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Free Knitting and Crochet Patterns from Elaine Phillips

Best Sunday Baby Dress

Difficulty level: *** Intermediate

Free Baby Dress Knitting Pattern

This charming little dress was designed and knitted for my granddaughter. I called it the "Best Sunday Dress" because it really seems to me just a little too fancy to wear everyday! It is knitted seamlessly from the top down. The top features comfy raglan-style sleeves. I debated between putting the buttons on the front or on the back, and decided to put them on the front for a more traditional look. The skirt is formed with repeats of a lace motif that gives it a wavy texture. It should be easy to adjust to make it longer or shorter. Shorter might be better for a more active infant or toddler!

Skills Required/Techniques Used:
-Knit & purl, cast on & bind off
-Increasing: yarn over (YO), make 1 (m1)
-Decreasing: knit 2 together (k2tog
-Working in the round on circular needles
-Working lace patterns
-Picking up stitches
-Basic crocheting: chain (ch)

Sizes: 12 (18, 24)

Materials: Knit Picks (affiliate link) Simply Cotton Organic Sport weight yarn (164 yards (150 meters) / 50 grams, 100% cotton), color white 2 balls and blue 1.25 balls

Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) circular needles OR SIZE NEEDED TO OBTAIN GAUGE

Gauge: 22 sts x 32 rows = 4" x 4" (10cm x 10cm) in stockinette st.

Notions:
yarn needle, 4 stitch markers, 4 small buttons, sewing needle and thread of matching color, crochet hook 3 mm.

Abbreviations:
k - knit
p - purl
k2tog - knit 2 together
pu&k- pick up and knit
yo - yarn over
m1 - make 1 increase - make a backward loop over the right-hand needle and in the next row/round purl/knit as a regular stitch.
st, sts - stitch, stitches
RS - right side
WS - wrong side
sm - slip marker
pm - place marker
rm - remove marker
sc - single crochet
ch - chain

Pattern Notes:

Garter stitch in rows: all rows knit

Garter stitch in rounds:
Round 1: knit
Round 2: purl
Repeat 2 rounds.

Stockinette in rows:
Row 1 (RS): knit
Row 2: purl
Repeat 2 rows.

Lace Pattern in rounds:

The lace pattern is worked as a 6-round repeat, the first repeat has 7 sts, which increases to 17 sts in the last repeat, which allows to widen the skirt.
Five rounds of lace are worked in the same way: rounds 1, 3, 4 and 6 knit, round 2 purl. All changes are worked in the 5th round of the 6-round repeat.
Every fifth round of the repeat will be described in the pattern below.

Raglan increases are worked with yarn over before and after the marked raglan stitches in each right side (RS) row: yo, sm, k1 (raglan st), yo. There are 4 raglan lines, thus the number of stitches in each RS row is increased by 8.

Selvedge/edge stitches are worked as follows: knit the first stitch in a row, purl the last one.

Button Bands (bb) are worked in garter stitch on 3 stitches in the beginning and in the end of each row.

The button holes are made on the right button band in RS rows 3, 11, 19, 27 (RS) as follows: knit as established till last 4 sts: yo, k2tog, k1, p1.


Short overview of the pattern

The dress is worked top-down, the yoke is worked back and forth with button bands on the front. The yoke is worked in stockinette with raglan increases; the short sleeves are worked in stockinette, in rounds on dpn or short circular needles, the skirt is worked in a wave-like lace pattern in rounds.

DRESS

Yoke

With white yarn and circular needles cast on 60 stitches and work 2 rows in garter stitch - both rows knit.

Check the stitches and place markers: 1 selvedge - 3 left button band (bb) - 9 left front - 1 raglan (place a marker before this st) - 6 left sleeve - 1 raglan (place the second marker before this st) - 18 back - 1 raglan (place third marker before this st) - 6 right sleeve - 1 raglan (place forth marker before this st) - 9 right front - 3 bb - 1 selvedge

Row 3 (and 11, 19, 27 RS rows with button holes, increase rows): *knit till marker, yo, sm, k1, yo, repeat from * 4 times, knit till last 4 sts, yo, k2tog, k1, p1. + 8 sts

Row 4 (WS and all WS rows): k4, purl to last 4 sts, k 3 (bb), p 1 (selvedge).

