My little friend Marlowe will be a year old soon, and me being me and her being her, and us being friends like we are, I wanted to make her something knitted for a present. 

I started thinking about a sweater – but I’ve made her lots, and heaven knows she already has a blanket, and I was looking and thinking and rooting through the stash, when I found a few skeins of Luscious – and an idea took hold.

Now, to be fair, this was less of an idea, and more of a vision, and the more I thought about it, the more unreasonably gripped by the idea I got.
I swatched. I sketched, and then (once I was sure it would work) I called her mother and asked if it was a good idea.  To put it simply, Jen lost her freaking mind, and within minutes, we were making the idea even better – both consumed with the thing.  Jen and I are both educated, literate reasonable women, and within seconds we were both giggling and practically clapping our hands in delight.

Here’s my idea –  a Party dress. A pink and white, ruffled, full skirt, got-roses-on-it little dress to wear on her first birthday.  Knit from pure silk, with a big ribbon that ties in the back and little buttons so it’s simple to drop it over her head.  Little angel wing sleeves, the skirt will fall past her fat little knee… it’s going to be gorgeous, and soft and beautiful, and Jen’s already out buying acid free tissue paper to wrap it up in afterwards. (You know, once we wash the cake out if it, which will be easy, because it’s silk!) It’s a perfect plan!

I’ve swatched a little, and drawn wee pictures, and charted out the tiny little bodice (oh, the fun of a person with a 19" chest!) and I think I’ve got it right.  I’m so excited.  Jen’s excited.  In fact – we’re so excited that yesterday we thought up the only way to make this better, and that might be a matching dress for Marlowe’s sister.  She’s four, and a pink and white flowy, flowery, spinner of a dress  (that isn’t scratchy) is going to be right up her alley.

I’m out of my mind with how fun I think this is going to be.

PS. I think I might sew tulle underskirts.
PPS. I’m going to go over and put this on the baby to see if it fits.

139 thoughts on “Candy

  1. Could I be first????
    Such pretty colours, Steph. Sounds like a lovely plan. Can’t wait to see the photos. I’d skip the tuile underskirt, though – very scratchy.
    – Pam

  2. I love it! I’m not sure if I would make it because my first response was that you might be a little mad, but after thinking about it you’re going to be making an heirloom for her!
    Make sure to put a note or tag with it when you store it so she’ll know in years to come who made it.
    Also, a matching dress for the older sis is a great idea! Marlowe can wear it when she grows up and there can be matching pictures and everything!

  3. That sounds lovely and adorable, and like a lot more work than I’d be able to get done by the deadline, but I’m sure you can do it.

  4. Sometimes I wish I could refuse to wear anything that didn’t have a tulle underskirt…

  5. Love me some twirly pink party dresses! Do yourselves a favor, though… Take it off her before the actual cake eating part. I find that naked cake eating for children is the easiest in the clean-up department! And heck… Who doesn’t like a little nakey baby time?

  6. Has it really been almost a year??? I fondly remember babywatch! I can’t wait to see the finished dresses.

  7. It sounds amazing!! I can’t wait to see what it looks like. I too love the idea of a twirly party dress for her sister.
    I second the skip the scratchy tulle though. I still am haunted by memories of scratchy clothes my Mom put me in as a kid. Is there something else you could use that would have the same effect?

  8. This looks like a totally adorable plan.
    My life is full of 3 boys (my brother has 3 boys, both my best friends have 3 boys, etc.) so no pink frilly rose covered dresses in my life.

  9. I would scratch the tulle underskirt as well in favor of some cotton petticoats that would give the needed poof but not cause the skin irritation that will annoy the little people.

  10. That sounds super sweet, and I’m glad that you are realistic about washing cake out of it.
    I don’t remember my first birthday (who does?), but there are pictures of me putting my fist into a Holly Hobby cake. I cannot imagine that behavior was remotely unique, so cake will be everywhere!

  11. It’s wonderful how excited the two of you are about this project. It’s also pretty special that the dresses are to be made of silk. Lucky little girls!

