Dahlia modifications

January 14, 2010

If you spot any glaring errors, feel free to ask/correct/chastise me!

This is my version of Mary Weaver’s lovely ‘Dahlia’ which I fiddled with a bit to make it suit me better. Several people have asked me to post the modifications I made, so here we go!

for reference, I made size xs as I wanted negative ease (I am a UK 10 to 12/34″bust)- if you want a similar look you might want to consider picking a size or so smaller than you usually would. The length is adjustable, so pick the bodice size that approximates the kind of look you want (skin-tight, roomier, etc) If you are quite well endowed you could pick a larger bodice size and then do some decreasing where the pattern suggests skirt increases in order to get a nicely fitted waist

Mary’s model for this pattern is a willowy and beautiful girl who looks great in the original loose-fitting, low necked design. As my proportions are more Betty Boop on a bad day, I changed the neckline, the bodice length, and the shape of the cabled ‘skirt’ thus:

For the neckline:

The neckline was too low for my liking so I picked up the neckline stitches after finishing and knitted a picot edge, creating a slightly gathered affect which moved the neckline up to a wearable level. You could also try, as I did,  leaving out all or some of the final set of rows 1-6 repeats, and instead incorporating the increases needed into the previous rows 1-6 repeats. I should stress that this was somewhat trial and error – I can’t recall exactly where I placed my increases as this was made a while ago when I was far too busy getting drunk and failing to attend lectures at uni to do anything as sensible as make pattern notes 😉

So, a rough guide would be to work as set in original pattern until the final repeat for your size of the increase rows 1-6, then:

Row 1(WS): purl, as in original pattern.

Row 2 (RS): k1, m2, [k to marker, RLI, slip marker, LLI] 4 times, m2, k1. (12 stitches increased)

Row 3(WS): p1, m2, [p to marker, RLI, slip marker, LLI] 4 times, m2, p1. (12 sts increased)

Row 4 (RS): Knit as row 2 in original pattern, so – [k to marker, RLI, slip marker, LLI] 4 times. (8 sts increased).

Row 5 (WS): Knit as row 6 in original pattern, so – k1, m1, [k to marker, RLI, slip marker, LLI,] 4 times, m1, k1. (10 sts increased)

Row 6 (RS): Knit as set in original pattern. (10 sts increased).

You have now increased 52 stitches in total over these 6 rows (instead of the standard 26 per repeat of rows 1-6, as set in the pattern), giving you the required number for beginning the skirt. In the case of size xs, I increased from 91st to 221 sts in total.

For the bodice:

I only worked 4 inches from underarm, instead of the recommended 4-7. For reference, the sample in the original pattern measures 5.5 inches from underarm to beginning of cabled skirt. It’s easy to try as you work and adapt it to your own body proportions.

For the skirt:

I did no increases at all as I wanted a skin-tight fit. If you want a little more ease at the hips while keeping the nipped-in waist, you could work the cable pattern without increases (as it is worked over an even number of stitches, which you will already have without increasing) until you get to the desired level at the top of your hip (probably around 5-7 inches depending on your body length) and then do your final inches as set out in the pattern, working increases into the cables over 5 rows as stated in the pattern.

I hope this helps – feel free to contact me if it doesn’t and I will do my best to assist.


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