Row 5 (RS and all RS rows without button holes, increase rows): *knit till marker, yo, sm, k1, yo, repeat from * 4 times, knit till last 4 sts, k3, st, p1. + 8 sts

Work 32 (34, 36) rows. In each RS row increase the number of stitches by 8.

Stitch count after each raglan increase:
Row 3 = 68 sts
Row 5 = 76 sts
Row 7 = 84 sts
Row 9 = 92 sts
Row 11 = 100 sts
Row 13 = 108 sts
Row 15 = 116 sts
Row 17 = 124 sts
Row 19 = 132 sts
Row 21 = 140 sts
Row 23 = 148 sts
Row 25 = 156 sts
Row 27 = 164 sts
Row 29 = 172 sts
Row 31 = 180 sts

Size 18:
Row 33 = 188 sts

Size 24:
Row 35 = 196 sts

Size 12: left front 28 sts - 1 raglan - left sleeve 36 sts - 1 raglan - back 48 sts - 1 raglan - right sleeve 36 sts - 1 raglan - right front 28 sts

Size 18: left front 29 sts - 1 raglan - left sleeve 38 sts - 1 raglan - back 50 sts - 1 raglan - right sleeve 38 sts - 1 raglan - right front 29 sts

Size 24: left front 30 sts - 1 raglan - left sleeve 40 sts - 1 raglan - back 52 sts - 1 raglan - right sleeve 40 sts - 1 raglan - right front 30 sts


Divide for bodice and sleeves:

Size 12:

Row 33 (RS) remove markers: k 29 (left front and the first raglan stitch), transfer the left sleeve 36 sts to a piece of waste yarn, cast on 4 sts for the underarm, k 50 (48 back stitches and 2 stitches of the second and third raglan), transfer the right sleeve 36 sts to a piece of waste yarn, cast on 4 sts, k 28 (right front and the forth raglan st), p1. = 116 sts

Size 18:

Row 35 (RS) remove markers: k 29 (left front), yo, rm, k1 (raglan), transfer the left sleeve 38 sts to a piece of waste yarn, rm, cast on 4 sts for the underarm, k1 (raglan), yo, k 50 of the back, yo, rm, k1 (raglan), transfer the right sleeve 38 sts to a piece of waste yarn, cast on 4 sts, rm, k1 (raglan), yo, k 28, p1 (right front). = 124 sts

Size 24:

Row 37 (RS) remove markers: k 30 (left front) , yo, rm, k1(raglan), transfer the left sleeve 40 sts to a piece of waste yarn, rm, cast on 4 sts for the underarm, k1 (raglan), yo, k 52 of the back, yo, rm, k1 (raglan), transfer the right sleeve 40 sts to a piece of waste yarn, cast on 4 sts, rm, k1 (raglan), yo, k 29, p1 (right front). = 128 sts.

Row 34 (36, 38) (WS) k 4, purl all sts to last 4, k3, p1.

Row 35 (37, 39, RS, closing work into round): knit to the last 4 sts, transfer the last 4 (right bb) to a spare needle, position the spare needle over the beginning 4 sts (left bb), knit the first sts from both needles together, then the second sts together, third and fourth. Knit to the underarm, knit the first 2 sts of the underarm. Place the marker after the 2 underarm sts, this will the beginning of the round. = 112 (120, 124) sts

The eyelet round (technically it's the first round, but for convenience, we call it the eyelet round): *k2 tog, yo -repeat across the round.

Round 1 (with blue yarn): this is the first round of the lace pattern repeat. Knit.

Round 2: purl

Round 3: knit this round and carefully check the number of stitches, it should be divided by 7!

For size 12 you have 112 sts for 16 repeats.

For size 18 you need 119 sts for 17 repeats. You have 120 sts, so k2tog once in an underarm area.

