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  • Writer's pictureNicky

New Pattern - The Shirley Tee

Updated: Sep 5, 2020

Dear Blog,

I'm so sorry I've neglected you. It's been a busy summer and I have actually had a lot to say on the knitting front - I will have to find some time to get you up to speed.

First things first - after several months of focusing on technical editing and pattern grading for other designers, I have a new design of my own to launch.

A blonde toddler in a garden wearing a lilac ombre handknit babydoll t-shirt with lace bodice.
Shirley Tee Photos

The Shirley tee is a pattern for a baby, toddler, and kid's babydoll tee. It's worked top-down, in the round, with raglan construction. It features a sweet lacy pattern on the bodice and a slightly flared body with eyelet hem. My testers just finished with this one and I love what they've created!

My sample uses fingering weight cotton yarn, and this is recommended. Cotton has unique properties that create a finished fabric much different than wool or acrylic. Wet blocking the cotton will open up the lace and help the garment "grow" to its intended finished measurements. Some of my testers who used other fibres made simple modifications to customize their garment to their liking.

This pattern is available in ad-free PDF format in my Payhip shop and includes a separate PDF formatted for print challenged users. This version uses black Arial 24 point font, no columns or italics, and fewer abbreviations for increased readability. It has been tested with Adobe's Read Out Loud.

The Shirley by Nicky Jensen.


When I stumbled across a forgotten tub of Shirley Brian Yarns 4 ply gradient cotton, I felt like I'd hit the jackpot. Spring 2020, in isolation with my toddler, I was excited to find more than enough in that tub to make a sweet little cotton tee for her. The shirt is worked top down in the round using seamless raglan construction. Increases create an empire waist and the hem is finished with eyelet detail.

Shirley Brian Yarns is located in Ontario, Canada, just like me - and the company is named after the founder's grandmother, Shirley. I was also taught to knit by a Shirley, my wonderful mom, who we had been missing dearly while isolating.

Mom, this one's for you.

This particular 4 ply gradient yarn is discontinued, but on sale at the time of publication. Any similar fingering weight yarn will do. If using suggested yarn or other gradient yarn, I suggest making sleeve cuffs first and then moving onto the body so that the sleeve cuffs will match the colour gradient.


Shirley Brian Yarns 100% Cotton Gradient Yarn, fingering weight, 480 yds / 439 m per 4.59oz / 130g skein). Sample in colourway “Stars Hollow.”

Size 3 month uses 201 yds / 184 metres.

Size 6 month uses 240 yds / 219 metres.

Size 12 month uses 270 yds / 247 metres.

Size 18 month uses 302 yds / 276 metres.

Size 2 uses 354 yds / 324 metres.

Size 4 uses 429 yds / 392 metres.

Size 6 uses 507 yds / 464 metres.