In The Details

Yesterday I tackled the business of attaching all the wee roses to that bitty dress. it took forever. I came up short three roses and had to crochet more.  (I’d have been more annoyed but the pattern did say to make “about” 25 of them. I guess 28 is “about” 25, but it sure doesn’t sound that way while you’re crocheting what feels like extra roses.) It’s at the end of projects like this, ones with tons of finishing (I consider the crochet on this “finishing”) that I have to resist the urge to cheap out and do a rush job. I always want to be done so desperately that I start dreaming of cutting corners.  Not this time. This dress is so darling, and so beautiful that the end was no time to run out of steam. When I crocheted the roses, I wove in two ends on each one, and left two ends long. To attach the roses, all I did was pull the ends through to the back, a few stitches apart, and then tied them securely with a surgeons knot.

roseson 2015-09-09

Now, that’s a pretty good knot, and there’s no doubt in my mind that those babies were going to be stuck on, but I didn’t like two things. All the ends, and how it left the flowers sort of wobbly.  So, I took a deep breath, got a huge cup of tea, and started weaving in all the ends, and using them to sew the flowers down from the inside while I was at it.

endsin 2015-09-09

It took a long time, but I think it looks nice on the inside, and the flowers are really securely on there.  I know it seems silly to care if the inside is tidy, but the whole thing is so close to perfect – I’m actually still not thrilled with how it looks on the inside, and briefly entertained the madness of knitting a little cover for the ends, or maybe sewing down a ribbon over them, but I’ve gotten a grip.  I found three little buttons in my grandmothers button bin that were just about freaking perfect, and sewed those on, and with that, it’s done.

dressdonewhole 2015-09-09

Pattern: Dress 29801 from Dalegarn Baby #298. (Man, I love the romantic names they give their designs.) I knit the 36 month size.

dressdonetopback 2015-09-09

Yarn: Dale Baby Ull, in 3841 Beige Heather, 4217 Desire, 3507 Coral, and 0020 in Natural. It took less than a ball for each of the three accent colours, and 5.5 balls of the Beige (which is totally grey.) I got my kit at StevenBe. (That’s a link to the kit, if you’re looking.)

dressdonebuttons 2015-09-09

Needles: 2.25mm.

dressdoneroses 2015-09-09

I’m completely delighted with it.

dressdonetopdet 2015-09-09

I think it’s going to be an heirloom.

183 thoughts on “In The Details

  1. Gorgeous! My favorite article of clothing as a very young girl was a bright pink striped dress my mother knit for me. I wore it constantly. The 80s were a lovely time to be 3… not sure the same shade gets knit with so much now, but I LOVED it.

  2. This is so beautiful! I have an irrational urge to knit one for my daughter, even though she’d probably long outgrow it before I could finish. I suppose it would be too much to have another baby just so I could have a small person to wear it, right?

      • I bet you could, if you had all of your daughter’s measurements. I would search for a dress pattern with multiple sizes, then measure the pattern pieces to have a schematic for the pattern pieces. You wouldn’t need the ease that a dress pattern has to have for woven fabrics. Use the one that fits her measurements. I also read somewhere before you put the hem in a knitted skirt or dress let hang for a few days to see how much stretching the garment is going to do before you finish the hem. Good Luck!

  3. This illustrates exactly why I think it is important to work on your crochet skills as a knitter: the crocheted edging and flowers are absolutely perfect for completing this dress. After years of crocheting, I finally taught myself to knit and I love it, but I consider my crocheting expertise an important partner to my knitting. Beautiful dress. Hope to see it modeled some day.

  4. I think the inside finishing will be much more secure from curious little fingers. It’s a beautiful dress and the love crocheted into it shows!

  5. Oh my! That is beyond adorable! I’m in the same camp with you on the crochet thing, but seeing this lovely little dress so beautifully finished with crochet trim inspires me to dig out the crochet hook (I almost said needle).

  6. I feel the same way about crochet as you do, except that I suck at the little bit I can do. That dress is lovely & it will be a heirloom. Who will be wearing it, though? Your girls are a bit big for it, I’m thinking.

