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« Laura's Loop: The Sweatshirt Sweater | Main | Whit's Knits: Cozy Ear Flap Hat »

Whit's Knits: Baby Jumper

When there's a baby in the picture, knitters have a hard time sitting idle. Our fingers twitch until we've outfitted that little bundle in our finest efforts. So when Molly's baby Guadalupe joined the Purl Bee family, that was my cue to get knitting!

I designed this Baby Jumper to appease little Lupe's budding sense of style but also her mother's legendary concern for practicality! Loose and soft and comfy, this simple dress is easy to slip over a squirmy baby's head and really works for the longhaul, first as a jumper, then as a tunic, and even later as a shirt. Plus, it's machine washable. Even Molly has to approve!

And since every hand knit baby gift has heirloom potential, I knit this one up in Anzula's very special Sebastian yarn. Sebastian combines superwash merino with sea cell, a newfangled seaweed-cellulose fiber that offers durability, drape and a very pretty soft shine!

PS Want to catch a glimpse of sweet Lupe in her Baby Jumper? Click here to see her on Instagram!


The Materials

  • Anzula's Sebastian, 70% Superwash Merino and 30% Sea Cell.
    • Main Color: 1 (2, 2) skeins. I used the color Seaside (above, right).
    • Contrast Color: 1 (1, 1) skein. I used the color Hyacinth (above, left).


The Pattern


7 3/4 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette stitch with larger needle

Finished Sizes

Small, Medium, Large: 6-9 (9-12, 12-18) months

Circumference around bottom hem: 28 1/2 (29 3/4, 31) inches

Circumference around top band: 18 (18 3/4, 19 1/2) inches

Length from underarm (top of band) to bottom hem: 12 (13 1/4, 14 1/2) inches

Length from shoulder to bottom hem: 15 1/4 inches (16 3/4, 18 1/4) (adjustable)

Neck opening: 4 1/2 (4 3/4, 5) inches

NOTE: The photos that accompany this pattern are of the Small size.


With the US #2 circular needle and the Main Color (MC), cast on 221 (231, 241) stitches. 

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

Round 1: Purl.

Round 2: Knit.

Rounds 3 and 4: Repeat Rounds 1 and 2.

Round 5: Purl.

Change to US #3 circular needle and knit every round until piece measures 11 (12, 13) inches from cast on edge.

Cut yarn.

The Band

Change to US #2 circular needle and the Contrast Color (CC), leaving a 12-inch tail.

Round 1: *K1, (ssk, k2tog), repeat from * to last stitch, k1. 133 (139, 145) stitches

Now work back and forth in rows, turning the work at the end of each row.

Row 1 (wrong side): With the purl side facing you, knit.

Row 2 (right side): Knit.

Row 3: Purl.

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 four (five, six) more times.**

Repeat Row 2.

Repeat from Row 1 to ** one time.

Finishing the Band

Fold the band over so the wrong sides are facing each other and...

1. With the right needle, pick up the purl bump from the color change round that is directly in line with the first stitch on the left needle.

2. Slip the purl bump onto the left needle.

3. Knit two together (the purl bump and the first "regular" stitch).

(At the beginning of the row, repeat these three steps one more time so that you are able to do the next step.)

4. Slip the second stitch on the right needle over the first (just like binding off).

Repeat these 4 steps all the way to the end of the band. (Tip: Check frequently that the stitch you're picking up is still in line with the first stitch on the left needle, otherwise the band will start to skew.)

Cut the yarn, leaving a 12-inch tail.

With a size B crochet hook, use the CC tails to crochet closed the ends of the bands. Here's how:

Insert the hook through the edge of both layers of fabric.

Pull a stitch through and chain 1. On the right-hand side, make 8 (9, 10) slip stitches along the edge of the band, inserting the hook through both layers of fabric each time. Cut the yarn and pull it through the remaining stitch.

