Bressay Dress

Bressay Dress

For this Fair Isle dress, Gudrun Johnston took inspiration from the knitted dresses that her mother designed for her knitwear business in Shetland in the 1970s. While her mother’s designs reached the floor and featured turtlenecks and oversized sleeves, Gudrun opted for a circular-yoke design in a more manageable short length with cap sleeves and decorative semi-circular pockets. The Fair Isle patterns are all simple repeats and the top-down construction allows the garment to be tried on to get the best fit and length. Worked in subtle tweedy shades of Brooklyn Tweed Loft, this dress has a soft swingy drape.

Finished Size

About 321/2 (361/4, 393/4, 431/4, 461/4, 493/4)” (82.5 [92, 101, 110, 117.5, 126.5] cm) bust circumference.

Note: This dress is designed for a close fit at the yoke and up to 1” (2.5 cm) ease at the bust.

Dress shown measures 361/4” (92 cm).


Fingering weight (#1 Super Fine).

Shown here: Brooklyn Tweed Loft (100% Targhee-Columbia American wool; 275 yd [251 m]/ 50 g): #08 truffle hunt (MC; brown), 6 (6, 7, 7, 8, 8) skeins; #22 faded quilt (CC1; light blue), #21 hayloft (CC2; gold), #27 woodsmoke (CC3; beige), 1 skein each for all sizes.


Size US 4 (3.5 mm): 16″, 24”, 32”, and 40” (40, 60, 80, and 100 cm) circular (cir) and set of 4 or 5 double-pointed (dpn).

Adjust needle sizes if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.


Markers (m); waste yarn; tapestry needle.


27 sts and 36 rows/rnds = 4″ (10 cm) in solid-color St st and charted patterns.