  7. This reinforces that I need to improve my finishing patience. I always rush to finish my projects at the final stage because I’m just so excited to be done, but end up just like you said, cheaping out. This dress is a beautiful example of why it pays to do it well all the way through. Gorgeous!

  8. Perhaps it’s my slight perfectionism, but I would have entertained the thought of a cover for the rose ends, as well….though I would have taken the laziest route and sewed in a ribbon, rather than knitting something to cover it and then sewing it in. Most likely, though, I would have gotten a grip and just went on my merry way like you did 🙂

  9. It looks great! It also looks like you sewed the roses on more densely than the pattern called for (I think your version is an improvement, by the way), hence the need for extra roses.

  10. Beautifully done, both the knitting (of course) AND the crocheting!!! I just hope once the dress is with its intended wearer, you post a photo of it being worn.

  11. I love that you used some of your grandmother’s buttons. That’s a special part that really adds to the heirloom potential.

  12. You have every reason to be delighted! Your crochet flowers look fabulous (to a non-crocheter like me) and your photos look ever so much more appealing than the photos on the pattern. 🙂 It’s a lovely little dress, and I certainly hope it becomes an heirloom. You’ve done an amazing job, and congrats on sticking it through and doing it right (although I think I would have put the ribbon on the inside to cover the yarn from the flowers – come to think of it, I might line the bodice with a soft fabric if this is to be worn next to the skin – kids get so picky). Beautiful work and thanks for sharing with us all – I’m sure it will be impossible to get that pattern now!

    • It’s a winter dress (Wool!) So I think it won’t be worn next to the skin. Likely long sleeve shirt underneath, and tights on the bottom.
      Besides that, the niece it’s for has been very tidily immunized with wool for some time now. She’ll have no complaints.

      • I am relieved to hear it. My kid is of the itchy variety, and too many beautiful knits have languished in the dresser drawer. The dress is absolutely perfect, and I hope the recipient and her parents adore it.

  13. “I know it seems silly to care if the inside is tidying” . Nope. Not at all. I was taught the needle arts by my mother who hated to knit (made her nervous-and it amazed her how much my sister and I enjoyed it) but who was a trained couturier class seamstress (NOT a sewist, whatever that is). She insisted that the inside of each garment should be as perfect on the inside as on the out; you should be able to wear your clothing inside out with pride. I may not be able to achieve that lofty goal, but I always try: Mother is surely watching!

    • Lol, my mother was also a dressmaker, and always said she was taught that the inside has to be as nice as the outside! Thanks for the memory.

    • That would have been my Great-grandmother Stephan making sure that the underside of my first embroidery projects looked just as good as the front. No long stretches of floss from one motif to the next, you tie a (tidy) knot and then begin again at the next motif. Also she said, “Any stitches you sew on Sunday you will pick out in Hell.” Not a lot of forgiveness in that statement, but she was a crackerjack seamstress who made the most beautiful hand-bound buttonholes imaginable. I feel her eyes over my shoulder every so often.

  14. What a darling dress! I’m entertaining the notion of starting one for my babe, but she’d probably outgrow it before I’m done…gorgeous work though!

  15. What a beautiful dress! The finicky finishing is entirely worth it, in this case.

    I can relate to wanting to be done and on to something else, though. I knit a Dale baby sweater for a friend, Baby Ull, started in (?) June, and while the sweater pieces were done a few days before her baby shower, I had to wrap them unfinished to give her, and then take them back to continue the finishing work. I’ve been finishing this particular sweater for ten days now, every day thinking that another day or two will see the end of it! The steeking for the cardigan took a day to work up courage for, the first button band itself took a day, to figure out heirloom buttonholes took another day, and so it goes. I’m still steeking the sleeves and sewing them in, and hoping to be finished… tomorrow.

  16. So absolutely beautiful. Your crochet looks amazing. I’d knit this if it didn’t have the crochet-I can make a chain and that’s about it 😉

  17. Absolutely gorgeous and totally becoming an heirloom. Can’t wait to see the wee one in it – though I know there may be a wait ahead of us. We’ll be patient…

  18. jaw droppingly gorgeous and totally worth the details put into finishing it. yes, I know about let’s get this puppy done and on to next project and the tendency to cut a corner or two at the end. I shall remember this dress when I feel that urge come over me. Well done, Steph!

