Sunday, May 10, 2009

$1 Sun Dress for Allie

Since Emily Post considers it poor manners to let slip what you spent on a gift, I'm guessing it's a major faux pas to actually blog about it. But Anna will like the dress I knit for Allie even more when she learns how little I spent on it. She's weird like that.

Like our hip, green friend who could have any wedding dress she wanted, but found a classic "Jackie O" gown at Goodwill for $20. A clerk saw how amazing she looked in it and how excited she was and reminded her, "Honey, you don't have to tell anyone how little you spent."

She replied, "Are you kidding! That's the best part! I'm going to tell everyone!"

So, without admitting to be cheap (only environmentally conscious and hip) here's how I knit Allie a cotton sun dress as well as a bear with a matching dress--all for about a dollar. But first, isn't Allie darling!

I started with an XL women's 100% cotton sweater that I found at a thrift store for $3. I'm glad the soft green color worked for this project because you can't dye cotton with food-grade dyes.

I unraveled it and have enough yarn left over for at least three more dresses. I'm knitting one for Bella now.

I made the bear from an XXL men's 100% wool sweater from Goodwill for $3.75. The bear used only a fraction of the yarn from this big sweater. This wool can easily be dyed for socks, hats, fingerless gloves, or more bears. (Princess has excellent taste in fibers.)

I embroidered the daisies with the pricey Cotton Rich that Bobbie gave me on Valentine's Day. I messaged a fellow Ravelry member who had white Cotton Rich in her stash and we made an even trade--some of my lemon for her white. Cost was only postage--about $1.

You know you have an expensive hobby when suppliers use in-your-face marketing blurbs like, "And you thought college was expensive." (I saw that in a Vogue Knitting ad the other day.)

The nicest yarns are definitely worth it, though. It only makes sense to work with the best yarns you can because of the time invested in projects. But when nice yarns can be harvested from high quality garments, that's cool too! More money saved for airfare to see Allie!


  1. I love this! You almost make me want to learn to knit!

  2. I love this! I felt a little guilty before I knew you recycled the yarn, because it looks so nice and high quality I thought you must have used really expensive yarn!

  3. Allie is so adorable, I know you can't hardly wait to see her again!

    Great post and, of course, I love the sun top/dress! Thanks for sharing the pattern. (the bear is just too cute)

  4. Oh I am so gald I "found" you thanks to Karen & Rodney ... this dress is just too cute ... what a clever idea to make it from a thrift store pattern proud it must be to live a second life in a such adorable company :)

  5. How cute baby!! Love her sweet sun dress and knitted teddy bear is so pretty!!