On the left-hand side, create a small buttonhole. Here's how: make 6 (7, 8) slip stitches to 1/4 inch from the top of the band, chain 6, reinsert the hook right next to the chains and make 2 slip stitches to the end. Cut the yarn and pull it through the remaining stitch.

Weave in the ends, using the MC tail to close the gap at the base of the band.

Right Strap

With the right side facing you and using a US #2 double pointed needle and the CC, begin 3 1/4 (3 1/2, 3 3/4) inches to the right of the back split...

... to pick up 8 (9, 10) stitches along the top of the band (working toward the split).

Row 1: [kfb] 8 (9, 10) times. 16 (18, 20) stitches

Row 2: Slip 1 knitwise through the back loop, *bring the yarn forward, slip 1 purlwise, bring the yarn back, knit 1, repeat from * to last stitch, purl 1. (For a photo tutorial of this row, visit our Double Knit Belt Project Journal here.)

Repeat Row 2 until strap measures 6 1/2 (7, 7 1/2) inches. (If the recipient of your jumper is on hand, take a measurement from an inch below her armpit, over the top of her shoulder and to the other side of her armpit. Knit the strap to this length minus an inch [because the strap will stretch with the weight of the finished jumper].)

Bind Off Row: [K2tog] 2 times, *pass the first stitch over the second stitch (like a normal bind off), k2tog, repeat from * until one stitch remains. Cut the yarn, leaving an 8-inch tail, and pull it through the remaining stitch.

Fold the dress in half at the back slit and mark the front center of the band.

Situate the bind off end of the strap (making sure it's not twisted!) so that its right edge is 2 1/4 (2 3/8, 2 1/2) inches left of the center front mark.  

Using the bind off tail, sew the end of the strap to the top of the band. For a neat finish, sew under the band's top purl bump...

...then under the bottom half of the bind off stitch.

Left Strap

With the right side facing you and using a US #2 double pointed needle and the CC, begin 2 1/4 (2 3/8, 2 1/2) inches to the left of the back split...

... to pick up 8 (9, 10) stitches along the top of the band (working away from the split).

Work from Row 1 through the Bind Off Row of the Right Strap instructions, above.

Then situate the bind off end of the strap (making sure, again, that it's not twisted) so that its left edge is 2 1/4 (2 3/8, 2 1/2) inches left of the center front mark. Sew the strap's end to the top of the band.

Sew a button onto the band across from the buttonhole.

Weave in any remaining ends, gently block and you're done!

Reader Comments (29)

This is lovely! Is the button necessary for proper fit?
March 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie
I would love to see bigger sizes of this pattern! Toddler sizes would be great too.
March 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPam
I was also going to ask about larger sizing... I have an extra large 18 month old - so a 2T or 3T pattern would be fantastic.
March 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmily
Hi Stephanie,

No, not really :). I just like the design detail, but the button could also come in handy if the tight gets a bit snug.

Thanks for asking!
March 18, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thanks for this lovely pattern! Me too would like a larger size available.

Besides, I'm from Germany, a knitting beginner ;) and have a difficulty in understanding the gauge. Why are there mentioned only stitches and no rows?
March 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJana
Just a question. I am a novice knitter, someone who has crocheted for years and just started to venture into the world of knitting. I have knitted The Purl Bee's Bandana Pattern a couple of times now and find your patterns super easy to read and a favorite of mine to knit. It's so great that you link-up to other tutorials on your website (like how to turn knitting without making a huge hole!) because it makes life just so much easier. Here in Wisconsin, we don't have such fun yarn stores that have such great patterns, I am forever linking them through emails to my friends who love knitting!

My question has to do with the number of stitches cast on. Tonight I started this project casting on the 231 stitches for the 9-12 jumper. As I completed the first five rows, I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of stitches on my needles, bunching and twisting. Worried about how big this Jumper was really going to be, I pulled it off of my circular needle. The knit was HUGE. Did I do something wrong? I quick grabbed my measuring tape and did some calculations.

