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Sunday
May162010

Whit's Knits: Toddler Overalls

Can you think about overalls without thinking about Huck Finn? I can't. In order to honor Huck's supremely kicked back attitude, I used Louet's Euroflax Linen to make these overalls. The yarn is rustic and unfussy and, most importantly, it's rugged enough to handle a raft ride down a river. Like an old pair of jeans, this linen gets softer and softer the more you wash and wear it.

These overalls are designed to last a long time with a loose and easy fit. They don't bind, scratch, squeeze, rub or do any of the things that toddlers can't stand. Bear seems to have a new swagger when he's wearing them - I swear!

 

The Materials

The Pattern

Gauge

22 1/2 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette stitch

Finished Size

To fit an 18 - 30 month old.

25 inches from the bottom hem to the top of the shoulder strap and 26 inches around the waist. The legs and straps are easily customized.

The Legs

(NOTE: I used a provisional cast on for the legs in order to be able to knit the hem in place rather than having to sew it. We have a thorough Provisional Cast On Tutorial here, but if the provisional cast on seems too complicated for you, ignore my instructions. Instead, just use a regular cast on and sew the hem in place later with a tapestry needle.)

With some scrap cotton yarn, crochet a chain about 70 stitches long. Using the Euroflax linen and the US #4, 16 inch needle, pick up 63 stitches. (Our Provisional Cast On Tutorial is here.)

Place a marker on the right needle and join for working in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches.

Knit 8 rounds.

Purl 1 round.

Knit 8 rounds.

Put the cast on stitches onto a spare circular needle (the length doesn't matter, but try to use one that's thinner than your main needle). Again, our Provisional Cast On Tutorial details this step.

Fold the hem up inside the leg so that the two circular needle are parallel to each other.

Next round: *K 1 stitch from the front needle and 1 stitch from the back needle together, repeat from * to end of round (63 stitches).

Knit every round until the piece measures 8 3/4 inches from the bottom edge. (Feel free to alter this measurement if your toddler is shorter or taller than mine or if you want to make shorts!)

Cut the tail about 16 inches long and put the stitches on holders, scrap yarn or a spare circular needle.

Make the second leg the same way, except do not cut the yarn at the end. Leave the second leg on the US #4, 16 inch needle.

Joining the Legs

Using a Cable Cast On, cast 10 stitches onto the second leg. (Please check out our new Cable Cast On Tutorial if you need some help.) (This photo doesn't show the stitch marker, but you should actually keep it in place, right before the cable cast on stitches.)

With the same needle that is holding the 10 cast on stitches, knit into the first stitch of the first leg.

Continue to knit around the 63 stitches of the first leg. (All 136 stitches will now be on the same needle.)

Again, using a Cable Cast On, cast 10 stitches onto the right needle. And with the right side facing you, join the legs by knitting the first stitch of the second leg. Finish knitting the round. (146 stitches)

The Body

Continue to knit every round until the piece measures 7 inches from the place where you joined the legs.

Next Round: K42, place a marker (use a different color than the end-of-the-round marker), k73, place a marker (same color as the one just placed), k31 to end of round.

Next round: *Knit to 2 stitches before next marker, p1, k1, slip marker, p1, repeat from *, knit to end of round.

Repeat the last round.

Next Round: *Knit to 4 stitches before next marker, [p1,k1] 2 times, slip marker, p1, k1, p1, repeat from *, knit to end of round.

Repeat the last round.

Next Round: *Knit to 6 stitches before next marker, [p1,k1] 3 times, slip marker, [p1, k1] 2 times, p1, repeat from *, knit to end of round.

Repeat the last round.

Next Round: *Knit to 8 stitches before next marker, [p1,k1] 4 times, slip marker, [p1, k1] 3 times, p1, repeat from *, knit to end of round.

Repeat the last round.

Next Round: *Knit to 10 stitches before next marker, [p1,k1] 5 times, slip marker, [p1, k1] 4 times, p1, repeat from *, knit to end of round.