For size 24 you need 126 sts for 18 repeats. Increase by 2 sts evenly (1 st near each underarm)

Rounds 4 and 6: knit

Round 5: *k2tog, (yo, k1) 3 times, yo, k2tog - repeat from * 16 (17, 18) times

Work next 6 rounds (7-12) with white yarn:

Note: the first figure in the numeration below shows the number of the round of your work, the second number shows the round of the pattern repeat, e.g. 7/1 means that you work the 7th round and it's the first round of the lace pattern repeat.

Rounds 7/1, 9/3, 10/4, 12/6: knit

Round 8/2: purl

Round 11/5: * k2tog, (k 1, yo) 4 times, k1, k2tog - repeat from * 16 (17, 18) times

Work next 6 rounds (13-18) with blue yarn:

Rounds 13/1, 15/3, 16/4, 18/6: knit

Round 14/2: purl

Round 17/5: *k2tog, k2, (yo, k 1) 4 times, k1, k2tog - repeat from * 16 (17, 18) times,

Work next 6 rounds (19-24) with white yarn:

Rounds 19/1, 21/3, 22/4, 23/6: knit

Round 20/2: purl

Round 23/5: *k2tog 2 times, (yo, k 1) 5 times, yo, k2tog 2 times - repeat from * 16 (17, 18) times

Work next 6 rounds (25-30) with blue yarn:

Rounds 25/1,27/3,28/4,30/6: knit

Round 26/2: purl

Round 29/5: *k2tog 2 times, (k1, yo) 6 times, k1, k2tog 2 times - repeat from * 16 (17, 18) times

Work next 6 rounds (31-36) with white yarn:

Rounds 31/1, 33/3, 34/4, 36/6: knit

Round 32/2: purl

Round 35/5: * k2tog 3 times, (yo, k1) 5 times, yo, k2tog 3 times - repeat from * 16 (17, 18) times

Repeat rounds 31-36 for sizes 18 and 24 to desired length. Change colors every 6 rows.

To finish the hem, work 4 rounds in garter stitch and bind off.


Sleeve

Sleeves are worked in the round.

Transfer 36 (38, 40) sts from waste yarn to needles. With blue yarn:

Round 1: pu&k 4 sts underarm, knit 36 (38, 40). Place a marker between 2 and 2 underarm sts, this is the beginning of the round.

Rounds 2 and 4: purl

Rounds 3 and 5: knit. Bind off.


Finishing

Weave in the yarn ends. Sew buttons to the left button band.

Crochet chain using 2 threads (white and blue) 40” (100 cm) long. Thread into the eyelet row.

Enjoy!


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Comments

There are 11 total comments on this article.

Leave a comment about the article.
Poster: Brook
January 19, 2019

I'm making this for my niece. Im following the 18 month pattern but I'm not sure how long I should make the skirt. I can't ask for measurements because it's a surprise. Any advice on how long to make it would be greatly appreciated.
Poster: Shelagh
May 28, 2018

Cast on the same # of stitches for all three sizes? I made this through the second round of lace, but tore it out because it was coming out quite large. For 12 months old, should I cast on fewer stitches from the start? Thank you for any help.
Poster: Elaine Phillips
June 17, 2018

The size of the baby/toddler neck is pretty much the same. That is why the number of cast on stitches is the same. The difference is in the number of rows and increases in the yoke.
Poster: Shelagh
June 21, 2018

Thank you. I'm starting again. Love this sweet pattern.

S.
Poster: Knotty Knitwit
April 21, 2018

What lace pattern did you use? the link doesn't work
Poster: Jacqulyn Bacci
October 24, 2017

Very satisfying top down dress to knit! Pretty easy to follow. Came out very cute.
Poster: Mommy T
October 22, 2016

My daughter looked a dream in this for her first birthday! So lovely.
Poster: Fredaline
October 21, 2017

Hi
I want to knit this dress but can't download or copy pattern. What am I doing wrong?
Poster: Connie Collins
June 23, 2019

Can you email me a copy of this dress pattern. I am unable to download one.

Thanks, Connie
Poster: Frances
October 10, 2016

I knit for alot of people and just follow size on pattern that usually does , but you can always ask mommy to measure for you if its not a surprise of course , happy knitting
View All Comments (11)

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Difficulty Level:3-Intermediate
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Yarn Weight:Sport
Yarn Brand:Knit Picks

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