I don't know why, but I sort of feel like I should explain why the rainbow dress is now for sale. Yes, it used to be a free pattern, and it was a very very popular free pattern. And now if you want it, you need to buy it. I guess I feel the need to explain this change because I know there actually will be some people who will be miffed about this, strange as it is, as it is my pattern and how I share it really is my decision. Nevertheless, no doubt some won't be happy. I don't really like upsetting people and I guess that's part of the reason I have been so nervous about relaunching the pattern.
I first knit the rainbow dress back in January 2008. I designed it specifically to suit some gorgeous gradient dyed rainbow yarn from the yarn cafe. I then published it free on my blog from where literally hundreds of people have knit it.
It has been popular, far more popular than I could ever have envisaged. To be honest, I was surprised that anyone else at all knit it. This morning the original pattern was the most popular child knit pattern on Ravelry (before I changed it to a baby pattern as I was adding the big sis version).
I've knit plenty of rainbow dresses since then, and as I have done so I've improved and tinkered with the pattern. I ironed out a couple of little things that weren't quite right in the first pattern,added other bits and "unvented" a technique to improve construction. That's part of the reason I decided to re-publish the pattern.
The other reason is the pms and emails and messages. I get stacks of them asking me for variations; how do I do a hem like this or that, can you add instructions to your blog for doing that, how does the bodice actually work, can you explain the construction I don't understand how it works, how do I knit it flat, can you upsize it for me for my 5 year old daughter, how do I knit it in different weight yarn, where can I find the yarn you use, how do I knit on circular needles, etc. etc. and etc. and so on and so on. If you've contacted me with a question like this please don't feel I'm singling you out, as I literally have received so many of those type of questions that at times it has been impossible to answer them all. Some I've found in my junk box, some who've left comments on the patterns themselves I often don't find until months later. Some simply got lost when Andy swapped my computers over .. a number of times. But most of them I actually answered. Very time consuming I can tell you. I often found myself writing the what seemed like the same email over and over again
It seems if you offer a free pattern you're also expected to offer free pattern support.
So then I decided if I rewrote the pattern I could add all those things that repeatedly come up and hopefully I wouldn't have to answer so many emails and messages.
I reformatted and have now re-published the pattern, a process that has taken months and months. I've added a stack of options and pictures and information to help you with the construction of the dress itself. I've had it test knitted by a wide range of knitters, got feedback from graphic designers, and generally feel like it's been perched on my left shoulder bugging away at me.
During the process a couple of my knitting friends who I respect dearly, asked me if I was planning on selling the pattern; after all, there was a heck of a lot of work going into the rewrite. I hadn't considered it. But after discussion with my husband, sister and other people who would listen, I decided that it was the right direction to take it.
And so from today, the Rainbow Dress, the much improved and hugely versatile Rainbow Dress is available for sale.
It comes in 14 different sizes from 15 - 28 inch (newborn to girls size 10). It has 9 different hem options and a couple of different things you can try on the bodice. There are two versions of the pattern; the baby sizes (15 - 21 inch) and the big sis version (22 - 28 inch). the pattern is easily printed out as a 15 or 16 page booklet after you receive it in pdf format via email.
I'm really proud of how far this little pattern has come. And I'm really pleased with the finished product. I hope you like it too. :)
oh, it still doesn't have instructions for knitting it flat; as that would be at total odds with what the dress design is all about; NO SEAMING!!!
It's available from Ravelry or my ozebaby store for $7 per pattern, or you can purchase both together from my ozebaby store for $10.
go on buy, it you know you want to ;)
oh oh, I forgot to add
To celebrate the launch of the new Rainbow Dress I'm having a little competition. Leave a comment below and I'll randomly draw a name. The winner will receive hard copies of both Rainbow Dress patterns as well as some other little knitty surprises ;)