Living where it snows eight months of the year means that warmth, comfort and style are often on our mind when designing. That’s why we created the ‘Polar Sweater/Dress’ pattern – to make sure you look great and feel cozy no matter the weather! This versatile knit dress pattern is designed to work with mid-weight knits that have 30% stretch, and it boasts front princess seams, optional front side panel pockets, and a high-low split hem. Knowing all of our own girls would enjoy this pattern we, of course, chose to draft it in both our girls and junior miss size ranges. You can opt to get just the girls Polar or the Junior Miss Polar OR for those interested in both you can save a bit extra by grabbing the Polar Bundle.
We understand that everyone has different preferences, so we’ve included multiple length options (crop, shirt, knee, or calf length), and you can choose between a short or tall neckband, with or without a hood.
The crop front, with long sides/back is one style feature we’re really excited about for the unique look it brings. A few testers in the girls range pointed out that it’s harder to find high-rise pants for younger kids to pair with it though. In the end we lengthened the crop another 3/4″ (from what you’ll see on any tester pics) in the girls size range. OR, you could do like Nikki and use the shirt cutline to pair with the longer sides/back instead!
To help get the best possible fit, we’ve included A-D cup size options and multiple lengthen/shorten lines in our Junior Miss Polar. The hood is larger in this size range, giving us the chance to add some unique design elements like the welt opening and wide drawstring.
The tall neckband is one of our favorite features of this garment, as it adds a warmth and snugness to the overall design. You can even nestle it under the hood for an extra cozy factor! When selecting neckband fabrics, it’s important to choose ones with excellent stretch and recovery, such as cuffing and rib knits, to ensure the band stretches enough to fit over the head and still form back close to the neck. But, as one tester found, waffle knit can also work well if you want to experiment with different fabrics!
Speaking of experimenting with fabric, this green dress was made with a heavier rib-knit. It’s a great fit when it’s freshly washed, but I quickly discovered the fabric does not have as much recovery as I’d like. To do it again I’d probably size down just so it’s not stretching off my shoulders or getting too baggy in the arms after a bit of wear. When it comes to understanding all the fabrics out there I don’t know if I’ll ever be done learning – sometimes you just have to go for it and try them out!
Another great thing about the ‘Polar Sweater/Dress’ is the option for different sleeves. You can wear them short, which we absolutely love with the crop front, or go for a longer sleeve with either a hemmed or cuffed finish. Bernice even hacked a 3/4 sleeve when she discovered she was a little short on fabric and we think it looks fabulous!
We know that sleeve cuffs can be a tricky area to get just right when designing patterns, especially with the multitude of fabrics available and their varying thicknesses and properties. That’s why Anca pre-tested her cuffs in both a cuffing fabric and her main fabric. It’s a great example of how the same pattern piece can create different results in fit and appearance. To ensure the best possible fit, we designed the cuffs to work well with cuffing fabrics and sit just slightly relaxed against the wrist but feel free to adjust them to suit your preferred fabric options.
Starting to get warm where you live? First of all, myself and my quad are jealous…..but that’s off topic. A few testers did try the pattern using slightly lighter weight fabrics and found they were quite pleased with the results. Just know that you will potentially see/feel like there is slightly more ease and/or drape in the garment in this case and not all lighter fabrics will be suitable. Structure and recovery will still be important factors to consider.
As always we look forward to seeing how you will make this pattern your own, and when you do we hope you’ll share with us!
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