Thursday, June 12, 2008

Flora Dress

Completed: June 2008

Pattern: my own

Notes: This dress is knit from the top down and uses a bit of shirring in the bodice to ensure a good fit. The bodice is done in dot stitch, which reminds me of a flower center. The top of each "petal" in the skirt has slip-stitch and eyelet detailing. The petal tips and lace inserts are adapted from the Hemlock Ring Blanket.

Additional sizes added on 6/13/08. Edited 6/24/08 to correct error in Chart A.

3-6 mo, to fit 15-17" chest
9-12 mo, to fit 17-19" chest
2 yrs, to fit 19-21" chest
4 yrs, to fit 21-23" chest
6 yrs, to fit 23-25" chest

Chest: 16[18,20,22,24] inches before shirring
Length: 13[14,16,18,20] inches

Tahki Cotton Classic [100% mercerized cotton; 108yd/100m per 50g skein]; color: 3449; 3[4,4,5,6] skeins

1 US #6/4 mm circular needle, 16 inches
1 US #6/4 mm circular needle, 32 inches
Or size to obtain gauge

Stitch marker
Tapestry needle
Sewing needle with large eye
Elastic thread
Fray Check

22 sts/26 rows = 4 inches in dot pattern
20 sts/26 rows = 4 inches in stockinette

It is more essential to get stitch gauge in dot pattern

Dot Pattern
Round 1: *P1, k1; repeat from * to end.
Round 2: Knit.
Round 3: *K1, p1; repeat from * to end.
Round 4: Knit.
Repeat rounds 1-4 for pattern.

Using shorter circular needles and cable cast on, CO 88[100,110,122,132] sts. Place marker and join to begin working in the round, being careful not to twist.

Work dot pattern for 4[4.5,5,5.5,6.25] inches, ending with round 1 or round 3.

Sizes 3-6 mo, 2 yrs, 6 yrs:
*P1, k9 tbl, p1, repeat from * to end.

Sizes 9-12 mo, 4 yrs:
P1, k9, p2tog, *p1, k9 tbl, p1, repeat from * to end.

Work Chart A 8[9,10,11,12] times across sts (click for larger image). Switch to longer circular needles after completing row 1.

Repeat row 11 of Chart A till work measures 10[11,13,15,17] inches from cast on edge, or until desired length before transitioning to lace section (lace section will be 3 inches in length).

Work Chart B 8[9,10,11,12] times across sts (click for larger image).

Next round, knit across all sts.

Bind off in purl.


Weave in ends. Block.

Cut 5 16[18, 20, 22, 24] inch strands of elastic thread . Turn garment inside-out. Starting with the 2nd row of purl bumps from the top, weave elastic under purl bumps as shown.

Tie square knot in elastic, leaving 1-1/2” tail on both ends. Repeat using remaining strands of elastic thread, distributing the rows of elastic evenly over the length of the bodice. Try garment on. Adjust elastic thread if necessary to ensure comfortable fit. Trim ends. Dab Fray Check onto knot and elastic thread ends; weave in ends.

Sew ribbons into place for straps.


vloula said...

wow, what a cute dress! I will be crunching numbers to hopefully work out a pattern for a slim 4 year old ;) excellent work!! ;)


Twisted Knitter said...

It is wonderful and dreamy -- a dress that any little girl would adore!

And you nailed it when you said it's easier to read a pattern than write one.

Mrs. MK said...

Beautiful Dress----I want to make one for my new neice coming soon----any recommendations for making it smaller? I am fairly new to knitting, but I think I could do this!

Angie said...

Very beautiful! Going to have to make this for my daughter. Thanks for the pattern!

angelarae said...

Very pretty dress. The pattern is thorough, too...nice job:)


Christina said...

OMG!!!!! I love this dress, my sister is having a little girl soon. So, hopefully by the time she get this age I'll have obtained more knitting experience than the purl stitch that I know Now. Thanks for shring. I think you should try to get this pattern publish, for sure.

Lisa said...

Love this dress!!! Very crafty :)

Knitcrazy said...

Oh What a Beautiful Dress.. Thank You for sharing.. I have so many Grandaughters :)

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for the pattern, i just cast on (while listening to cast on;-) it seems perfect summer knitting for the moment, sitting outside in the sun in the garden while watching my daughter playing in her little pool. greetings from germany, mara

Pam/2muchfun said...

I've run into a problem on Row 10, Chart A. I'm guessing the symbol "O" is a yarn over. But I end up with an extra stitch before and after the slipped stitch that goes down the center of the "petal" on the needle. Should I be doing some knit togethers here somewhere?

soknitpicky said...

Thank you for pointing that out, Pam! I've uploaded the corrected chart.

twinkletoe said...

