Thursday, July 10, 2008

Oriental Lily Dress Pattern


Thanks Sue!!!

I love stash buster patterns. I have loads of 100gram and 200gram lots in my stash. This pattern has been designed to use as little as 200gram of yarn and half a ball or so contrast yarn.

This pattern is ideally suited for variegated and striped yarns. If you're after something special, I can thoroughly recommend the hand dyed yarns from the stores on yarn collective; my favourites being Monsterknits, the yarn cafe, Dyelicious and Spare Ribs.

This is a really simple pattern, easy enough for a beginner knitter. If you can cast on, cast off, knit, purl, pick up stitches (only 6) and increase; you can knit this pattern. The best thing of all is you don't need to seam it up at the end as it is completely seamless; just a few loose ends to weave in.

I've tried to make the instructions as easy to follow as possible; who knows they may be straightforward enough that my sister will knit it!!!

This pattern was originally designed to fit my three year old; she is a slight build so I have given chest measurements and ideas on slight alterations to sizings.


Sizes: Newborn. 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, childs 2-3

Chest measurements based on actual approximate body measurements
Newborn ~ 15 inch/38 cm
3 month ~ 16 inch/41 cm
6 month ~ 17 inch/43 cm
9 month ~ 18 inch/46 cm
12 month ~ 19 inch/48.5 cm
2 years ~ 20 inch/53 cm
fit suitable to close fitting, very close fitting or with negative ease

Yarn: 8 ply/DK weight yarn ~ I used The Wool Company's Utiku Multicolours in 'Watermelon' as the main colour and Cleckheaton Country 8 ply for the contrast colour
* approximately 400yards of the main colour yarn for the largest size; you will need more if you wish to make a longer dress
* 40-100 yards of contrast colour yarn
* 8 stitch markers

Needles: 4mm circulars in 30cm, 60cm and 80cm(optional) lengths

Tension: 22 stitches and 30 rows to 10cm/4 inches in stocking stitch

kfab ~ increase by knitting into the front and back of the stitch
M1 ~ make one, increase by picking up the bar between the stitches with the left needle coming from the front and knitting through the back of the picked up bar.
sm ~ stitch marker
slipm ~ slip the stitch marker from the left needle to the right needle

Cast on 24 (28, 32, 36, 40, 44) stitches, I would suggest using the long tail cast on method.

Row 1: In this row, you will be adding stitch markers to show you where to increase.
NB k2, place sm, k4, place sm, k12, place sm, k4, place sm, k2
3m k2, place sm, k4, place sm, k16, place sm, k4, place sm, k2
6m k2, place sm, k6, place sm, k16, place sm, k6, place sm, k2
9m k2, place sm, k6, place sm, k20, place sm, k6, place sm, k2
12m k2, place sm, k8, place sm, k20, place sm, k8, place sm, k2

size 2 and 3: Knit 2, place stitch marker, knit 8, place stitch marker, knit 24, place stitch marker, knit 8, place stitch marker, knit 2.

Row 2: knit

Row 3: In this row you will begin the pattern of increasing.
kfab, kfab, slipm, kfab, knit to one stitch before sm, kfab, slipm, kfab, knit to one stitch before sm, kfab, slipm, kfab, knit to one stitch before sm, kfab, slipm, kfab, kfab

Eg, for size 2: kfab, kfab, slipm, kfab, knit 6, kfab, slipm, kfab, knit 22, kfab, slipm, kfab, knit 6, kfab, slipm, kfab, kfab. (54 stitches in total)

Essentially, you increase in the first stitch of each row, before and after each stitch marker and in the last stitch of the row.

Row 4: knit

Row 5: kfab, knit to one stitch before sm, kfab, slipm, kfab, knit to one stitch before stitch marker, kfab, slipm, kfab, knit to one stitch before sm, kfab, slipm, kfab, knit to one stitch before stitch marker, kfab, slipm, kfab, knit to second last stitch, kfab.

Row 6: knit 4, purl to last 4 stitches, knit 4.

Repeat row 5 and 6 until you've worked a total of 14 (14, 15, 15, 16, 16) sets of increases. The stitch set up between the stitch markers should be
NB 30/32/40/32/30; 164 stitches
3m 30/32/44/32/30; 168 stitches
6m 32/36/46/36/32; 182 stitches
9m 32/36/50/36/32; 186 stitches
12m 34/40/52/40/34; 200 stitches
2y 34/40/56/40/34; a total of 204 stitches.

If you wish to make the next size up I would suggest adding an extra set of increases in here.

Next row: kfab, knit until sm, slip the next 32 (32, 36, 36, 40, 40) stitches which are between the stitch markers onto a piece of scrap yarn (these will become the sleeves) knit 40 (44, 46, 50, 52, 56), slip the next 32 (32, 36, 36, 40, 40) stitches onto another piece of scrap yarn, knit 29 (29, 31, 31, 33, 33), kfab.

For all sizes except the newborn, the following set of rows will complete the bodice:
* Knit 4, purl to last four stitches, knit 4.
* kfab, knit to last stitch, kfab.