My diameter was about 12 in, multiplying that by 3.14, the circumference almost 38 inches. So, the 231 stitches for me was nowhere near your calculations. I know how to gauge out my work, and I consider myself a very tight knitter (so far as a novice), and I have the right needle sizes but I didn't know why my work was so much bigger. I did the math, your pattern reads 29 3/4 inches for the Jumper I want to make, which means I needed around a 9 inch diameter to get a circumference of 29 and some change. Which, for me, was about 171 stitches. Is that normal? Am I reading something wrong? Do I just continue on with less stitches cast on?

Once again, thank you for such awesome patterns! And for your time reading this. I hope I made sense...I just would really like to learn this new craft and want to make sure that I am successful!
March 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAbby S
Hi Jana,

We don't usually include the row gauge because it is proportionate to the stitch gauge. Also, the stitch gauge is often much more important for getting the size right, since so frequently a pattern tells you to knit a certain number of inches rather than a certain number of rows (or rounds).

Thanks for asking!

March 25, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Abby S,

One big problem with your situation is that measuring your knitting after just a few rounds (or even after just a few inches) is very misleading! It's always way bigger than the tube will actually be in the end.

If you have a firm grasp on making a swatch and measuring your gauge, and you did, in fact, find the needle that gets you to 7 3/4 stitches to the inch, then you should be all set! To review swatches and gauges, here is our Not Too Tight Tutorial:

One technicality that you may want to explore is that if you knit your gauge swatch flat (i.e. knit 1 row, purl 1 row) it may not be entirely accurate because you may be a very loose or tight purler, and you don't actually purl for most of this pattern. To overcome this problem, check out our Swatching a Circular Gauge Tutorial right here:

I hope this information helps! Please let us know if you have any other questions and good luck with your knitting adventures!

March 25, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hello, I see your Baby Jumper in this blog:
The author has your permission to publish?
This lady is known for taking models all over the web and translated into Italian and advertise them without asking anything to anyone.
I love your blog and I wanted to inform you.
June 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterOrnella
Thanks for the pattern. I'm working the straps and learned the hard way that you pick up 8 stitches 3 1/4 in away from split and pick up TOWARDS the split, not away. :-/ I didn't find that clear in the pattern. I tried making it work as is, but it's way too far away. Off to frog my strap...
October 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay
Hi Lindsay,

Thanks so much for sharing your experience! I thought that since I said to work with the right side facing you, the direction of the pick up would be inevitable, but I was wrong!

I added clarification in the pattern, so hopefully you'll be the last person to have had this problem. I'm sorry you did!

Thanks again and good luck with the second strap!

November 1, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I've been knitting for a number of years and try as I might, I am an extremely loose knitter. Sometimes I have to go down as much as 3 needle sizes. Do you have any suggestions/solutions for me to try?
November 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMAMOM
HI Mamom,

You could try to change the way you knit, either by giving a little extra tug to each stitch or even by trying Continental knitting if you now knit English style or vice versa; but if going down three needle sizes hasn't presented any problems to you other than the feeling that you're doing something wrong, then I would just stick with that remedy! Lots of people share your "problem", but I think it takes all kinds of knitters for the world to go round!

Thanks for asking and please let us know if you have any more questions!

November 18, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Dear Whitney,
I am knitting the large jumper. It says to cast on 241 stitches (73/4 stiches per inch)is the gauge. If you do the math give or take 8 stiches per inch would come to approx. 31
inches. Im a very tight knitter and no matter how I knit my circumference it is 40' at the finished bottom. my stiches are 73/4 stiches to the inch but yet it measures 40 inches. Is this ok to continue? 9 inches is a big difference compared to 31". Please advise.
Thank you for your time.
December 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercathy
Hi Cathy,

If your gauge is indeed 7 3/4 stitches to the inch and you cast on 241 stitches, then your bottom circumference will be 31 inches. I promise!