  19. You’ve knit a lot of gorgeous items over the years I’ve been reading your blog, but this may just take the cake. It’s absolutely perfect.

  20. That is stunningly beautiful. I was dubious of the gray but then you added the crochet edging and those darling little roses and it’s perfect. Lucky, lucky little girl.

  21. well, the tree (touch the tree) did look a little like broccoli. 🙂 The dress is perfection. The little roses just do ballet steps around the bodice, I love it. Heirloom is the word. Can’t wait to see it on a little person with adorable tights and a sweet soft shirt…

  22. Absolute perfection! If I made that dress I would probably frame it and hang it on the wall. However, now I’m wondering if I have the patience to learn to crochet…so I can do one for my youngest granddaughter. You do heirloom really, really well. Your little niece will always remember this one.

  23. Well, I wouldn’t think of bothering with a ribbon. The inside looks fine.

    I just keep wondering what will happen when you become a grandma some day — there is going to be a knitting bonanza.

  24. WOW! Can’t wait to see the recipient modeling this for The Blog!

    (And, aren’t you sad you didn’t make one that would fit you?? Shuddip about the crocheting!)

  25. Actually I have a question. I am going to be a great grandmother in a couple of months, so I’vebeen looking at blanket patterns. On pinterest I saw the beautiful ” miracle” on you did in Oct, 2013. Is that pattern available anywhere? If so would you please let me know where and how I could get it. Thank you.

  26. Absolutely stunningly beautiful! Just perfect. It’s an heirloom. I’m going to try and find this book and have itbshipped to the UK. Imwould love to make one for my youngerbgranddaughter.

  27. I’m sure you’re right about the heirloom.

    And I think not leaving a bunch of threads that could catch on the inside of a baby garment is brilliant.

  28. It is a heirloom and it is beautiful. Lovely work. I, too, would have sewed the roses as you did and the inside tidying is good looking. Perfect buttons. Thanks for sharing this post, been a long while since I knit for a little one.

  29. If you look at the pictures in the kit it appears that the roses are set farther apart on the dress. Yours are a bit closer and I like that much better. That may have been the reason for the 3 extra flowers. Beautiful, classic and definitely an heirloom!

  30. LOVE IT….however , if those are shank buttons, they will not be comfortable to wear. They will poke when the little one is laying down or sitting in a car seat. When knitting for little ones I always try to do flat buttons and resist shanks no matter how cute they are. Just my thoughts. I love the contrast in this dress. What a lucky little girl!!!!!

  31. That is beyond beautiful.
    Are you sure you wouldn’t like to sew little pearls in the centre of each flower? (The devil is in the details!)

  32. Beautiful job! I have to say that it is the crochet that that really makes the dress—the flowers are adorable and you did wonderfully for someone who always says that she can’t crochet well and hates doing it!!

  33. So darling. You’ve given me the inspiration I needed to get started on caps for my soon-to-be-here nephew and his big brother. Matching brothers’ caps – I’m kind of excited about it. 🙂

  34. It’s SO CUTE! I love it. And my little granddaughter would love it. But she’s getting a sweater because that’s what I’m working on… I’ve got 4 more sweaters, 3 pairs of socks and endless hats to do before Christmas. No time for really cute little dresses. Nope. Really. Nope.

    I mean it.

  35. It’s absolutely gorgeous! However, as a person who can not only crochet but used to crochet exclusively once upon a time, only to be completely taken over by knitting now, I can state unequivocally that, faced with all that crochet, I would rather shoot myself.

  36. The “music note” is actually a “treble clef”, but the program let me through anyway. lol The dress is perfection. I think there are going to be a lot of little girls out there in lovely dresses with sweet roses on them, after seeing your work. Well Done. It is definitely on it’s way to being an heirloom (even on the inside).

  37. The grey makes it… I’m so glad it’s not beige!!
    How very beautiful it came out, it was so worth it to look up crochet techniques and taking your time to finish it properly.