Complete the required numbe of sets for each size:
NB - 0, 3m - 1, 6m - 1, 9m - 1, 12m - 1, 2yr - 2.

You should now have a total of 102(108, 114, 118, 124, 130) stitches.

Do not turn work.
With the right side of your work facing (the working yarn will be coming from the right hand needle) slip the first 22 (20, 22, 18, 20, 18) stitches from the left needle onto a stitch holder/ cable needle or another small circular.
Knit into the 23rd (21st, 23rd, 19th, 21st, 19th) stitch to join in the round.
Knit around to the last 22 (20, 22, 18, 20, 18) stitches.

Knit the stitches on the stitch holder together with the last 22(20, 22, 18, 20, 18) stitches on your needle, making sure you purl the last four stitches.
You will be knitting with the stitches on the stitch holder held behind your live working stitches and knitting them together; so bringing your needle through the front stitch and then the back stitch in the same position; then knit them off as one stitch. Purling together the last 4 stitches will continue the garter stitch border that goes around the bodice and neckline.

This will decrease by 22 (20, 22, 18, 20, 18) and create the crossover bodice.

You should now have a total of 80 (88, 92, 100, 104, 112) stitches.

Knit to the underarm. Place stitch marker.

Change to the contrast yarn.
Knit one round.
Purl one round.
Repeat the lst two rounds until you complete 8 (8, 10, 12, 14, 14) rounds in total or your preferred length.

Switch back to the main colour.

you'll now be knitting the skirt.

Knit 10 rounds.
Round 11: In this row you will be placing stitch marker to set up your increases in the skirt. You will be placing a total of 8 increases evenly around the skirt. For some sizes this works exactly, but for the 6 month and 9 month sizes you will need to alternate the number of stitches between the markers.

Knit this round placing a stitch marker after every 10 (11, alternating 11 and 12, alternating 12 and 13, 13, 14) stitches, with 8 stitch markers in total.

Round 12(increase round): * Knit to stitch marker, M1, slipm.... repeat from * to end of round.

For the 2-3 year size, which is a tad longer than tunic length and finishes just below Lily's bum, from hereon I increased every 6 rounds. If you're planning a longer dress, I would suggest adding the increases every 8 rounds for a more elongated skirt increase.

For the newborn size, 24cm from underarm to the bottom of the dress is suggested, with 6 sets of increases every six rounds.

Knit 5 rounds.

Complete increase round, again by M1 before each stitch marker in the round.

Continue with the pattern of increasing every 6 0r 8 rounds.

I completed 10 sets of increases for the size 2 length.

Knit 2 rounds.

Alternate between purling and knitting a round, beginning with a purl round. I completed 5 rounds, thus finishing with a purl round.
Cast off knitwise.
Transfer one set of sleeve stitches from waste yarn onto a 30cm circular.
Pick up three stitches from under the arm onto the right hand needle. You will see a sideways loop at the edge of each side of the work, pick up the closest to the right needle, pick up through the stitch underneath the arm that sits between the two sides, and then the other loop. I find that picking up these three like this leaves very little gaping or need for darning when it comes to weaving in the ends.

You will have a total of 35 (35, 39, 39, 43, 43) stitches.

Knit 15 (19, 22, 27, 33, 39) rounds.

When knitting your second or so row place a stitch marker to indicate the start of the round. This should come between the 2nd and 3rd picked up stitch under the arm.

Alternative sleeve option:
After picking up stitches knit 6 (6, 7, 7, 8, 8) rounds.
Switch to contrast yarn, knit 6 (6, 7, 7, 8, 8) rounds or your required length of alternating purl, knit for a garter stitch band.
Switch back to the main colour and knit 3 (7, 8, 13, 17, 23) rounds.

Round 16 (20, 23, 28, 34, 40): Work the increases for all sizes. M1, knit remainder of round - 36 (36, 40, 40, 44, 44) stitches.
Round 17 (21, 24, 29, 35, 41): place stitch marker half way around the arm, after the 18th (18th, 20th, 20th, 22nd, 22nd) stitch.
Round 18 (22, 25, 30, 36, 42): knit
Round 19 (23, 26, 31, 37, 43): k18 (18, 20, 20, 22, 22), m1, sm, k18 (18, 20, 20, 22, 22), m1

Continue to increase every 5 rounds in the same manner by M1 before the stitch marker.
For example in the size 2, increases to occur in rounds 48, 53, 58, 63.

Knit sleeves for a total of 36 (40, 43, 48, 54, 65) rounds or desired length.

Sleeve cuff:
Beginning with a purl round, alternate purling and knitting a round for 5 rounds, thus finishing with a purl round.
Cast off knitwise.

Complete the second sleeve in the same manner.

Sleeve lengths are approximately 14 (15.5, 16.5, 18, 20, 23) cms. For longer sleeves I would suggest working more knit rounds in before you begin the increases. For each extra cm you will need to add about 3 rounds.

