From a Dress to a Tunic in Nine Months

Today I got to see what happens when a piece of knitwear transforms into something new.

Some pieces are outgrown quickly or rendered too warm when the weather changes. Others magically adapt with the wearer, transformed into something else entirely. You may recall that last Christmas, I made Alice a dress. The highly successful Fiona’s Top, which I deliberately made big enough for her to wear as a dress. Back then, she and the dress looked like this. Check out the chubby knees!

Alice's new dress

Since then, she’s learned to walk, grown taller and trimmed down a little thanks to that boundless energy that is so present in the average 18month old. She arrived for a visit today looking like this.

Alice's Tunic

It’s no longer a dress but a snazzy little tunic top! And it’s perfect! She’s remained petite around the shoulders so it fits her perfectly still.

Just as it was intended as a lovely summer cotton dress, it’s now a nice trans-seasonal piece to go over light tops for a little extra warmth, whatever she’s doing.

Alice's Tunic

The Rowan 4ply cotton which was so great to knit with has worn extremely well. Ignore the dark patches in the photo below. That’s just dribble!

It’s held its shape and colour and will see her through spring, summer and perhaps even autumn into next year.

Alice's Tunic

I call that a successful knit.

And speaking of dresses, I got to try a new sewn dress on her this morning to see if I got it right. I think it works! Come summer it’ll be so cool and pretty!

cotton dress

It’s so great having a little model to try new sewing projects on. I need to find some nice beginner sewing projects for six year old boys so I can make something for Willem!



24 thoughts on “From a Dress to a Tunic in Nine Months

  1. fantastic! I love that long lasting value. Bena’s little sisters dress has been retired now after going from dress to tunic over many months (maybe over a year?) and now she has a ‘Sweetheart’ dress that I hope will do the same.

  2. oh well done on the dress! looks great! my girls wear them all year round and have loads of them!!!!!!!!!!!

    for boys you can’t beat a simple pair of denim pants with a cute contrasting pocket or knee patch! too easy, elastic waist and not too heavy denim!


  3. Look how much she’s grown… she’s like a weed!

    It’s nice seeing how knits are used as the weather or the recipient changes. I could see Little Sister’s Dress working well as a dress/tunic/top as well. In fact, I think Olivia made one which was used in such a manner…

  4. a very successful knit indeed. it looks great as a tunic, and has worn really well. the dress will be perfect for summer, and does work well as a pinafore too.

  5. the definition of the perfect photo for a blog … when a reader is making the same expression as Alice in the photo. The slightly open mouth ooh expression. That is so cute and Alice just keeps getting cuter.

  6. I endorse the pajama pants for Will. They are all the rage (and they’re really comfortable). There are a lot of college kids on the train in the morning all looking like they just rolled out of bed. My girls informed me that those are ‘outside’ pajama pants. Who knew?

    I love those little summer dresses. Think how cute Alice will look when it’s hot and she can put on one of those herself.

  7. I saw some cute jammie pants patterns for boys somewhere… if I remember where I’ll email you. Fiona looks just as cute outgrown. Can’t believe how big Alice has gotten already. Seems like just yesterday she was an itty bitty baby!

  8. It’s so great that she can still wear the top, and can do so for a while yet 0 very successful knitwear!! And too cute – she looks very impish in the photo reading the book!

    I was going to suggest shorts or trousers for Will too – they are quite easy to make (just as long as you sew the correct seams together – ask me how I know!!). And pyjama pants/shorts are a great idea too – you can have a bit more fun with fabrics that way!

  9. That’s definitely a great pattern, because if you hadn’t shown the ‘before’ photos, I wouldn’t have realised this was an ‘after’!! Nice dress too!!

  10. When I visited the dotee in Brisbane a couple of weekends ago she was also using her version of ‘Fiona’s Top’ as a vest (with patterned tights, patterned skirt and patterned t-shirt – she’d dressed herself most riotously). Fiona’s Top is perfect for Brisbane year-round or Canberra trans-seasonal wear. Like you, I love these sorts of adaptable patterns.

  11. Alice is such a gorgeous little model and I am happy to see handknits when they last more than one season! The little blue dress is just adorable. You could always sew some pj’s for Willem or some shorts for the upcoming summer in some bright fabrics!

  12. As always, your model is lovely. Best thing about knitting is that it stretches. I knit a sweater for a cousin’s kid, and she wore it until she was ten. Granted, the kid’s small, but still. I hope Alice can wear hers as long.

  13. Fantastic. So many children’s clothes don’t get past one season due to the gorgeous little people who insist on growing!

    Glad to see a dress/top that will grow with her for a bit longer.

    I too call that VERY sucessful knitting.

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