- What was the inspiration for your submitted design/pattern/project?
I met a little girl while living in New York when she was seven months old. Her name is Alaila Pitts. Alaila is a wonderful 11-year-old now. She has always been special to me. Late last year, I promised that I would make a dress for her. She told me she loves pink and hearts. A knitted dress was the best option to achieve both. I sent the dress to her just in time for Valentines Day. She told me she is going to wear it for Easter and said, “I hope you can come.” You see, I live in Louisiana now. I hope I can go, too.
- Was the design process smooth or did you run into any struggles?
It was not smooth at all. I did an extensive search for a suitable dress design or a pattern stitch that would work for the dress I would make for Alaila. She is a tall girl’s size eight petite. Not having her here to measure, I copied measurements from a chart and made a bodice pattern that I hoped would be comparable to her body type. I even went to the local Sears store and looked at dresses in her size. Finally, I purchased a book (link below) found a christening dress pattern by Judy Lamb (sized for a three- to 12-month-old) and reworked the pattern to accommodate an 11-year-old girl.
- What was the most valuable lesson you learned along the way?
Never give up on a project…especially when it fulfills a promise. I started this dress over several times because I was not satisfied with the pattern stitch. Eventually, I found the right design and made a young girl feel like a princess. Also, while I was working on the dress, my brother-in-law (who was in the last stages of vascular dementia) passed away. Most of my time between December and January was given to helping my sister. I resumed working on the dress in late January and finished it just in February.
- What materials are required to complete this design/pattern/project?
I used a set of size 5 straight knitting needles for the dress. I used a size 2 aluminum crochet hook to make the reverse single-crochet neck-edge finish. I used six heart-shaped pink buttons for the back closure. I used a sheet of drawing paper to construct the size eight bodice for a shaping guide to correspond with a girl’s standard measurement chart size. I used 1-1/2 skeins (300 gram) of Bernat Baby Sport 100% Acrylic yarn, color pink – lot CA43420.
Pages 1-5 of the knitting instructions were uploaded to readers gallery as individual pictures because I could not get them to upload as part of the narrative.