Repeat the last round.

Next Round: *Knit to 12 stitches before next marker, [p1,k1] 6 times, slip marker, [p1, k1] 5 times, p1, repeat from *, knit to end of round.

Next Round: Knit to 14 stitches before next marker, [p1,k1] 7 times, slip marker, [p1, k1] 5 times, p1, knit to 12 stitches before next marker, [p1,k1] 6 times, slip marker, [p1, k1] 6 times, p1, knit to end of round.

Next Round: Knit to 16 stitches before next marker, [p1,k1] 8 times, slip marker, [p1, k1] 6 times, p1, knit to 14 stitches before next marker, [p1,k1] 7 times, slip marker, [p1, k1] 7 times, p1, knit to end of round.

Next Round: Knit to 18 stitches before next marker, [p1,k1] 9 times, slip marker, [p1, k1] 6 times, p1, knit to 14 stitches before next marker, [p1,k1] 7 times, slip marker, [p1, k1] 8 times, p1, knit to end of round.

Next Round: Knit to 20 stitches before next marker, [p1,k1] 10 times, slip marker, [p1, k1] 7 times, p1, knit to 16 stitches before next marker, [p1,k1] 8 times, slip marker, [p1, k1] 9 times, p1, knit to end of round.

Next Round: Knit to 22 stitches before next marker, [p1,k1] 11 times, slip marker, [p1, k1] 7 times, p1, knit to 16 stitches before next marker, [p1,k1] 8 times, slip marker, [p1, k1] 10 times, p1, knit to end of round.

Next Round: Knit to 24 stitches before next marker, [p1,k1] 12 times, slip marker, [p1, k1] 8 times, p1, knit to 18 stitches before next marker, [p1,k1] 9 times, slip marker, [p1, k1] 11 times, p1, knit to end of round.

Next Round: Knit to 26 stitches before next marker, [p1,k1] 13 times, slip marker, [p1, k1] 8 times, p1, knit to 18 stitches before next marker, [p1,k1] 9 times, slip marker, [p1, k1] 12 times, p1, knit to end of round.

Next Round: Knit to 26 stitches before next marker, bind off stitches in p1, k1 pattern to next marker, remove marker, bind off 17 stitches in pattern, knit to 18 stitches before next marker, put the last 39 stitches on holders, scrap yarn or a spare needle...

...bind off stitches in pattern to next marker, remove marker, bind off 26 stitches in pattern, knit to end of round.

Remove the end-of-the-round marker and knit to the end of the row. These 23 stitches are the back panel of the overalls.

The Back Panel

Work this section back and forth, turning in between rows.

Row 1: With the wrong side facing you, use a Cable Cast On to cast on 4 stitches. P4, k1, purl to end of row. (27 stitches)

Row 2: With the right side facing you, use a Cable Cast On to cast on 4 stitches. K4, p1, knit to last 5 stitches, p1, k4. (31 stitches)

Row 3: P4, k1, purl to last 5 stitches, k1, p4.

Row 4: K4, p1, knit to last 5 stitches, p1, k4.

Repeat Rows 3 and 4 until Back Panel measures 4 1/2 inches, ending with a wrong side row.

Next Row (Right Side): Bind off 5 stitches, k7, put the last 8 stitches on a holder or scrap yarn, p5, k8, p1, k4.

Next Row (Wrong Side): Bind off 5 stitches, p7, put last 8 stitches on holder or scrap yarn, p5.

Working back and forth on the remaining 5 stitches...

Knit 1 row.

Purl 1 row.

Repeat the last 2 rows.

Bind off, cut an 18" tail and pull it through the remaining stitch.

The Front Panel

Work this section back and forth on the 39 stitches that have been on hold, turning in between rows.

With the right side facing you, join new yarn, leaving an 18" tail.

