Posted by: mamakass | August 30, 2009

FO and Free Pattern: Herringbone Summer Dress

So, this was my most recent pattern I’ve been designing. If you’ve been following my blog, you know I’ve been coyly mentioning this project. Well, it’s done now. It’s not exactly what I’d hoped it would be, (because I got bored of it, so it’s shorter than I wanted) but at the same time, it’s still cute. (And my boyfriend loves it!)


Pattern: Herringbone Summer Dress

Yarn: Thrift Store Sweater yarn that I dyed. It’s DK weight cotton. I used about 600 yards

Needles: Size 4

Things I do like about this pattern:

The pattern stitch is really quite lovely-looking.

The hemline, with the back being shorter than the front, imitates the look of a man’s shirt, making for a very sexy look.

It makes a good dress for lounging around the house, since I’m too much of a prude to wear it out in public.

The pattern itself is rather mindless, making for a good project to do whilst doing other things.


Things I do not like about this pattern:

The pattern stitch is incredibly time-consuming. So time-consuming that I gave up on the dress about 2 inches too short because there were other things I wanted to knit and I couldn’t stand the idea of spending that much longer on the dress. But really, if you aren’t into miniskirts, make it longer than I did.


The Pattern:

The basic shape of this dress is two large triangles attached to each other below the breasts. As such, this pattern increases 4 stitches on every right side row. I prefer to use the lifted increase.

I made this dress in size XS, get more yarn accordingly. This is a tutorial, so it will explain how to make a dress that fits any size or any gauge. As such, the gauge is irrelevant, but do remember that this is a summer dress, so don’t go making it in bulky weight and then wonder why it has no drape. With this pattern, drape is good, bulky is bad. Choose your yarn accordingly.

I used size 4 needles, but again, use whatever needles you think look nice with whatever yarn you’ve chosen.

Pattern stitch (multiple of 3 stitches +1):

Row 1 (RS): K1, *yo, sl1, k2, pass slipped stitch over 2 stitches; repeat from * to end.

Row 2 (WS): P1, *yo, sl1, p2, pass slipped stitch over 2 stitches; repeat from * to end.


1. When doing this pattern, the yo from the row before will always be the FIRST stitch after the slipped stitch of the pattern on the next row. I know it sounds confusing, but once you start doing it, this will make sense and be helpful when you’re deciding whether or not to add a repeat.

2. I found it helpful to always grab the slipped stitch to pass over from the right side when doing the purl row. The stitch is almost impossible to grab from the wrong side, so reach your needle behind and grab from the right side.

To begin:

CO 7 sts twice with two separate balls of yarn. You now have fourteen stitches on your needles that are not connected to each other. These are the corners that create the bust. Until they are connected, you will do all instructions to both pieces. This will ensure that they are exactly the same. If you prefer to knit one at a time, you can knit the first, place it on a holder, then knit the second and connect them.

Row 1: knit 3, increase 1, pm, knit 1, pm, inc 1, knit 3

R2: p all stitches

R3: knit 4, inc 1, knit 1, inc 1, knit to end

Note: there should always be 4 stitches on the outside of the markers

R4: p4, begin pattern stitch until marker,slip marker, p4

R5: k4, inc 1, continue in pattern until marker, inc, 1, k4

Continue in this way, increasing one on the inside of each stitch marker on every right side, adding a pattern repeat when three stitches become available to do so, until the triangles are large enough to fully cover the breasts, ending on a right side.

Next row: purl all stitches, attaching the two triangles into one piece. (leave all four stitch markers in place.) Make sure to twist all yarn overs so they do not create a hole in the knitting.

Next row: k4, inc 1*yo, k2tog, k1, until four from end, inc 1, k4

Note: it is possible that this stitch pattern will not evenly fit on your number of stitches. If it doesn’t, make sure not to increase more than you should.

Next row: p all stitches..

Next row: knit all stitches, increasing as before

Next row: continue again as above in pattern stitch, making sure that the four stitches on the outside and the eight stitches in the middle between the markers continue to be in stockinette, as above. Continue increasing four stitches every right side row.

When the dress is long enough to wear it, bind off loosely. At the top corners, make Ysolda’s button loops to thread the ribbon through. Thread ribbon through the under-the-bust yarnovers and the button loops to make a halter. Put the dress on. (Yes, I know it’s open in the back at this point.)


Grab the sides of the triangle and pull it around you and find the point where the two sides will reach around your lower back. Pin it there so you know where it is when you get to sewing.

Seam the back of the dress closed from the bottom to the place you just found.

Weave in ends.



  1. Do you have a phot of the back of this dress to share?

    • Oh, I’m sorry! I’ll put one up right now! Silly me.

  2. that is a really nice dress and you did a great job on it.

    • Thank you, Judy.

  3. Beautiful and very creative. Love it.

  4. I think this dress is immodest. What are women thinking when they design/wear such attire? They surely need some other sort of attention other than what this would arouse.

  5. What a world! My comment awaits “moderation” but the dress, which offends the dignity of any thinking woman, is the immoderate one.

    • I’m sorry you feel that way.

    • I happen to be a strong, intelligent, professional woman, and I think this dress is adorable, and plan to make it as soon as I can, and then I will wear it proudly. Thank you for sharing your pattern!

  6. Cute! Nice Work! Thank you for sharing!

  7. Congratulations on being the pattern of the day!!. I enjoyed your show of appreciation and modesty over being chosen. You apparently have a talent with knitting and should continue to flaunt it!

    • Thanks, Dad.

  8. This is such a cute little dress ! I’ll try to make it 🙂

  9. Wonderful job

  10. […] – Flowy little sun dress […]

  11. I was just wondering…. You start with 2 sets of yarn and then move to one so what do you do with the second yarn. I am a beginner and am not sure what to do.

    • Lindsay,
      When you are ready to move to just one yarn, you cut the other, leaving about a 6 inch tail and just continue knitting with one strand. When you are finished, you will weave in that end like you would any other.

  12. This is such a cute dress! I think I’m gonna make it about the length you did in one solid color, then add another few inches of crocheted lace to the hem in a coordinating color, maybe some trim aruond the top and back too. Very cute.

  13. Hi, I LOVE your jumper. I am a guy and was introduced to knitting many years ago by my wife. She was learning herself and taught me. Anyway, I knitted about 3 years before I attempted my first pull-over sweater. After that, the world opened up to me. It is easier to visualize knitting something without even a pattern. However, the way you knitted your jumper is unique and really beautiful. That took talent. Congrats. Women love clothes, unlike most men and I dig that about women. Awesome.

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