Weave in ends and gently block dress.

Please email me if you have any questions or find any errors in this pattern ~

The copyright of this pattern remains with myself. This pattern is provided free for personal home use only. Commercial use of this pattern is a violation of the copyright.  Selling products made from this pattern is prohibited under the copyright unless express written permission has been granted by myself as of Februry 11 2009.


  1. WOW- I love it! YOur colour choices are superb as well, Now to figure out how to make it bigger or to get the hubster to not mind his son wearing it-lol
    I need to finsd a little girl to make this for :0)

  2. So pretty. Thanks for the pattern.

  3. Gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing the pattern.

  4. That is absolutely stunning! I can't wait until I can knit things like that! Thank you for sharing the pattern :)

  5. You don't know me, but I just had to leave a comment about how beautiful this dress is!! (I found your blog from a link on I would love to know about it if you get the pattern sized for NB...I'm trying to find the perfect picture and coming home dress for my little one and this would be it!

  6. just love it! Its gorgeous... have three boys so trying to figure out how to make it bigger for myself.... :)

  7. I love love love this dress pattern! Thankyou so much for sharing! Now to put the kettle on and read the rest of your great blog...

  8. Just a quick note to say this is such a cute dress and the child in the picture is gorgeous!

  9. will this pattern fit 2t? I'm unsure what size 2 or 3 mean

    thank you!Jennifer

  10. Yes, Jennifer it will fit a size 2T :)

  11. Is this worked completely on circulars, including cast on and the bodice?

  12. wow I love this pattern! Any news as to when/if you will be making this available in other sizes? I really NEED to make this in a 3 month size :)

    Well done and thank you for the lovely patterns

  13. Hi smitha, yes it is worked completely on circulars, although the bodice is knit flat. It just makes it easier for when you join the bodice if you knit that section on circulars :)

    Thanks Amanda, the 3 month size has now been added :D

  14. thank you for this amazing pattern. my lil one loves it and i learnt knitting on circs through your excellent instructions. can't goback to the straight needles ever.....
    in india,knitting blogs are not so popular, so people who compliment me are amazed when i tell them about finding your pattern through your blog :).
    looking forward to some more inspirations from you...
    would love to email a picture of my daughter wearing my version.

  15. This has made my little girls very happy. My older girl, I made a Christmas dress in burgundy and gray. And an alnost matching one for my baby. It is soooo easy and great design. I've gotten a million compliments.

  16. My daughter loved the rainbow dress I made for her from your pattern and now wants me to make this one for her. It is so cute! My problem is that she is a size 7! I am new to knitting and it doesn't seem right to double the cast on and start from there. Any advice??

  17. Thank you for such a lovely Oriental dress. I love the clolr. However I have a hard time trying to find the exact yarn that you used. Would you be able to help me find it? Maybe on line? Thanks

  18. Thank you for the lovely Oriental dress. Would you be able to help me to find the exact yarn that you used to knit this dress? Thanks

  19. This is just beautiful - can't wait to start on it for my own Lily. Thanks for posting it!

  20. Hi,
    I love this, as well as many other Spanish knitters.
    If you want I can translate it into Spanish so you can share it with them.
    Thanks for the pattern.

    pd:my e mail

  21. Hi! Gorgeous pattern- just what I've been looking for. I am in awe of your patten making abilities, and your obvious patience!

    I was wondering how you would make the the dress sleevless, or with cap sleeves? I live in Brisbane, and our winter is so short, not to mention the fact it will probably be almost over by the time I finish this! So I want my DD to be able to wear it for more than one season, iykwim? Would you just cast off those sts you'd normally put on the yarn for later, or would you put them on the holder, then knit a cap sleeve on straight needles, decreasing at each edge and maybe finish it with a decorative crochet edge?

    Looking forward to hearing from you :)

  22. made a size 6 and it was a great pattern to follow, garment was very cute and sizing was true, thank you. Now I want to make another out of yarn I love, gauge is 6 st to the inch, I want to make a size 24 months or a 20 inch chest finished, according to the stitch count that means a size 3, that seems a bit much, but that is what the math says,it is for my grandduaghter and she is tiny but I want her to be able to wear it over next fall and winter, comments or suggestions?

  23. hi, this is luce from italy.THis dress is really really nice!!!! How I'd like it to be translated in italian to knit it for my sweet 15 months doughter. Anyhow thank you for shearing it. I'll try to follow it in english.


  24. Dress looks great. Pattern seems very clear ... I'd like to make it with short sleeves, as it's for a 3 year old in a warmer spring climate. Any suggestions on what to do? Many thanks,

  25. Thanks for the pattern - really lovely! I'll be making this for my 3-year-old niece. :)

  26. I love this pattern and your daughter is beautiful. Would love to make the pattern for my 12.5 years old granddaughter. Any chance you would provide the changes I would need to make to the pattern? please

  27. Thanks for a lovely pattern - its easy to knit and looks wonderful.

  28. Thanks for sharing this pattern. I loved making the dress and now I'm on my second one.


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