  12. You are too funny, Steph. I got that way about my first shawl (which, admittedly was two and a half years ago and still on needles).
    Also, a word about the cake washing out of the silk: make sure the frosting is undyed because the dyes in frosting can stain (depending on the color) – go ahead, ask me how I know…I dare you!
    But it sounds so adorable and I’m so not a girly person 🙂

  13. What fabulous ideas you and Jen have cooked up! When my daughter was four, anything with a twirly skirt was a guaranteed success. Lots of pictures now!

  14. Oh god. This just brought make memories of my childhood. (Good memories, even though it felt like a fist to the heart because I lost my mom this past spring.)
    I was that little girl and my “mommy” made me dresses of that ilk. I just twirled and twirled and twirled… 🙂

  15. Wow. What an idea! I’m sure the dress will become a treasure to pass down from child to child. Can’t wait to see it!

  16. OMG! I am freaking out for you! This is going to be ADORABLE! I’m kinda jealous I didn’t have a knitter in my life when I was wee; opportunity lost.

  17. Marlowe is a about to ONE!! I am the only one shocked by this! It seems like just drooled over that blanket a couple of weeks ago.
    I am super pumped about this dress as well!!

  18. I love knitting for little girls. This sounds enchanting. I would not make a tulle underskirt unless they make tulle less scratchy now a days. Will you be knitting the roses or adding embellishments? Oh, how I wish I were knitting that pink and white. Yum Yum

  19. Your excitement is definitely infectious, i’m so looking forward to pictures of the lovely birthday girl and her big sister in their gorgeous pink and white dresses! I loved swirly, flouncy dresses when i was a young ‘un. Actually, even now I’m still pretty partial to a swirly dress… 🙂

  20. I recall horribly scratchy tulle, even through petticoats (yes people, even little babies used to wear underwear); however I must admit I never got to wear silk tulle. Also, you might reconsider the below the knee length – not a good look for a body shape that is almost always still rather dumpy at 12 months. Fancy pants over the diaper peeking out under a skirt is so cute. And big poofy sashes and bows. Wow.

  21. Steph, step away from the tulle. We’ve gone down this path before and it leads to nothing but sorrow as you keep finding bits of it in the carpet years later.

  22. Ooh! Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh. Pictures and pattern to come eventually, I hope?

  23. Love how this is snowballing — so why stop there? How about a billowy, twirly birthday skirt for Mama Jen, too? Not a whole dress — that would be silly. I was thinking more of a three-tiered gypsy skirt in alternating ruffles of scarlet and black. With a black lace edging around the nine-yard border. It would be fun! (Go on — go on –)

  24. Oh My Goodness. Can’t wait to see it. What a precious keepsake that will be.
    Stay with light colored cake and no chocolate.

  25. I agree with JoAnn, baby girls look a lot cuter in short dresses, especially poofy dresses!!! But you need to knit her a matching frilly diaper cover!
    I say if you can find a soft non-scratchy tulle, go for it!!!
    Knitting for babies is the best! 🙂

  26. Steph, you may feel a bit nutty. Go ahead and make this beautiful dress. She’ll wear it more than you think, especially in colder weather.
    Mother will treasure the present.

  27. Spinner of a dress: yes! That captures little girls perfectly! Something full and round that they can spin around in and watch it go flying around them. I so remember doing that as a kid.
    I was just wondering what kind of thing to make my new namesake niece after I do her hat. Thank you!

  28. You are so clever – I would never even imagine making such a dress from SCRATCH! Those dresses sound adorable and such fun to make!
    Note on it being an heirloom: think very hard about where you stash it. My parents had been trying for a baby for years when they adopted me, and every old lady in our church went crazy sewing me fancy, gorgeous, mostly pink little dresses. (Hmmm – maybe one of them was even knitted.) Anyway, Mom stored them carefully in a dresser in the basement (so we could look at them and ooh and ahh about them together once in awhile, which we did). Fast forward 29 years – my Mom died, and my Dad had a mega rummage sale to clear out the house. A “helpful” cousin, while I was busy elsewhere, cleared out that dresser and sold all my handmade, labor-of-love baby clothes for 10 CENTS EACH. I was heartbroken when I found out, and considered what would, I think, have been justifiable homicide, but somehow since they were gone, gone, gone, vengeance would have been hollow.
    So warn Jen to store those dresses in a safety deposit box or at least slap a label with the girls’ names and FAMILY HEIRLOOMS DO NOT SELL on the storage container, or something to prevent a catastrophe such as mine.
    Oh, my lovely little dresses . . . losing you still hurts.