Row 1: With the right side facing you, use a Cable Cast On to cast on 4 stitches. K4, p1, knit to end of row. (43 stitches)

Row 2: With the wrong side facing you, use a Cable Cast On to cast on 4 stitches. P4, k1, purl to last 5 stitches, k1, p4. (47 stitches)

Row 3: K4, p1, knit to last 5 stitches, p1, k4.

Row 4: P4, k1, purl to last 5 stitches, k1, p4.

Repeat Rows 3 and 4 until Front Panel measures 4 3/4 inches, ending with a wrong side row.

Next Row (Right Side): Ssk, k2, p1, knit to last 5 stitches, p1, k2, k2tog. (45 stitches)

Next Row: P3, k1, purl to last 4 stitches, k1, p3.

Next Row: Ssk, k1, p1, knit to last 4 stitches, p1, k1, k2tog. (43 stitches)

Next Row: P2, k1, purl to last 3 stitches, k1, p2.

Next Row: Ssk, p1, knit to last 3 stitches, p1, k2tog. (41 stitches)

Next Row: P1, k1, purl to last 2 stitches, k1, p1.

Next Row: Ssk, purl to last 2 stitches, k2tog. (39 stitches)

Purl 1 row.

Next Row: Ssk, knit to last 2 stitches, k2tog. (37 stitches)

Repeat the last 2 rows one time. (35 stitches)

Purl 1 row.

Bind off the remaining stitches. Cut a 24 inch tail and pull it through the last stitch.

The Straps

Each strap will be worked back and forth on the 8 stitches on hold at the top of the Back Panel.

With the right side facing you, join new yarn to either strap.

Row 1: *K1, make 1, repeat from * to last stitch, knit into the front and back. (16 stitches)

Row 2: Slip 1 knitwise through the back loop, *bring yarn forward, slip 1 purlwise, bring yarn back, k1, repeat from * to last stitch, p1. (Check out our Double Knit Belt pattern for step by step photos.)

Repeat Row 2 until strap measures 6 inches, ending with either side. (If you are able to try the overalls on the recipient, you may want to double check that this is the place you want the buttonhole.)

Buttonhole Row: Slip 1 knitwise through the back loop, bring yarn forward, slip 1 purlwise, bring yarn back, k1, bring yarn forward and slip the next 2 stitches purlwise, bring yarn back...

...*slip the next 2 stitches purlwise, pass the last 2 slipped stitches over (like binding off)...

...repeat from * 4 more times.

Slip the 2 stitches from the right needle back to the left needle and turn the work. (3 stitches on each needle)

Use a Cable Cast On to cast on 6 stitches.

Turn the work and bring yarn back if the right side is facing you or bring the yarn forward if the wrong side is facing you. Slip next 2 stitches purlwise, pass the last 2 cast on stitches over, p1. (10 stitches)

Next Row: Slip 1 knitwise through the back loop, bring yarn forward, slip 1 purlwise, bring yarn back, kfb 6 times, k1, p1. (16 stitches)

Next Row: Row 2: Slip 1 knitwise through the back loop, *bring yarn forward, slip 1 purlwise, bring yarn back, k1, repeat from * to last stitch, p1.

Repeat last row until piece measures 1/2 an inch from the buttonhole.

To bind off: K2tog two times, *pass the first stitch over the second stitch (like a normal bind off), k2tog, repeat from * until one stitch remains.

Cut the yarn and pass the tail through the last stitch.

Finishing

NOTE: For all the finishing, try to sew with an available tail. If there isn't one, just use a new piece of yarn and sew in the ends.

Close the crotch by sewing under the knit stitch that is right below the cast on edge...

...and then sewing under the knit stitch directly across from that one. Continue back and forth across the whole opening.

Finish the Back and Front Panels by sewing down the hems. On the sides, fold the hem at the column of purl stitches, and at the top, fold the hem at the row of purl stitches.

It doesn't matter exactly how you sew the hems down as long as you are consistent and keep the hem lines straight. I sewed under a purl bump of the panel and then under the very edge of the hem.

