W, 2N, 1W, 13N, 1R, 2N, 1R, 9N.
ROW 11: K9N, *1R, 2N, 1R, 13N, 1W, 2N, 1W, 13N, repeat from * 3 times, K1R, 2N, 1R, 13N, 1W, 2N, 1W, 10N.
ROW 12: P11N, *2W, 15N, 2R, 15N, repeat from * 3 times, P2W, 15N, 2R, 10N.
Change to 4mm needles – you will only use navy yarn for the rest of the pattern:
– Beginning with a Knit row, work in stocking stitch until the skirt measures 19cm from cast-on edge, ending with a Knit row.
– P2, *P2tog, P2, repeat from * to the last 4 stitches, P2tog, P2. 107 stitches.
Waistband Change to 3.25mm needles:
– RIB ROW 1: K1, *P1, K1, repeat from * to end.
– RIB ROW 2: P1, *K1, P1, repeat from * to end.
– Repeat these 2 rows for 2.5cm, ending with rib row 2.
Shape for bib:
– Cast off in rib 39 stitches at the beginning of the next 2 rows. 29 stitches.
Change to 4mm needles:
– Knit to end.
– K4, Purl to last 4 stitches, K4.
– Repeat these 2 rows until the bib measure 7.5cm from the beginning of shaping, ending with a RS row.
– Work in seed stitch for the next 4 rows – *K1, P1, repeat from * to end, K1.
Knit the straps (I knitted them in garter but wish I had done in seed stitch to make them even cuter!):
– K7, cast off 15 stitches, K to end.
– K7, turn your work and leave the other set of 7 stitches on a holder.
– Work in garter stitch until the strap measures 23cm.
– Cast off.
– Repeat this with the other strap.
– Join the centre back seam of the skirt.
– Fold the hem to WS along the fold line and slipstitch into place.
– Make a buttons loop at the end of each strap.
– Crossing the straps over at the back, sew on (cute) buttons to the waistband to correspond with button loops.
Oh I would love to make an adult size sailor dress. One day maybe!
And do let me know in the comments what patterns you’d like to see next :)
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