  38. It beautiful. I totally expected the roses to be randomly seen on in clumps around the skirt. It’s always funny how things can turn out so differently than I expect. I’m usually wrong about these things and it’s usually such a please t surprise because there are two lovely ideas instead of one.

  39. That is most definitely an heirloom.

    Please do us costume curators (or your future family generations) a favor: write a note, or put a label (with twill tape) on the inside of the dress with a date and your name, and the recipient. Write a note – or even print out this blog post – and give it with the dress.

    Objects tell stories, and this one is lovely, and deserves to be told and remembered.

  40. Lovely! Who’s the lucky receipient? I’m sure my 3 year old DD would look adorable in it. 😉 Congrats on completing a project with so much finishing work. (sjn821 on Rav)

  41. That is the most beautiful little dress I have ever seen!! It is obvious that it was knit with much love. I admire your knitting, but the love in it puts it over the top! Heirloom, oh yes.

    Donna K

  42. Not to sound redundant, but I will be – and I wish I knew a better adjective – but that dress is, is so, um, is just the bees knees. So sweet. We’ll done, Dear.

    The comments about the wire hanger are a hoot – just like fiber geeks. HA

  43. That is a totally beautiful grey dress. Guess the dalegarn people don’t know their colors.

    Your crochet looks great. Your knitting looks great as always. No one says you have to like crochet.

  44. You do know there is a darling little girl’s flowered hat in Anderson’s “Itty-Bitty Hats” don’t you? It would be SO cute in matching colors with this gorgeous dress…

  45. A truly precious little dress. “Beige” I think not, definitely Grey. I have a friend who describes a certain beige color as “Mouse Belly Beige” well they turned the mouse over with it becomes “Mouse Back Grey”. (I’m thinking Tom and Jerry cute not the nasty critters who sneak into my house each Fall and have to be rooted out.)

  46. Not exactly knitting related….but it is September 11, and as a New Yorker, I remember the incredible kindness, help and generosity of so many Canadians. Thank you!

  47. It is of course very lovely, and I am inspired/encouraged by your attention to finishing details, and your willingness to work on your crochet technique until you were satisfied. I am also heartened that you are willing to use a kit. So many knitters are sniffy about it, but a good kit, like a well loved pattern, is a foundation for a lovely work of art. It is all in the making, as the most beautiful design needs someone’ shards to bring it to life. So many lessons to be found in this heirloom. Thank you for sharing. If Myrie permits back views of herself on the internet that would suffice. I don’t put my grandchildren on unless they are not identifiable.

  48. I want this for my little daughter, but there’s one thing that screams “Noooooo!”: 2,25 mm
    I think I will make her a pair of socks instead 😉

  49. That is absolutely darling. I want to knit one even though I don’t have a little girl relative to knit one for – maybe I will someday. It’s just so stinking cute.

  50. Would it be wierd to knit this and then give it to the first person I see with a baby girl? All mine are boys, there’s just the nephew, and it’ll be years before there is another little for me and decades before any grandlittles. But my ovaries are squeeing so hard right now, I must make this. Hey, I think my neighbor down the street is pregnant…

  51. It. Is. Perfection! I will admit I even had to tamp down a tiny bud of desire to make one for my niece… but I know myself, and I know my short attention span for fussy things (crochet flowers are the definition of “fussy” to me). The edging alone would kill me on that tiny, adorable dress. So I am going to resist the urge and just admire yours.

  52. This is one gorgeous little dress! I was wondering if you’ve considered that since babies mostly lay on their backs that the round buttons might be a bit uncomfortable?

  53. I love the colors you used for this, too.
    A few weeks ago, when traveling, I wanted some yarn for a baby sweater in a “non-traditional” color and the yarn shop lady and I had an interesting discussion because she HATED that I was buying “merlot” mercerized (superwash) wool for a baby sweater – she tried to talk me into an acrylic blend primary-colored yarn. But I know the mom and she’d have hated that.
    Thanks for teaching me, though your blog and books, to follow my own sense of what’s right in knitting for babies!