Sew the two buttons in place, about 1/2 an inch from the top of the Front Panel.

And, finally, weave in all the stray ends and admire your hard work!

Reader Comments (21)

Thank you! I'll be on a long flight to Europe this weekend and need something to knit while thinking of my little guy at home. This will be perfect!
May 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbecca l.
these are amazing! what a fashion forward toddler you've got on your hands!
May 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkai
You have the BEST pattern instructions online I have ever seen!! Thank you for the detail. I'm so new to knitting but you make me feel like I can tackle great things! :)
May 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLana Wilkens
These are so cute! You always have the best designs. Thank you!
May 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie
WOW! That is an amazing piece of artistry. As a beginning knitter it looks very daunting but I'll keep it in my files for later use! I immediately thought of the book Corduroy when I saw the pictures. Too cute.
May 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermichele
any chance that you could size these up to adult size? i'd love to make a pair for myself to knock around the house in. they look so cozy! well done!
May 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlaura
Redonculously Adorable!
May 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenny
hi whitney, i checked out this awesome blog again after meeting you and bear in the park last week and i'm so glad i did...these are amazing! they remind me of something out of my favorite children's clothing shop, bu and the duck. thank you for the tutorial!
May 28, 2010 | Unregistered Commentervalerie
Wow, what a lovely thing - and wonderfully detailed instructions. Thank you so much! The child in the photos is beautiful, btw.
November 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermondayjane
Hi! These are adorable! I love them. When you said that the legs were 8-3/4" long, or length needed, should this be the length of the needed inseam? Thanks!
July 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCrystal
Hi Crystal,

Yes, the 8 3/4 inches is the length of the inseam, from crotch to pant hem.

Thanks for asking and good luck with the pattern!

Whitney
July 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
Thank you so much for putting this pattern up. I have almost finished my dungarees now. I did them in Merinowool for the cold cold days that lay ahead. I know my baby will love them as much as I do.
Very fun to make, thanks to your awsome instructions!
November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRose
H! I am a relative beginner knitter and tried to start this pattern. It is amazing, but I don't have the skill for it yet. Any way I could commission a pair for my little guy? He would rock these. Thanks.
August 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Hi Sarah. I think the Bee knitters are a bit busy at the moment, but we do keep a list of commission knitters at the shop. You can email the shop here: store@purlsoho.com . But keep on knitting. You'll be doing projects like this in no time! -Laura
August 6, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
This is sooooo cute!!! But I need a toddler now to make this!!! My kids are too big for that now!!!
August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMadame Bazaar
Does this adorable pattern come in adult sizes or could you possibly direct me to where I can convert the pattern to an adult size?
August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDestiny
Hi Destiny,
Right now this pattern is only available in for 18 - 30 month olds.
Laura
September 1, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi, I just finished knitting this up today...I used slightly different yarn as that specific brand I could not find in Toronto, but the yarn I used is so similar that you can barely notice the difference. My son has ginger (red) hair so I chose a green colour...I love them, they are sweet and so easy to knit up. Thank you for the pattern I love your blog and am now starting Laura's Cap Sleeve Lattice Top :)
February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarol
I wanted to know how much of the second skein you used in this pattern? I have 328 yards of a great Italian cotton I want to use for these. I plan to shorten up the legs and straps a bit. Do you think this will be enough?

Thanks so much
March 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEliote Lee
Hi Eliote Lee,

I used about 150 yards of the second skein (determined by weighing what I have leftover). Adding the 270 yards of the first skein, I don't think you have quite enough with your 328 yards, unless you maybe make a cute set of shorts overalls!

Thanks for asking and good luck!

Whitney
March 25, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I just knit this in red and I LOVE it. My husband will be back from his Naval cruse in a month (I go knitcrazy while my husband is out), and this little overall with a blue polo should be just the thing for our patriotic little guy.
April 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMamaMoo

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