I have to admit that as much as I love handknit sweaters, I was always a bit afraid to knit a sweater dress. It just seems like an awful lot of knitting that’s sure to sag and not be as pretty at the end of the day as it was at the beginning.
I finally broke down and knit one, the Museum Tunic from Modern Top-Down Knitting. It’s dead simple, fast to knit and a classic design by Kristina McGowan. I just realized my project on Ravelry still shows it as only being 95 percent done, when in reality it’s been finished for more than a year.
But the thing is, I only go the guts to wear it yesterday. And the world did not come to an end. It’s comfortable, warm, didn’t stretch too much, and I love having a big garment like that that’s classic and pretty and that I made myself.
If you’re interested in trying out a knit dress, Love Knitting has a great free pattern from Rowan right now. (Free download for people with a free membership to their site.) This one is long sleeved, has a fun lacy pattern on the skirt, and uses a wool-cotton blend, so if you worry you’ll get too hot in a knit dress this one might work well for you (I am cold all the time so I have no such fear).
Pickles has a couple of cute sweater dresses and they offer one size free and the others are for purchase. The I <3 Me Sweater could be just a touch longer to qualify as a dress in my book, but either way it’s a cute bottom up circular yoke sweater with multicolored heart detail (L/XL is free on this one). And the adorable Everyday Luxury Dress (available in XL for free) is indeed as it says the kind of garment that never goes wrong.
Supernova and Bretagne are two great patterns from Filcolana. The first is a simple striped dress while the second is a top-down ribbed tunic where the purl sections get wider on the front and the knit sections on the back. Cool.
Angel Falls from DROPS Design is a top-down raglan worked in garter stitch, stockinette and ribbing for lots of interesting texture without a lot of effort. The Lacy Columns Dress from Universal Yarns is a little fancier looking thanks to the sparkly yarn and lace edging.
The King Tunic from Tahki Stacy Charles is not quite a dress in terms of length, but it’s pretty, full of texture and color and worked with big yarn and needles, so it will be off your needles and on your body in no time.
And if you like a bit of asymmetry, try the Raviolo pattern by Valentina Cosciani or The Hempest by Tiina Huhtaniemi. That second one is more of a summer top, worked as it is in hemp yarn, but you could try it in wool for more warmth or just wear it with layers as shown.
Have you ever knit a sweater dress? Would you? I’d love to hear about it.