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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Charlotte Dress

Could I get any luckier with the adorableness factor of this little model?
 I'm going to start with one of my personal favorites.  This was the first little girl's dress that I designed where I was 100% happy with every aspect of it.  I did it on a challenge to myself: knit something that uses smocking.  I intended to first knit something designed by someone else, but I didn't find anything that interested me.  So I went on You Tube and watched a few videos on smocking.  The technique screamed out for a child's dress, so this idea formed pretty easily.  I used Knit Picks Stroll Tonal Sock Yarn, which I think was a really good match for the pattern.  It is interesting enough to make the marathon of stockinette skirt knitting a little more interesting, but not so varied that it competes with the smocking stitch on the bodice. 

Close-up of the smocked bodice
Another thing I love about the smocking (besides how easy it is to do and how cute it looks) is that it is super-stretchy.  I think this could easily be a two-year- dress for most little girls.  The first year, the arm holes would have to be a little extra-deep and maybe she'd wear a little t-shirt or tank top under the dress so the arm holes weren't a problem.  The second year, she'd grow into  the arm holes and the stretchiness of the bodice would still accommodate her growing chest width.  In this year, she could wear the dress alone and it would be a perfect fit!

I've had some feedback on the pattern that people get suspicious while knitting the skirt.  They think "this skirt is WAY too long to fit my little girl!"  But you have to remember, this dress has an empire waist.  If the skirt doesn't look ridiculously long, your dress is going to turn out as a mini.

So, trust the pattern, have a great time working this bodice (it really is a lot of fun to see the smocking take shape) and make your favorite little girl a very special dress to wear this summer!

The Charlotte Dress pattern can be found here:

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