This second edition of Sophie’s Rainbow Dress is not just any remake. It’s a revamp!
If you follow me on Instagram you may have caught me mourning (tongue-in-cheek) the, erm, death of my daughter’s first Rainbow Dress. I had knit it for her when she was four years old, and despite the subsequent additions of a cardi, a few pairs of mitts, several socks, many hats and another dress it remained her absolute favorite knit–up until it found its way into the clothes dryer.
Sophie had carelessly tossed it into her dirty clothes hamper, and in turn Hubby dumped it into the washer and then the dryer without realizing it was in there. The dress came out severely felted and 300% smaller. It was ruined. All the precious memories of Sophie dancing around and doing cute stuff in her favorite dress flooded back to me, and it felt like a piece of her childhood was gone forever. With much sympathy, my Instagram followers offered up a variety of suggestions: transform it into a pillow, purse, bag or mitts; use it to dress a doll or stuffy of Sophie’s; or cut it up into coasters or a hat.
While pondering my options I noticed that our cat Bones had taken a liking to the dress and had started “nesting” on it regularly. The little girl inside of me decided to slip the dress on her, which I did–and she actually liked it! (I know she doesn’t look all that happy in the above picture, but that’s just her RBF.) She is a cold-natured cat, so I think she appreciates the added warmth. Sometimes we put the dress on her and she sits in it for a while, but usually she prefers to cozy up on it for a nap. Long story short, Sophie’s first Rainbow Dress was repurposed into a cat dress.
Now that we covered the first Rainbow Dress we can move on to the second. For this revamp I decided Sophie deserved a higher quality yarn (not for being so careless with her first dress but for other reasons). I had to go with my absolute favorite DK weight yarn: Primrose Yarn Co‘s Marquess MCN DK. For those who don’t know, MCN stands for Merino, Cashmere and Nylon, and in my opinion this trio produces the most optimal balance in comfort, stretch and drape for a garment knit with DK weight yarn.
Fortunately, Kelsey of Primrose had just announced an update, so Sophie got to choose from an assortment of exciting colors. In a matter of seconds she decided on the colorway “Spring Break.” Hot pink, oceanic blues and rainbow speckles are the stuff of her dreams. To me she looks like a fancy cupcake.
The Rainbow Dress design is by Georgie Nicolson (Tikki Knits), and it’s a good one! I rarely knit the same thing twice, so that in and of itself should speak volumes about this pattern. For both of Sophie’s dresses I kept it simple and knit the same garter hem, but the pattern includes several other hem options, including three ruffled hems, two picot hems and two lace hems. My favorite element of this pattern, however, is the sizing options. The sizing for this dress starts at Newborn and goes all the way up to 10 years. The garter top/bodice is designed to stretch with growth, which is why my daughter was able to wear her 4-year dress for so long. (Most recently, before the dryer mishap, she was wearing it as a short tunic-length top.)
For the latest version I knit the 10-year size, and since Sophie is 9 years old and her measurements fell well within the measurements for that size I figure she will grow out of it emotionally before she grows out of it physically, but who knows? She might be into hot pink well into her teens…
A Small Gripe
Why are there so few knitting patterns for older children when compared with babies/younger children and adults? When my kids were babies and toddlers I dressed them almost entirely in play clothes. They were both messy eaters, plus they had their fair share of barf-y, grubby and explosive-BM moments, so I was all for practicality. Besides, at that age children outgrow each size at an ungodly rate. After a few of my knits received only a handful of wears I grew disenchanted and knit them very few garments, with plans to knit them more when they were older. Little did I know that the selection would become narrower and narrower. (And little did I know that my son would be like his father–hot-natured and not keen on wearing sweaters.)
Now that Jake and Sophie are older, using the Ravelry pattern search turns up fewer patterns for their size. Before long they will be in the XS range, but for the time being, knit garments appear to be limited. I do wish that Ravelry had a better search for narrowing down the size range for kids because the size range for child (4-12) mostly includes patterns that go up only to size 6 or so. I can’t tell you how many cute dress patterns I’ve come across on Ravelry, only to realize that the sizing does not accommodate older children.
To view my Rainbow Dress project page on Ravelry, click here.
To view the Rainbow Dress pattern page on Georgie Nicolson’s Ravelry store, click here.