I love this dress, but my little girl is a size 7 going on 8 (26 inc chest and 23 1/2 inc waist). Any ideas of what I can to to enlarge this pattern? I've never attempted to make a pattern larger or smaller.

Nan said...

This is amazing! Totally fabulous, and so are you for sharing such a lovely creation for free!

Thanks so much for your generosity and congratulations on your creative pattern.

Anonymous said...

Could someone help me, i am just starting to knit and i don't understand, chart A says to knit eleven times across the points but 11 times 19 is 209 points.
Am i being a real dummy?
Can someone help me please?

Thank you

soknitpicky said...

Dear Anonymous,

I assume you are making the 4 year old size? For that size, you start out with 122 stitches. In the row just before starting the skirt, you do a p2tog, which reduces the stitch count by 1: now you're down to 121 stitches. When you begin row 1 at the bottom of the chart, keep in mind that the black squares represent areas where there is no stitch. If you count the other squares, there are 11 of them. So you're really working 11 stitches 11 times, for a total of 121 stitches. As you work that first row of the chart, though, notice that there are some 3's and 5's. Those are stitches in which you'll work some increases, so that the total number of stitches will increase to 11x19 = 209 *after* you've finished the row. I hope that helps. If not, email me at Good luck!

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful dress. I'm inspired to use it to make an adult sized top, either with the dot pattern on top or just on top down sleeves. Thanks for posting the pattern.


Marce (BrownBerry) said...

This is fantastic!!

Christina said...

i'm really confused and will probably have a duh moment when it gets explaned but what is it that you mean by no stich on chart a line 1? I had thought slip stich but then you have a symbol for slip one purlwise. so i'm really confused

Christina said...

ooh never mind I figured out what is ment by no stich. disregared previous comment

soknitpicky said...

Oh good! I'm glad you figured it out, Christina. If you need anything else email me at I'd love to "see" it when you're done!

priti said...

this is simply wonderful
ive started it but am stuck on how to begin chart totally confused as to where to start makinh it for 2 yr old so there are 21 st in a round,but the chart has only 20 sts in line 1.also why is the chart not in 1 line like chartA.plllllllllllease clarify this

soknitpicky said...

Hi, Priti

When you are just about to begin line 1 of chart B,
you will have 21 stitches on your needle for each
pattern repeat. As you work line 1, you will add 1 stitch with a yarn-over at the beginning, but then decrease 2 stitches with the double decrease in the middle of the petal tip (the "V" symbol), so you'll have 20 stitches per pattern repeat when you go
to do line 2. You read the chart from right to left.
The stuff at the left side eventually becomes the
petal tip, while the stuff on the right side becomes
that lacy stuff in between. The chart is lined up like that to help you visualize how the stitches relate to one another. For example, all of the double decreases (V's) are lined up with one another in the chart because that's how they'll look to you as you work the knitted fabric.

I'm writing out the directions for line 1 here in case that helps:

yo, p1, k8, s1, k2tog, psso, k8, p1

Email me at if you have any more questions. Good luck!

Ansley Bleu said...

This is SOOO ADORABLE! Thank you for your generosity.

Martina McConnon said...

Thank you so much for this pattern! Absolutely adorable! I just finished the dress and my daughter LOVES it. It fits perfectly (size 6) and the pattern was easy to follow. I find it amazing that you can come up with something like this - and that you simply let others use it for free. Thank you again. You can see the finished dress in (my username is CreativeToyshop).

cazcuz said...

Please help! Am trying to print the instructions to the Flora dress, which is possibly the most beautiful knitted garment I have seen. All that prints are two pictures and the graphs? I do hope you can help. Thank you! Congratulations on being so artistic and many thanks.

soknitpicky said...

Cazcuz, I'm not sure why it's printing out in that way for you. I don't have it set up as a pretty pattern pdf file, but I can at least convert the webpage into a pdf file for you. Email me at and I'll sent it to you

Anonymous said...

Hi I just finished a size 2. I believe this will be a favorite pattern. Real simple to knit. I am change the knot for the elastic. the square knot may not hold up in the wash. I'm using "Figure Eight, or Flemish" climbers use this to join rope.

Thanks again

Anonymous said...

I love this dress but would want to knit it for myself it's too good for kids I'm a size 16 and help would be appreciated

Roopa said...

I am trying to knit the Fora dress for my granddaughter. I have a question regrading the instructions in Chart A. What do you mean when you say "no stitch" and what do you mean when you say "sl 1 st to cn"

knithal said...

This is gorgeous!!! I'm only a beginner knitter, but I'm getting typically carried away, and am planning all sorts of projects for my friends' kids (there's only so many jumpers I need) - there's one very girly little two year old who is going to be over the moon if I manage this - thank you so, so, much for sharing!

ps found you via Ravelry.

