Knitting & Crochet

Knit a belted tunic dress

By: Suss Cousins

Author: Canadian Living

Knitting & Crochet

Knit a belted tunic dress

By: Suss Cousins

Have you made this? Send your picture to feedback AT canadianliving DOT com and we'll post it in our photo gallery!

An elegant, 1940s-inspired piece knit with 100 per cent cotton slub yarn in a seed stitch pattern will stay comfortable during a long wedding day. The dress is a classic shape that's exactly the kind of bridesmaid dress everyone wants: both flattering during the wedding and versatile for using afterward. It looks perfect with high heels and a pearl necklace, plus you can wear it over a silk camisole, with pants or a long skirt, or even over a bikini in the summer.

Click to view larger image

Experience level: Advanced
Sizes: Small (medium, large, extra large)

Finished measurements
Chest: 34" (36", 38", 40")/86 (91, 96.5, 101.5) cm
Length: 36" (37", 38", 39")/91 (94, 96.5, 99) cm

Yarn
9 (9, 10, 10) skeins Suss Twisted (100% slub cotton; 2.5 ounces/71 grams; 108 yards/100 m), colour Nude

Notions
• 1 pair size 10 (6 mm) circular needles, 24"/61 cm long
• 1 knitting row counter
• 4 stitch markers
• 1 pair size 7 (4.5 mm) needles
• large tapestry needle
• sewing pins
• 1 size G (4 mm) crochet hook

Gauge
17 stitches and 24 rows = 4"/10 cm in seed stitch with size 10 needles.
24 stitches and 25 rows = 4"/10 cm in one-by-one rib stitch with size 7 needles.

Click to view diagram of dress pieces.

To work seed stitch
Row 1: Knit 1 stitch, purl 1 stitch, repeat until the end of the row.
Row 2: Purl all knit stitches and knit all purl stitches.

Click to view detail of seed stitch pattern.

Back
Cast on 64 (68, 72, 76) stitches with size 10 needles. Work in seed stitch for one row.

Cast on 4 stitches at the beginning of every row for 8 rows -- 96 (100, 104, 108) stitches, 9 rows total. You may wish to use a row counter for this project. Cast on 5 stitches at the beginning of the next 2 rows -- 106 (110, 114, 118) stitches, 11 rows total. Work the added stitches in the seed stitch pattern.

Decrease 1 stitch at the beginning and end of every 10 rows 4 (5, 6, 8) times -- 98 (100, 102, 102) stitches, 41 (51, 61, 81) rows total. Decrease 1 stitch at the beginning and end of every 8 rows 13 (12, 11, 9) times -- 72 (76, 80, 84) stitches, 145 (147, 149, 153) rows total.

To make cap sleeves, increase 1 stitch at the beginning and end of every 4 rows 10 (12, 13, 14) times -- 92 (100, 106, 112) stitches, 185 (195, 201, 209) rows total. Increase 1 stitch at the beginning and end of every 2 rows 4 (2, 1, 0) times -- 100 (104, 108, 112) stitches, 193 (199, 203, 209) rows total.

Bind off 5 stitches at the beginning of every row 12 (12, 8, 10) times -- 40 (44, 68, 62) stitches, 205 (211, 211, 219) rows total. Bind off 3 (4, 4, 4) stitches at the beginning of every row 4 (4, 10, 8) times -- 28 (28, 28, 30) stitches, 209 (215, 221, 227) rows total.

Bind off loosely in seed stitch pattern.

 Page 1 of 2 -- Learn how to make the front and finish your dress on page 2.



Excerpted from Wedding Knits: Handmade Gifts for Every Member of the Wedding Party by Suss Cousins, with photography by Suzuki K. Copyright 2007 by Suss Cousins. Excerpted with permission from Potter Craft, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.

 

Front
Cast on 36 (38, 42, 44) stitches with size 10 needles. Work in seed stitch for one row. Cast on 4 stitches to the beginning of the next row – 40 (42, 46, 48) stitches. Cast on 4 stitches at the beginning of every even-numbered row 3 times – 52 (54, 58, 60) stitches, 8 rows total. Cast on 5 stitches to the beginning of the next (even-numbered) row – 57 (59, 63, 65) stitches, 10 rows total. Work even one row.

Decrease 1 stitch at the beginning of every 10 rows 4 (5, 6, 8) times – 53 (54, 57, 57) stitches, 41 (51, 61, 81) rows total. Until sleeve and neckline shaping, make sure you work all the decreases at the beginning of even-numbered rows. Decrease 1 stitch at the beginning of every 8 rows 13 (12, 11, 9) times – 40 (42, 46, 48) stitches, 145 (147, 149, 153) rows total. Place stitch marker at the beginning of the next (wrong-side) row. This stitch marker should be on the same edge of the piece as the decreases.

To shape cap sleeve and neckline, increase 1 stitch at the beginning and decrease 1 stitch at the end of every 4 wrong-side rows 10 (12, 13, 14) times – 40 (42, 46, 48) stitches, 185 (195, 201, 209) rows total. Increase 1 stitch at the beginning and decrease 1 stitch at the end of every 2 rows 4 (2, 1, 0) times – 40 (42, 46, 48) stitches, 193 (199, 203, 209) rows.

Bind off 5 stitches at the beginning of every wrong-side row 6 (6, 4, 5) times – 10 (12, 26, 23) stitches, 205 (211, 211, 219) rows total. Bind off 3 (4, 4, 4) stitches at the beginning of every wrong-side row 2 (2, 5, 4) – 4 (4, 6, 7) stitches, 209 (215, 221, 227) rows total. Bind off remaining stitches.

Make two. The right and left front pieces are reversible and identical.

Belt
Cast on 12 stitches with size 7 needles.

Work in a one-by-one rib stitch (knit 1 stitch, purl 1 stitch, repeat until the end of the row) until belt measures 64"/162.5 cm, or whatever length you choose.

Bind off.

Finishing
Weave in all loose ends with the tapestry needle.

Since the two front pieces are reversible, place them side by side in a mirrored position to each other. Line up the shoulder seams of each front piece with the shoulder seams of the back. Pin together the shoulder seams and, with the tapestry needle and yarn, sew the shoulder seams using backstitch. Pin the side seams together, making sure you line up the stitch markers as your guides. Sew the side seams using backstitch, starting at the bottom hem and stopping at the stitch markers.

With the crochet hook, work a single crochet around all the edges of the tunic including the bottom hem, neckline, and sleeves.

To make the belt loops, use the crochet hook to make two chains approximately 3"/8 cm long and, with the tapestry needle and yarn, attach them securely to the side seams so the top of the loop lies approximately 4"/10 cm below the bottom of the armhole. You may want to try on the garment first and mark where you would like the belt to be placed.

When you're done with the belt loops, thread the belt through these two loops, tie it around your waist, and you're done!


Page 2 of 2 – Find larger photos of the finished tunic dress on page 1.

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Knitting & Crochet

Knit a belted tunic dress