... Knitting | Patterns

Mayhem & Old Lace Baby Dress

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    • A fully-tested knitting pattern
    • Step-by-step photos for unusual stitches
    • Close-up photos of pattern details and options
    • Measurements in inches (imperial) with metric conversions

    Pattern paper format: only US letter


    This lacy cotton dress with a bit of old world charm will keep your little one cool and chic on a summer day! Named after our charismatic niece/daughter Mayhem, it makes a wonderful special occasion dress and a great gift.

    The dress is worked in the round from bottom to top, with straps knit last, and uses two lace patterns: a simple and traditional all-over pattern for the skirt and a more elaborate lace edging. It’s higher waisted in the smaller sizes and longer waisted for larger sizes, with ways to modify the length of the chevron bodice and/or lace skirt noted.

    This pattern is a knitted version of Charissa Pray’s Infant Darling Danger Dress crochet pattern, developed in cooperation with her.

    Our dresses were knit in Pakucho Organic Cotton Worsted, at 88 yds./50 g, and Knit Picks Simply Cotton Organic Worsted, at 164 yds./100 g, both heavy worsted. The yardage will depend on the size you are making, as estimated below, as well as your yarn weight. We recommend buying a little extra just to be sure you have enough.

    Sizes: 0-3 months (3-6m, 6-12m, 12-18m, 18-24m).

    Difficulty: Intermediate (skills include paired increases and decreases of different types, including TECHknitter’s SYTK, purling 15 sts together, I-cord, and grafting).

    Gauge: Approx. 15 sts and 28 rows = 4 in. (10cm) in stockinette for all sizes except Sz. 18-24m. For Sz. 18-24m, approx. 16 sts and 24 rows = 4 in. (10cm) in stockinette. Please check your gauge.

    Needle: Sz. 8 (5mm) needle for all sizes except Sz. 18-24m, for which you could use a Sz. 9 (5.5mm), or use needle size needed to obtain gauge. We prefer using a 40” (100cm) or 47” (120cm) circular needle for the entire project and pulling it into “magic loop” ears when the stitches being knitted don’t require the entire length of cable, but use double pointed needles and/or circular needles of any size as you prefer and as works for you!

    Other Tools Needed: tapestry needle to weave in ends; 1 stitch marker; 4 small stitch holders for holding the strap sts.; scissors; and a tape measure!

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    Materials you need at home:

    • Sz. 0-3 months: 16” bodice/chest at widest point, 14” length including straps: 150-200 yds. (137-183m) heavy worsted/aran weight cotton yarn
    • Sz. 3-6 months: 17” chest, 15.5” length: 200-250 yds. (183-229m) heavy worsted/aran weight cotton yarn
    • Sz. 6-12 months: 18” chest, 16.5” length: 250-300 yds. (229-274m) heavy worsted/aran weight cotton yarn
    • Sz. 12-18 months: 19” chest, 17.5” length: 300-350 yds. (274-320m) heavy worsted/aran weight cotton yarn
    • Sz. 18-24 months: 20” chest, 18.5” length: 370-420 yds. (338-384m) heavy worsted/aran weight cotton yarn