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sohini said...

hi, i am new. i just signed up. i can knit a little. this cute little dress is just right for my 4-year-old. but the design says corrections have been made. i just cannot understand if the design posted and its details are the corrected versions or not. could you please give me the corrected versions at my email address, if it is not too much of a hassle. otherwise please walk me through as how to adapt this a bit. thank you so much. looking forward to your reply

soknitpicky said...

Hi, Sohini. Thank you for your interest in the pattern. The corrections have already been made and the directions here should be correct. I couldn't access your blogger profile to email you, but if you have specific questions, you can email me at

DungeonKnitter said...

Such a lovely dress! I plan to make this for my daughter sometime soon. She saw me looking at it on Ravelry and was shrieking in my ear that she wanted one. ;-)

Andria said...

I just came across this dress on Ravelry - and it's beautiful...I would love to make it for my niece. I've never worked with Charts so I have a few questions: In Chart A, what do you mean when you say "no stitch" and what do you mean when you say "sl 1 st to cn"; also for the life of me I can't think of what "tbl" abbreviation is. Thanks so much.

Leticia said...

The first time I saw this pattern was in 2008, when I didn't know how to knit. I've crocheted for years. I so wanted to learn to knit just so that I could make your dress. I knit now, so I am happy to say that I get to knit the dress that you have so generously shared!

soknitpicky said...

Hi, Andrina. Sorry for the late reply--I wasn't getting comment notifications for awhile there. The "no stitch" squares are used just to make the chart line up better. You just skip over them.

"sl 1 st to cn" means to slip 1 stitch, purlwise, onto the cable needle

"tbl" means through the back loop.

Email me at if you have more questions. Good luck, and thanks for the interest in the pattern!

Janet said...

I know this pattern has been up for awhile, but have you ever tried to knit in the smocking rather than thread it through after the fact?

soknitpicky said...

I haven't Janet, but it's a good idea!

theonlysuz said...

I'm going to do the top with Bernat baby stretch which should look similar to the top pattern and then sew it to a woven fabric skirt. I've seen smocked dresses like this and would like to simulate the smocking with the knitted top. What do you think? Any changes suggested for doing this?

soknitpicky said...

That's an interesting idea, theonlysuz. If you're going for a smocked effect, you can also try a pattern like this, which gives a stitch pattern closer to what sewn smocking looks like to me

rasha.sawy said...

hello , this is a nice dress i liked it
just please i need to know the size of needles in metric and it if it differs about a circular needles from straight thanks

kayla said...

Hi! This is my first project with charts, and i was wondering when it said to repeat the chart 8 times, is that eight times of each row after one another or eight times of the whole chart?

soknitpicky said...

Hi, Kayla. You'd work row 1 8 times across to finish off the round. Then you'd work row 2 8 times across, etc. Good luck!

kayla said...

Thanks SOOOO much! I'm almost done with dot stitch.....

BuBBle GuM KniTs! said...

Oh so Cute! I've got to knit this soon since upsizing to a 7 yr old is just a tiny stretch from size 6.
Thanks for the pattern.

cece said...

I love this dress what are the measurements for a girls size 10

HaileyzWorld said...

Such a sweet lil dress! Cute lil girl too ;)

Chantal Livingstone said...

I am making this gorgeous dress for my niece. I'm not THAT new to knitting but new enough... and I can't figure out what you mean by "slip 1 stitch to circular needle (is this a third needle?), sl 1 pwise from LH needle, K1 from cn < if this isn't from the third needle then I am at a complete lost!
I know this post is old, I hope you can still help!

soknitpicky said...

Hi, Chantal. Yes, the cable needle is a separate 3rd needle. There are some different shapes available, but if you already have double-pointed needles, you can just use those. You can also learn to do cables without a cable needle.

karenmitchell said...

I am still confused by the "no stitch." What is it you skip over? Do your transfer the stitch from the left needle to the right without doing anything else with it?
Thank You.

soknitpicky said...

Hi, KarenMitchell. A "no stitch" symbol is used as a filler on charts when there is a different number of stitches on each row. It helps the chart line up better visually. For the purpose of reading the chart, you just ignore it and move on the the next symbol.

To read Chart A, row 1, we work right to left:
p1, k1, [k1,p1,k1 into stitch], k2, [k1, p1,k1,p1,k1 into stitch], k2, [k1,p1k,k1 into stitch], k1, p1.

Here's a little tutorial from knitty that further explains the "no stitch"

Anonymous said...

