LEELA

Named after my favourite character from Futurama, Leela is a sleeveless minidress inspired by the retro futuristic costumes from sci-fi re-runs I used to watch when I got in from school during the 1990s. Think Shatner’s Star Trek, Space: 1999, and Quantum Leap.

As the name Leela is also an intrinsic reference to the Fourth Doctor’s bad-ass Amazon companion, reknowned for her short dresses and fighting spirit, I wanted to design something eye-catching yet practical, more suited to fly-kicking malevolent invaders than sitting around waiting to be rescued.

The classic retro shift dress is given a touch more shaping to flatter a wider range of body shapes, with a short hemline and narrower-than-usual back width for ease of movement (yet still wide enough to wear with a good, supportive bra!), and the collar is worked with a stainless steel yarn to allow for dramatic sculpted forms.

If your style is more stealth-mission than blasters-at-the-ready, the intarsia panel and collar provide myriad opportunities for modifying the eye-catching form into something softer and more suitable for daily wear. I can envisage a version made with a Mohair/Silk blend for a diaphanous neckline and soft draping cowl neck.

Sizing
To fit bust size:
66 (72, 76, 82), (86, 92, 96), (102, 108, 112), (118, 122, 128), (132, 138, 142), (148, 152,158) cm / 26.5 (28.75, 30.5, 32.75), (34.5, 36.75, 38.5), (40.75, 43.25, 44.75), (47.25, 48.75, 51.25), (52.75, 55.25, 56.75), (59.25, 60.75, 63.25) in

Intended to be worn with little or no ease. Choose the size closest your actual high bust measurement, if between sizes go up. For actual garment measurements please see schematic.

Yarn
A & B: Skeinz, Vintage.
C: Habu, A-148, 1/17.6 wool stainless steel.
Quantity:
A: 7 (8, 8, 8), (9, 9, 10), (10, 11, 11), (12, 12, 13), (13, 14, 14), (15, 15, 16) balls.
B: 1 (1, 1, 1), (2, 2, 2), (2, 2, 2), (2, 2, 2), (2, 3, 3), (3, 3, 3) balls.
C: 1 cone.

Skills required
Long-tail or similar cast-on
Basic stitches (knit, purl)
Twisted stitches (ktbl)
Decreasing (k2tog, ssk)
Increasing (m1L, m1R)
Picking up stitches
Three-needle bind-off

Descriptions are provided for specific techniques.

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