  29. That’s so lovely! And what a wonderful heirloom to keep!
    And let me be one of many saying “Marlowe’s a year old?!”

  30. What a marvelous dainty idea – and an heirloom. I can’t wait to see the pictures. Gorgeous yarn.

  31. Can’t wait to see the dresses!! They sound just so lovely! Wishing I had a small one to knit for….

  32. Can’t wait to see the end product – it’s going to be beyond adorable, especially with that little tyke in it!

  33. I’m excited about it and I don’t even know Marlow! Can’t wait to see the photos.

  34. OK. Now I’m excited. It sounds breathtaking and I can even imagine it although I don’t quite know what you are imagining and I know I can’t design a gorgeous knit dress. Soooooo, I am hoping this will become a pattern the rest of us can drool over as well.

  35. I sewed a wedding dress for my 4 year old niece’s birthday. Satin-backed crepe with lace, pearls, and crystals. Puffed sleeves, full skirt with a full,full,full crinolin underneath.
    She loved it – wore it every day for 2 weeks straight – even slept in it. I became the best Auntie in the world.

  36. 1. Go, Presbytera! That’s twice I’ve howled in one week!
    2. How can so many people know what tulle feels like?
    3. God help us all when you become a grandma! I can’t wait.

  37. The best of everything – a creative idea + a sketch + input from sister + refinement of plan + shared excitement and the best of all it’s for a 1 yr old (& 4yr old)you love. Totally doable & such a fun idea…to emerge after the drama of Flow (which may still be a yarn bomb on the chair outside?)
    PS I have a handsewn dress Mom made me for my 1st birthday – now 65. It’s white silk with pale pink smocking.

  38. This sounds so perfect. I love the look of knitted dresses. If I had known how to knit when my girl was a baby she would have had one. I sewed her plenty and there is nothing sweeter or more satisfying than hand making a wee dress for a little girl! Have fun & I can’t wait to see it.

  39. Two questions: which colourways are those? And really, Luscious is washable? It doesn’t say on Tina’s site.

  40. Sounds wonderful, however, to keep the dress safe I would suggest that a diaper is appropriate attire for eating the first birthday cake. Can’t wait for pictures.

  41. That is going to be amazingly beautiful. If you make one for her older sister, I am seeing tea parties with scones in their future. In a little clearing in the woods with all their friends around.
    I love the idea.
    And yes, a lot of people know what tulle feels like. I had several dresses with tulle underneath as a child – including the one for my kindergarten recital. It was amazingly itchy, but at the time, we didn’t know any better. Everyone dressed up – to get on the plane (not jet), to go to the dr., to go to school.

  42. Just amazing, i have an extra idea if you’re interested. where the skirt joins the body,above and below, maybe you could put in a couple of provisional box pleats on either side, that would mean when she grows out of it, mummy or you could simply remove the provisional yarn, re attach to the body/skirt and they’d have a smock!!!! see? life prolonging of beautiful knitted gifts.

  43. Oh, this sounds so cute! But please, no scratchy undergarments. I remember my Sunday school and birthday party dresses when I was a little girl, and they were so scratchy, the crinolines and the dresses. They seemed so stiff and poky. No wonder I couldn’t sit still in church. I can’t wait to see your design unfold, and how you’re going to do the roses.

  44. I CAN’T FREAKING WAIT!!!! It makes me want to have another baby just so I can knit girly, frilly things. This week at playgroup, we were all sitting around watching our adorable sons play when WHAM!, the door blew open, and there stood the always fashionable, 17 month old, Mary Margaret decked to the nines in a pick frilly dress, pink sweater, pick leapard cowboy boots and pink polka dot sunglasses! Even my own 7 month old son took notice, and boy are we all in trouble! 🙂

  45. ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS! Take a gazillion photos at every stage — especially when she’s wearing it.

  46. …and so the August knitting begins. What a great idea. And then, you go and slap a deadline on it and add a second, larger dress to it…
    Am I the only one seeing “crazy” in your future…AGAIN????
    Not that I don’t love the idea and can’t wait to see the pictures.

