Mardi (a.k.a. the rainbow dress/tunic/tank)

I finally typed up the pattern for my one-size-fits most 6 months-6 years, grow-with-me dress-tunic-tank (it also looks adorable when worn as a jumper or sweater vest). More photos and information can be found here and here.I think that for a larger child, going up a needle size, using thicker yarn and adding a bit of length should do the trick. If anyone tries this, let me know how it turns out! As is, it fits up to a 24″ chest quite comfortably.I’ve decided to call it Mardi, after the friend that sent me the yarn to begin with!
Materials needed:
Size 2 circular needles
dk weight yarn
stitch markers

6 sts= 1″


CO 125 stitches, join round
*Round 1: knit
Round 2: purl*
Repeat from * to * 3 times
Round 9: knit

Front Shaping:
Row 10: K15, bind off 35, k25
*You will now work back and forth in twisted stockinette (purl one row, on the next row knit all stitches through the back loop.  repeat these two rows) on these 25 stitches, working the first and last 2 stitches in garter stitch (knit every row)* for 4 rows.
Row 5: k 2, kfb, k to last 3 stitches, kfb, k2*
Repeat from * to *
Break yarn

Shoulder strap shaping:
Join yarn and bind off the next 35 stitches

Back shaping:

*K2, work stockinette to last 2 stitches, k2, turn* for 4 rows.
Row 5: k 2, kfb, k to last 3 stitches, kfb, k2

Repeat these 5 rows for a total of 3 sets.

Cast on 10, place marker (this is the new beginning of a round), cast on 10
K across front, cast on 10, place marker, cast on 10, knit across the back to join the round.

*Kfb, k to 1 stitch before marker, kfb, slip marker, kfb, k to last stitch before marker, kfb

work 4 rounds even*
Repeat from *to* until front measures 13” or to desired length

*K one round, P one round*
repeat from * to*
Bind off all stitches
As always, I’d love to see it when you’re done!
Find Mardi on Ravelry here.

13 thoughts on “Mardi (a.k.a. the rainbow dress/tunic/tank)

  1. Momma

    Melody, I love this little jumper-dress. I made one from your inspiration and am now very glad to see you have posted a pattern. I may just send you a pic of what I have made to show you since I am a beginner knitter. I hope to get a pic soon from the gal whose daughter I made it for.


  2. Robin

    I love this blog! It makes me so happy to see all the goodness and your sweet family. I've been trying to knit more and more for my family (I've got 6 children) but I'm having such a hard time finding affordable yarn! How do you do it? Is there any place to order cheap, but natural yarn? Thanks so much for all the wonderful posts!

  3. Monica


    I am considering trying this… do you have an estimation of how much yarn it takes?

    (and of course, feel fee to ignore me if it is a bother, I don't want to be a burden :heart)

  4. Karen Jennings

    Thanks for posting this pattern! I’ve begun knitting again since I retired a few years ago. I first learned how to knit in 4-H about 46 years ago. I now have 2 beautiful granddaughters and a terrific daughter-in-law who actually appreciates my efforts of love and lets the girls wear what I knit! We live in south Texas, so I’m constantly looking for lighter weight or sleeveless tops and dresses. This one is perfect! Any new insight since you first posted this?

  5. Melody Post author

    Hi Darlene,

    This advice comes with the disclaimer that I have never myself made the pattern this way. In part it’s going to depend on how big the child is and how loose you want it through the chest. My 5 yo son was kind enough to try this on for me this morning. He has a 23″ chest and it was fitted, but comfortable on him. If she has a 24″ chest or larger, or you want it to be more loose fitting, you might try going up in yarn weight and needle size. Say a worsted weight yarn and size 6 needles. You can compare the gauge you get with your chosen yarn/needles to the gauge given to determine how much larger you need to go. I can help you with that if you like, when and if you decide to go this way and get to this point.

    The second part you will need to adjust is the length. And that part is simple, just continue in the pattern for the “body” part until you have reached the length you like. If you don’t wish or need to modify the chest, this is the only modification you need to make.

    happy knitting, and please let me know if you need more help,

  6. Shelley

    I have a question about pattern. On row 5 K2 Kfb at beging of row I get then it says to knit to last two stitches Kfb,k2. I am not coming out right and then repeat * from what part do you mean on row five ?

    Back shaping 3 sets , I am not sure what you mean I know it says like front shaping , does that mean knit the 4 row repeat .
    I hope u didn’t sound two confusing. The dress is so cute.
    Your help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you,

  7. Melody Post author

    Shelley, I’ve sent you a personal reply. To everyone else, the pattern has been edited for clarity and to fix a typo.

    happy knitting!

  8. Charlene k Benton

    I just found this pattern, would like to knit for my great granddaughter’s 1 st I am unfamiliar with kfb can you explain please?
    Thank you

  9. Meiriwyn

    I am so happy to find your site! I look forward to trying some of your patterns for my granddaughter.

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