This is not an actual pattern, but is a tutorial for making a dress that will fit you.
Circular needles size 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9
Knitpicks Shine Sport in Apple Green, 110 yards/skein: 11 skeins (for an XS dress that hits just above the knees. You will need more for a bigger size.)
a third size 2 needle for three-needle bind-off.
This pattern is worked from just below the bust up starting with a crochet cast-on. Then a wedge section is knit between the two front pieces to make an insert, then the crochet cast-on pieces are picked up and the skirt of the dress is knit top-down.
I have a very flat chest, so this pattern doesn’t include any bust shaping. If you have a larger chest you will have to either include bust shaping or overlap the front of the dress to allow for it to expand.
Pattern Stitch: (knit flat)
Row 1: (WS) purl
Row 2:: K1, sl 1 with yarn in front
Row 3: purl
Row 4: sl1 with yarn in front, k1
*NOTE: Always knit the first and last stitch in the row, so it might start with 2 knits before the slipped stitch. Also, it is important that the slipped stitches stay where they are supposed to be with decreases, so on the following pattern row the slipped stitches should be on the opposite stitches than the last, as indicated by the stitch pattern here.)
(knit in the round)
Round 1: (RS) knit
Round 2: k1, sl 1 with yarn in front
Round 3: knit
Round 4: sl 1 with yarn in front, k1
Lace Pattern for Insert:
Row 1(WS): Purl
Row 2: k1, *sl1, k1, psso, M1; repeat from * to last stitch, k1
Row 3: purl
Row 4: K1, *M1, k2tog, repeat from * to last stitch, k1
Key: Green is knit on right side, purl on wrong side. White is purl on right side, knit on wrong side,
VERY IMPORTANT: Make 4 by 4 inch gauge swatch on size 2 needles in the pattern stitch. As much as possible, the bodice of this dress should be made with zero ease.
Bust: (worked bottom-up)
Cast on enough stitches (determine this by the gauge swatch) to go around your bust just under your breasts using crochet cast-on. (Must be a multiple of 8 ) Do not join.
Continue in pattern, decreasing one stitch at each edge on every fourth row until piece measures 2 inches (or as high as you want the back).
Bind off stitches across the back (from the middle of each underarm. Try on if necessary to make sure it fits this way.)
Place one active section on waste yarn and continue knitting one front piece.
You will continue decreasing one stitch every fourth row on each edge until the piece is big enough to cover the entire breast (about the height of where the straps on a tank top would start), then once every eighth row on the armpit edge until there are eight stitches.
Continue knitting until the neck strap is long enough to meet halfway on the back of your neck (Keep in mind that this is supporting the whole dress, so it WILL stretch significantly, particularly when using the yarn called for. I have had to take out about four inches of knitting because of this. If you use a 100% cotton yarn, it will stretch less.)
Place these 8 stitches on waste yarn.
Pick up held stitches for other front section and work the same way.
Using three-needle bind off, bind off the two halter-sections to create a halter top, being sure not to twist either section.
Triangular Bust Insert:
Join the front of the two sections and begin working panel, picking up a stitch on each end from the edge of the bust section one every right-side row. This will make the section triangle-shaped while knitting it already attached to the front. This will save finishing later!
Continue doing this until it is about an inch shorter than you want it.
Begin working the arrow section (again, picking up one stitch from each edge every other row and incorporating this into the pattern.) Use chart, working from bottom of chart to top.
Using your gauge swatch, calculate how many stitches you will need to decrease for the number of rows between your bust and waist. To do this, determine how many stitches you need at the waist, and how many inches are between the two. You will decrease four times per row. Therefore you should divide the number of decreased stitches you have by four. This gives you the number of decrease rows. Divide the number of decrease rows by the number of rows you have between the arrow stripe and the waist.
At the end of that skein, change to size 6.
At the end of that skein, change to size 7.
You get the idea. Continue the skirt, moving up one needle size at the end of each skein until the skirt is as long as you like. Bind off.
Weave in ends.
Wear and look beautiful!