  47. ok, i pretty much really want a dress like that for myself- although i think it might lose its charm on a size 14 grown woman. you’ve gotta publish the pattern though, so i can live vicariously through my nieces. as to the tulle issue, i always felt that a little scratchy was worth it if the pouf was there. pouf is important for a proper princess party gown.

  48. This sounds deliciously amazing. Is there any way you could find a pattern for this dress for a woman in her mid-twenties?
    But seriously, I can’t wait to see pictures of Marlowe in her darling dress.

  49. Please post lots of pics and updates as you make this. I know you’re super busy, but I love watching the process, from inspiration to finished creation. Have fun.

  50. I’m so excited! I do hope you publish it! You most definitely, absolutely MUST sew Tulle underskirts! I myself will never produce a girl it seems, so I’m excited to watch and knit vicariously!

  51. I spent 2 hours, earlier this week, putting rainbow colored tulle together to make “ballerina dresses” for my nearly 4 year old and 15 month old granddaughters.
    Little girls are so much fun 🙂

  52. My normal wardrobe consists of jeans, a hoodie, and footwear that can be hosed off. I now have an urge to put on something pink and twirl about the kitchen. Can’t wait to see these dresses!

  53. I remember tulle. I had a lovely white dress with orange flowers and a sash. It was beautiful, and I loved it, but there was always a scratchy feeling at the waist.
    And I agree with Aileen. When you become a grandmother we’re going to be seeing a long, long list of baby garments. I can’t wait.

  54. Something is in the air–I bought this magazine last night for the Swan Princess dress (okay, I know the princess thing is controversial).
    I was looking for something to make for a little girl who hasn’t yet joined us when I spotted it. I know an older little girl for whom this might be better, but maybe I’ll make two.

  55. Eep – sounds adorable! And how fun that you and Mom are in cahoots hatching up this plan.
    I’m with everyone – take tons of photos along the way. I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds.

  56. how is it possible that almost a year has passed?! I suppose, when I think back over this year, it’s been a good one. And as I sit here, possibly looking at having my own child (jumping into intentional single-parenting) in the next year, I smile at how time is a funny thing.
    here’s to pink party dresses!

  57. Sounds awesome. I can’t wait to see how it all comes together! Hopefully you post lots of progress pictures. Little girls have the cutest clothes.

  58. Sounds wonderful Steph and I have two little granddaughters the same age so am VERY interested in the patterns (just in case you are thinking about publishing them – please?)

  59. I can’t wait to see it!
    And, shh, don’t tell my grandsons, but I’m remembering how much more fun girl baby knitting is!

  60. Two huge baby blankets in one year boogles the mind. Marlowe and Luis are two lucky babies. I await the dresses. Sound so dear.

  61. any tulle underskirt (nylon or silk tulle) will snag the snot out of knit silk. Maybe starched organdy or organza wouldn’t scratch or snag. Go for the nylon, a natural fiber will need to be ironed to keep it’s fluff-ability.

  62. Taffeta makes a pretty noise when moved in, and is not as apt to snag the knitting. Just a gathered petticoat in taffeta is girliness incarnate. Pink taffeta, even?

  63. Girly!! You will put the pattern on Rav and call it “Marlowe”, right? Silk! Pink! Ruffles! Oh!

  64. Instead of tulle, I would use organza. It would still give that gorgeous underskirt that has a little stiffness to the fabric, but without the scratchiness. The yarn, BTW, is dreamy! I want some !!!

  65. My little girl turns one in January. No pressure.
    I’m waiting with bated breath, it will be so sweet,

  66. I did a couple of little dresses for my granddaugther when she was 1 and 2. Ultra cute, have fun!

  67. that will be beautiful!!! lucky her. I don’t have any ‘little ones’ to knit for (yet), so I’m a bit envious. Be so much fun to do.

  68. The dress itself sounds awesome. However, tulle = scratchy misery. Don’t do it.

  69. Marlowe and my daughter were born within a couple days of each other so I’m also getting ready for a 1st birthday. I’m knitting Aurora the Twist and Shout Dress from Interweave Knits. Not going to be as soft as silk but she can wear it all winter just add long sleeves and tights.
    If you do tule under the skirt look for the stuff on spools, about 4 inches wide but really soft. Saw a tutorial using that tule cut into strips and attached with half hitch knots to elastic or ribbon.