I think what may be happening is that you're measuring before you have knit enough to get an accurate measurement. Knitting does a strange thing: it stretches enormously for the first few inches, and then after a certain length of knitting (about 5 inches or so), it somehow snaps into shape and becomes its "true" size. If this isn't what's happening for you, then I would suggest that your gauge is maybe a little looser than you think.

Please let us know if you have any more questions and thank you so much for this one!

December 2, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Whitney, I know there have been some other inquiries for a toddler-sized pattern of this lovely baby jumper... I have an almost 2yo who is on the small end of clothing, do you think the 12-18month size would be big enough for her? And if I did end up deciding to make it a bit bigger, what is your suggestion is alternating the pattern for this? Thanks!
February 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGabrielle
Hi Gabrielle,

To determine if the 12-18 month size would work, check out the Finished Measurements section of the pattern, then measure your child (or an article of clothing that fits her) to figure out if that size will work.

To alter the pattern, I'd first consider the top band, since that really determines the fit. Cast on a number of stitches that, when you make the decreases, will get you to the number of stitches you want for the top band.

I hope this helps with your decision-making! Please let us know if you have ay other questions and thank you for these!

February 4, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I would love to make this for my niece, but I am vegan and do not use wool yarn. Would you suggest another yarn, cotton or otherwise that would work?
February 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea
Could this pattern be made with your line weight yarn? I'm looking for a less expensive yarn to use that wouldn't involve me make changes for a different gauge.
February 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBry
Hi Andrea,

I think your best bet would be Habu's beautiful 100% bamboo yarns. It comes in white right here: and in beautifully dyed colors here: Like the Sebastian, the bamboo has a pretty luster and drape, and addressing your concern, it's, of course, animal-free!

Thanks for your question and please let us know if you have more!

February 21, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Bry,

It sure could! I think that sounds like a great idea. Our whole collection of Line Weight is right here:

Thanks for the great question and good luck!

February 21, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I'm curious to know whether a smaller version has been attempted. I think if I decrease by ten stitches for casting on, it should be ok. But am not sure.

Any suggestions would be great! My cousin is due in May and I want her little one to be able to wear it this summer.
March 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMegan
Hi Megan,

Casting on 10 fewer stitches will make the circumference of the skirt 1 1/4 inch smaller. You'll have to make other adjustments as you work (with the length, number of stitches you end up with for the top band, the placement of the straps, etc), but it's essentially a very simple pattern, so give it a shot!

Thanks for your question and please let us know if you have any others!

March 17, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I am wanting to make this dress for a 2 y/o. Will 2 skeins be enough or do I need more? Has anyone made it in a larger size?
June 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMonica
Hi Monica,

I'm not totally certain, but I would guess that two skeins of the Main Color and 1 of the Contrast Color would be enough. If you're nervous about running out, you may consider buying three skeins and leaving one unwound. If you end up not needing it, you can exchange it within six months for the yarn for your next project! Our official return policy is right here:

Thank you for asking and good luck!

June 23, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi ! thank you for the beautiful tutorial . i am just about to make the straps but can not found the tutorial for the double knit belt project ... could you help me ? thanks a lot!!!
June 24, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercamilla
Hi Camilla-

The link has been fixed in the story. Thanks for pointing this out!

Best- Molly
June 24, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Whitney!

I'm partway through this project, and about to begin the band... This may be a silly question, but in my first row for the band where I start the CC color band and switch to the #2 needle... do I knit one full row with the CC color and then go into the round with *K1 (ssk, k2tog), or is that first row in which I start with the CC color the row where I *K1 (ssk, k2tog)? I think it's the latter, but wanted to make sure. Thanks!
July 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSig
Hi Sig,

Yes, it is the latter! Just start right in with Round 1.

Thanks for asking and please let us know if you have any other questions!

July 23, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

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