I've discovered a new favorite pattern for a little girls swingy top/dress -- I imagine with some mods you could make a nice easy top for little boys, too! (Oddly enough, all of my friends have little girls.) No seams, foolproof construction, a lot of potential for embellishement - you can find it on Ravelry here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/strimma
I made the "Sunny Days" version with handknitters cotton and a size 7 needle for a nearly 4-year old friend. She's very tall for her age, so I lengthened the dress a bit.
I bound off the arms and hem with a picot edge, and gave the sleeves a little flare. I hope the trim will lie a bit smoother after a wash or two, but it does make it seem very swirly as is.
I made this "Lilac Time" version with Deborah Norville's no-pill acrylic and a size 8 needle for a 2-year old friend.
I bound off the hem and the arms with 4 rows of garter stitch. Next time I'll start the dress with 4 rows of garter instead of two, to give it a little more body.
(I like that purple varigated yarn, 'Lilac Ridge' so much I could have just used that, without the dark green stripes.)
Each dress took less than a week to knit, mostly done while watching TV in the evening. I'm sure I'll be making more this summer, with cap sleeves, and this fall, with longer sleeves...
If you're looking for a quick, fun summer knit, give it a try!