  70. When I first read this I thought “A knitted dress?” but then I remembered all the crocheted dresses my mamaw made for my sisters and me–and how I put one of them on my daughter this Easter and I died and my sisters died and my parents died and then I sent my mamaw some pictures.
    This is a lovely gift.

  71. Suggestions regarding Stephanie’s ‘rec’d a letter’ tweet:
    1) tear letter into teeny tiny pieces
    2) place in envelope, with a book of matches
    3) enclose note that says ‘Thought you might want to re-think this’
    4) mail back to the sender.

  72. It’s amazing how intoxicating it is to knit these special things for the little ones. I’ve got a little lavender knitted dress going with a smocked bodice – CUTIE. It’s just so delictable!

  73. Oh, do the tulle! Just make an underliner out of nylon or something to protect her legs. I believe I wore a half-slip under mine years ago.

  74. I feel that another knitter might have already asked, but I ask you: will you write the lovely wee dress pattern up when it is complete?

  75. I love my son to bits, but I have to say there is a frilly dress-shaped hole in my parenting experience…
    I think I’ll live vicariously through this one, if that’s ok. (I especially approve of a silk dress, it’s important to bring the wee ones up to appreciate good fibre.)
    I can’t wait to see it unfold.

  76. Cake in the nude is the only way to go. Save your gorgeous dress, take tons of pictures, but take it off of her when it’s cake time!

  77. Yeah! Real live all girliness!!! I am so glad to see girls being girls and helping other girls be girls and enjoy every minute!!

  78. Please, please take the dress OFF before Marlowe eats. Our tradition is spaghetti and chocolate cake on first birthdays, with the birthday boy wearing nothing but a diaper (and lots of newspaper on the floor).

  79. eeeeeeee!!! it’s going to be gorgeous… can’t wait to see it. we have hand-knits in our family that go back over 100 years… it’s a treasure for generations to come!

  80. Oh, such fun! I loved reading about it and can’t wait for the pictures! Go for broke with the cuteness. It will be wonderful!!!

  81. Oh my, I just clicked on the Marlowe link in the first line, and reread Steph’s beautiful story of the way she felt about being a doula. It reduced me to tears once again, and reminded me of how much I loved being pregnant, and loved the delivery of our beloved daughter. Truly, there was nothing like it, and it changed me forever. Thanks for reminding me, Steph.

  82. Squee! Can’t wait to see all kinds of photos! it sounds so adorable I can’t seem to stop with the exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  83. That does sound pretty cute – and I like that you’re already aware of the one-tie-use factor, because that could be a sad cold shower otherwise.

  84. to weigh in–tulle might be too scratchy, depends on how sensitive the girl. I sewed party dresses for my girls and made them tea length, they were able to wear them several years as the both grew mostly up and not out at first. Marlowe may get two parties from it.

  85. oh…beautiful! she can’t be one already???? Yikes, I’m getting old fast…lol
    suggestion – no tulle. I had them as a child in every colour to match every dress my mom made for me. itchy, scratchy, uncomfortable. Might I suggest little bloomers? My mom used to make those too ( to match everything else – I was one well dressed Mine were usually cotton, but in every colour under the rainbow. I would do white ones with lots of pink ruffles added to the bum area It will give the dress some “body” without the tulle. can’t wait to see the finished product. Happy knitting!!!

  86. Please for the love of all that is good, write out the pattern for this. I can already sense the clamoring for it to come… I know I would want to knit it.

  87. Whether or not tulle is scratchy or you can get it in silk or you could put a nylon slip underneath it or try organza instead… To my mind, nothing should come between dimpled knees and pure silk, if those knees belong to a little girl who is so lucky as to have pure silk to wear.

  88. Strange how 2 great minds would come up with the same idea nearly simultaneously! My 4-yr old grandaughter starts ballet lessons soon and I wanted something she could slip over her leotard and tights for running errands before or after without having to change completely. I’ll be interested to see the end result, as always.

  89. It’s my 47th the day before Marlow’s birthday. Do you want my measurements now, oh and can I have matching bloomers and underskirts please? Chest 48…

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