I really want to design and knit a dress before the end of the year.
The question is, what kind of knit dress? There are so many possibilities:
The "One-piece Dress for the Older Woman" from the book "Complete Guide to Modern Knitting and Crocheting" by Alice Carol (there are several editions of this book, the above is from the 1949 edition).
What I love most about this dress is the name: "...for the older woman". And the model is what, 25?
Another take on the knitted dress from a 1978 issue of McCall's Super-Book of Knit and Crochet:
They call it a "folkloric dress" as it borrows from both Scandinavian and Tibetan traditions. The styling of the dress with the Tibetan boots and belt is inspired, I think.
From the same magazine:
Really more of an overgrown sweater than a dress, what strikes me about this design is the embroidery at the borders. That's not purchased and applied embroidered ribbon--the knitter has to (gets to? depends on your point of view) create the embroidery themselves.
Here is a larger view, including a detail of the embroidery:
The above are from the fantastic, highly recommended book Vivienne Westwood by Claire Wilcox.
The designs are from Westwood's On Liberty collection (1994), which featured many hand knits (notice the model's knit socks in the top photo).
Here are some more Vivienne Westwood knits.
Also to consider, Aran patterns, simple textures, or colorwork; empire lines/a-lines/waist shaping; straight skirts or full skirts; tunic styles or full-on dresses. So many options...
I hope to have some of these questions answered in the coming weeks, and will post updates as things develop. So help me, I will design and knit a dress by the end of 2011.