I notice that at the beginning of row 10 on chart A there is a new stitch at the beginning and end of each pattern. Where is that added and how. How many stitches am I supposed to have at the beginning of chart B

soknitpicky said...

Anonymous, after completing row 9 of Chart A, you'll have 19 sts for each pattern repeat. On row 10, you'll be creating the 2 new stitches by doing yarn overs. When written out, row 10 would be:
p1, k8, yo, k1, yo, k8, p1.
Atfter completing row 10, you'll have 21 sts. You'll continue the 21 sts for row 11 and on to the start of chart B.

dkk1959 said...

I just joined today and was browsing when I spotted this adorable little dress. I have 2 grand-nieces that are 2 1/2 years old that I would love to make this dress for. Maybe one in lavender and one in pink or a pretty spring green...Also love all the comments here. They will be very helpful as I've never worked from a chart before. Wish me luck! :)

Anonymous said...

Loving this pattern but looking for some help on chart B. I am confused how it works when working in the round using iterations.   I have knitted the first two rows and I just cannot get the stitches to line up. 

Here's where I am at.  
 row 1 I did the sl, k2t, psso in the middle and then YO to add a stitch between the two Purl stitches.    Row 2 knitted the YO stitch for the previous row.

 However after knitting the YO stitch  ( last stitch ) on row 2, I am looking to start row 3 but my purl stitches still line up.  So if I did a Purl  as the chart says my purl stitch would be on top of my row 2 purl stitch and there would be no slant. 

I think to clarify this I need to know, on line 3 what stitch should be before  the first purl ( above row 2s purl) , on the chart it is not included. 

I hope someone can understand this, thanks so much to anyone offering help.

soknitpicky said...

Anonymous, I wonder if part of the confusion is the order in which you're reading the chart? The chart would read just like your stitches "read" when you're looking at them from the front. I'm wondering if you're reading the chart from left to right? When knitting in the round, all rows should be read from right to left.

To write it out, then...

round 1:
yo, p1, k8, s1, k2tog, psso, k8, p1

round 2:
k1, p1, k17, p1

round 3:
yo, k1, yo, p1, k7 s1, k2tog, psso, k7, p1

Anonymous said...

That's it thank you so much. I was reading the chart the wrong way. Worked it out now Thanks so much.

Love the pattern

Knitty said...

I just finished this dress for my daughter. It is gorgeous!! Can this be coverted into a skirt when she outgrows the dress? Thank you for making this pattern free!

Anonymous said...

I'm stuck on line 16 of chart B. it calls for 18 knit stitches, but I only have 16 from line 15. Can you help?

Anonymous said...

I loved knitting this dress for my granddaughter's first birthday. I completed the project within the week. I found it an easy pattern. My TIPS are: use markers when completing the bottom part of the pattern. It's easy to not have enough stitches with all the YO's in the pattern. When I used the markers I could catch my mistake very quickly.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great pattern. Just finished making it for my one daughter.
I sent the pattern to my grandmother and now she's going to make one for my other daughter, she loved the pattern too, and has already made a small one and started the second for my youngest twin cousins.

Anonymous said...

Stunning dress! i would love to make this for my neice but i am a self taught knitter and cannot for the life of me read charts. hopefully one day i will be able to wrap my head around it and be able to make this.

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Anonymous said...

Just about to start knitting my niece this dress. Instead of ribbons on the shoulder straps, I'm going to knit tubes and put elastic bands into the tubes and sew them on! I love the dress absolutely beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Is there a mistake on row 16 of chart B? I got 16 sts for the lace part and it says 18. It looks like even with it like this it would work out for row 17. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Might have hastily commented, row 17 of chart B did work out, so unless I am missing something there is a mistake on row 16. Not a big deal or anything, just surprised no one mentioned it! Thanks for sharing this lovely pattern.

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Kim and Victoria said...

I'm working on knitting this dress at the moment. Thanks for posting such a beautiful pattern. And thanks to all the previous knitters who have asked, I think, all the questions I needed answers to!

Ahlem Hireche said...

hi !! and thank you for the pattern.
I'm francophone but i generally use english patterns in knitting. but i find this pattern difficult to understand so i've not understood what does mean no stitch on the chart ?
please can you help me ???
thank you a lot !!!

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luv2cre8 said...

We have so many granddaughters and I would LOVE to make the youngest 4 matching dresses, however I haven't knitted in decades and it was very basic, without any pattern reading knowledge. I have self taught myself to crochet, however, and wish so much this was in a crochet pattern. Is it only a knitting pattern at the moment? It is absolutely stunning and you have been so creative in the design. You should be very proud of yourself and most of all the gratitude of all of us that you are sharing your hard work with. Thank you, regardless if I will be able to even use it. I can at least admire it for now. Blessings, alyce