Free Knitting and Crochet Patterns from Elaine Phillips

American Girl Doll Drawstring Raglan Summer Dress

Difficulty level: Intermediate

Free Doll Dress Knitting Pattern

For this knitted summer dress, I wanted to see if I could knit an entire dress seamlessly, as one piece. I did it!

The dress is knitted from the neck down. It features raglan-style shoulders. To add shape to the dress at the neck and waist, I used 2x2 ribbing. Without it, the dress ends up looking a little sack-like :)

I chose a self-striping yarn with short color repeats, and I think this was a good choice. You could probably use a solid color if this dress is going to be part of an outfit, but for a stand-alone dress, a multi-hued yarn is best, I think.

Jo-Ann Sensations Breeze sport weight yarn 595 yards (544 meters) / 170 grams (6.00 ounces) color 27 purple lime - 0.3 skein

Needles: circular US #2 (2.25 mm) OR SIZE NEEDED TO OBTAIN GAUGE

Gauge: 22 st  x 32 rows = 4" x 4" (10 cm x 10 cm)


Stockinette Stitch
All rounds knit

2x2 ribbing:
All rounds *k2, p2 repeat from * to the end of the round

Garter stitch:
Round 1: knit
Round 2: purl
Repeat from round 1


The dress is worked from top to bottom in rounds without seams.

Cast on 66 sts, join and continue to work in rounds, place a marker at the beginning of the round.

Rounds 1-2: knit

Round 3: * k2tog, yo, repeat from * to the end of the round

Round 4: knit

Round 5: knit and divide the work by placing markers at the following points:

  • k20, k1 - place the marker at this stitch, these are back stitches;
  • k11, k1 - place the marker at this stitch, these are left sleeve stitches;
  • k20, k1 - place the marker at this stitch, these are front stitches;
  • k11, k1 - place the marker at this stitch, these are right sleeve stitches; you'll have the marker for the beginning of the round here, so be sure to use a marker of a different color or shape.


Round 6 and even rounds 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22: make yo before and after each marker, thus increasing the number of stitches by 8 in each round.

Work 23 rounds.

Round 24: transfer the sleeve stitches (29 sts on each sleeve between the raglan sts) on a piece of yarn.
knit 40 sts of the back (38 sts of the back + 2 raglan sts) and 40 sts of the front (38 sts of the front + 2 raglan sts)

Rounds 25-26: knit

Rounds 27-40: work 2x2 ribbing: *k2, p2 - repeat from * to the end of the round

Round 42: *kb&fr  (increase: knit into back then front of the st.) - twice, k2 - repeat from * to the end of the round

Rounds 43-69: knit

Rounds 70-75: work the garter stitch

Bind off.


Transfer the sleeve stitches to the needles and bind off.


Insert a piece of yarn, a cord or a ribbon into the eyelets along the neck line.



There are 10 total comments on this article.

Leave a comment about the article.
Poster: ck
September 14, 2015

Confused by the gauge - i needed #10 needles to get 22 stitches to 4 inches, and the dress was way too big. Is the correct gauge 22 stitches for 4 inches?
Poster: Elaine Phillips
March 26, 2013

I use 32" needles and "magic loop" method. Another option is to use double-pointed needles.
Poster: Tina
March 27, 2013

I did find 8" length circular needles in a local yarn shop but since it was a high end shop they wanted $18.95 for the needles and I probably won't use them again. Tried double point, didn't work well. I'd like to make this dress, but can't figure out how - I could try to just follow the directions but not knit in the rounds. ??
Thanks! What's the magic loop method?
Poster: Jo-Ann
June 11, 2014

The best advice, in terms of magic loop, is to search it on you tube. That way you will get a first hand demo of it. The method is quite ingenious and fairly easy.
Poster: al
May 23, 2015

Try amazon 9" circular knitting needles they still around $10 but thats a lot cheaper than $19
Poster: Lisa
January 21, 2014

I am confused by the yo's do you knit into the front or the back of them they just seem really loose and don't look right
Poster: Shinnee
January 16, 2014

What happens in row 41?
Poster: Pat
August 15, 2013

What size doll will this fit
Poster: Tina
March 26, 2013

I tried doing this on circular needles - I used a 16" length which is the shortest one you can buy in circular needles, but casting on 66 I can't join to even start the first row. Any further instructions or help?
Poster: Therese
August 22, 2016

I am using 9" circular needles I bought online that are working well,but I am wondering what happened to row 41? After 40 do we just do 42? Anyone have suggestions there?

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Difficulty Level:3-Intermediate
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