  54. Beautfully done; another YH heirloom to be loved now and for future generations to admire.

    Yes, a ribbon could have covered the rose tails, but might also affect the fit and lie of the waistline. Nicely tidied, and likely to felt in to the surroundings a bit after the first swish or two. No question of anything coming off. Same with the buttons; an extra special loving touch for using your grandmother’s stash (I have tins of the same; toys, and tools, of my childhood that make me smile to this day). Likely no issue with a 36 month size “infant” lying uncomfortably on their back – unless she wants to sleep in her new favorite dress – or not knowing not to pull off buttons and place in mouth – which, given YH talents and experience, are probably anchored firmly enough to hold a small sailing vessel. Any child in the Harlot family is well accustomed to, and likely enamored of, the feel of wool. Not a July dress, so no issue there…

    Wire hangers – for display purposes – provide a lovely view of the finished dress before delivery to its intended recipient. The only question you might face is one dress and two nieces…. fiddly x 2 in the months ahead?? Congratulations; it’s lovely.

    Knitsiam (aka Bonnie)

  55. You never fail to amaze me. Your words, your kind heart, and the amazing knits you churn out. This is beautiful. Gorgeous beyond measure. The thought that it wouldn’t be an heirloom makes me sad. I have a SIL who I gifted with many baby items (she was the first in that family to have babies).. and she never shared the little bitty things with her sister, which always struck me as interesting.

  56. That. Is. Lovely.
    Mom always said she like kids in grey – and I never got it as a kid. But now I know it is just such a terrific color for little ones (and big ones, too.) Inspiring work, as always!!!

  57. Oh my goodness! That dress is SO beautiful! Love the mix of the gray with the lovely coral (pink?) flowers and the white trim. I can’t wait to see it on its recipient.
    I think it is a good thing I don’t know any little girls for whom that dress would be the perfect thing because I might be crazy enough to try to make one, and I absolutely do not crochet! I would have to hire someone to do the crochet bits for me because I don’t know how to crochet and have no desire to learn. Sorry to those of you who crochet and love it; just doesn’t interest me like knitting does. The best I’ve been able to do is learn the simplest of chain stitch for doing a provisional cast on! But, oh, that dress is gorgeous…

  58. 1) That, and you, are freakin awesome!
    2) I am in complete agreement with you on everything you fretted over. I would be sooo tempted to sew a cute ribbon over the ends to keep it perfect.
    3) I might need to start one now just in case for someday far away. (Preteen sons, another nephew on the way and a grown daughter who’d rather have a puppy than give birth, for now anyway.)
    4) Thanks so much for sharing your lovely FOs and knitterly angst.

  59. Beautiful dress!!! Hope we get to see it modeled. Thought I would share a “helpful hint” that has worked well for me. In the past I’ve sewn many (crocheted) flowers onto (knitted) hats. I do pull the tails thru to the wrong side + take a couple stitches to anchor the flower. Then I bring the ends back to the right side + bury the end knot either under or inside the flower, depending on the shape of the flower. Makes for a neater + easier finish. Hope this may help someone for a future project.

  60. Hello, I rarely comment but I have to say you are truly inspirational because you FINISH what you start. Hooray and congratulations to the lucky girl who will get to wear it.

  61. I have always loved Dale of Norway children’s patterns. This is adorable and so worth all the time you put into it. I am still not the world’s greatest knitter or I would be using Baby Ull all over the place.

  62. I love your last line…I think it’s going to be an heirloom.
    Oh my! I WILL be an heirloom. It’s stunningly beautiful, but so calm at the same time. It’s gorgeous and now I feel the need to drop all my current projects to make this for my little niece (all the more so because it is so similar to one I sewed for myself for my cousin’s wedding…right down to the band of roses at the “waist”). Thank you so much for sharing the pattern name.

  63. My mother always says the sign of a well made garment is that it looks beautiful on the inside too – I think you did great. what a darling dress!

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  65. Oh my gosh, that is the MOST GORGEOUS little knit dress I’ve ever seen. I imagined my 5 year old daughter frolicking in it as the images rolled up the screen. Unfortunately, with less than 1 year knitting under my belt, I don’t think I could manage its intricacies and by the time I can, my daughter will be a teenager, but one can dream, right?

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