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Free Knitting and Crochet Patterns from Elaine Phillips

American Girl Doll Sparkling Dress with Empire Waistline

Difficulty level: ** Easy

Free Doll Dress Knitting Pattern

This is a pretty versatile gown pattern. Depending on the colors you use and how you decorate it, it can be used as a robe for an angel, an evening dress, an outfit for a fairy godmother or even a dressing gown.

The gown is worked from the bottom up as one piece back-and-forth up to the armholes. Then the front and the backs are worked separately. The sleeves are worked as separate pieces then joined to the gown. I used a zipper closure, which I positioned on the back.
I used a metallic yarn for the example you can see in the picture, and this definitely makes for a rather fancy / formal look. You can try different colors for something more casual.

Skills Required/Techniques Used:
-Knit & purl, cast on & bind off
-Decreasing: knit 2 together (k2tog), slip-slip-knit (ssk)

Materials: Lion Brand (affiliate link) Glamour acrylic yarn sport weight, 185 m (202 yds)/50 g, color 150 Platinum - 1.5 skeins.

Needles: US # 2 (2.75 mm) OR SIZE NEEDED TO OBTAIN GAUGE.

Gauge: 20 st x 30 rows = 4" x 4" (10 cm x 10 cm) in stockinette stitch

Notions: yarn needle, 4" long dress zipper, sewing needle and sewing threads of color matching the colors of the yarn, pearl beads (optional).

K – knit
P – purl
St – stitch
Sts – stitches
k2tog – knit 2 together
ssk – slip, slip, knit
RS – right side
WS – wrong side

Pattern Notes:

Garter Stitch: all rows - knit

Stockinette Stitch:
Row 1 (RS): knit
Row 2 (WS): purl
Repeat 2 rows

The selvedge/edge stitches are worked as follows: slip the first stitch knitwise and purl the last one.


The dress is worked back and forth from the bottom up with the opening on the back. The skirt is worked as one piece up to the armholes. Then the front and the back parts of the bodice are worked separately. Sleeves are worked separately.

Cast on 182 sts .

Work 10 rows in garter stitch - all rows knit.

Row 11 (RS, decrease row): sl 1, *K2tog - repeat from * across to last st, p1. (=92 sts)
Row 12 (WS): sl 1, p91.
Row 13 (RS): sl 1, k90, p1.

Repeat rows 12-13 twenty seven (27) times, repeat row 12 one more time.

Row 69 (RS, decrease row): Sl 1, *k 1, k2tog - repeat from * to last st, p 1. (=62sts)
Row 70 (WS): Sl 1, p 12, bind off 6 sts, p 24, bind off 6 sts, p 13.

Continue to work the front and left and right backs separately.

Left Back

Row 71 (RS): Sl 1, k11, p1. (=13 sts)
Row 72 (WS): Sl 1, p12.
Repeat rows 71 – 72 five more times.
Row 83 (RS, neckline shaping): Bind off 6 sts, k6, p1. (=7 sts)
Row 84 (WS): Sl 1, p6.
Row 85 (RS): Sl, k5, p1.
Row 86: Repeat row 84. Bind off. Cut yarn.


With work piece facing, attach yarn to the left side of the left armhole.
Row 71 (RS): Sl, k22, p1. (=24 sts)
Row 72 (WS): Sl 1, p23.
Repeat rows 71 – 72 five more times.
Row 83 (RS, neckline shaping): Sl 1, k6, bind off 10 sts, k6, p1. (=14 sts) Continue to work from 2 balls of yarn.
Row 84 (WS): (Sl1, p6) on both shoulders.
Row 85: (Sl, k5, p1) on both shoulders.
Row 86: Repeat row 84. Bind off. Cut yarn.

Right Back

Row 71 (RS): Sl, k11, p1. (=13 sts)
Row 72 (WS): Sl 1, p12.
Repeat rows 71-72 four more times. Repeat row 71 one more time.
Row 82 (WS): Bind off 6 sts, p7. (=7 sts)
Row 83 (RS): Sl 1, k 5, p1.
Row 84: Sl 1, p6.
Repeat rows 83-84 one more time. Bind off. Cut yarn.


Cast on 92 sts.

Work 6 rows in garter stitch.

Row 7 (RS, decrease row): Sl 1, *K3tog, from * repeat 30 times to last st, p1. (=32 sts)
Row 8 (WS): Sl 1, p31.
Row 9 (RS): Sl 1, k30, p1.
Repeat rows 8-9 seven more times. Repeat row 8 one more time.
Row 25 (RS, shaping underarm): Bind off 3 sts, k28, p1. (=29 sts)
Row 26 (WS, shaping underarm): Bind off 3 sts, p26. (=26 sts)
Row 27 (RS, decrease row): Sl, ssk, k20, k2tog, p1. (=24 sts)
Row 28 (WS): Sl 1, p23.
Row 29 (RS, decrease row): Sl, ssk, k18, k2tog, p1. (=22 sts)
Row 30 (WS): Sl 1, p21.
Row 31 (RS, decrease row): Sl 1, ssk, k16, k2tog, p1. (=20 sts)
Row 32 (WS): Sl 1, p19.
Row 33 (RS, decrease row): Sl 1, ssk, k14, k2tog, p1. (=18 sts)
Row 34 (RS): Sl 1, p17.
Row 35 (RS): Sl, k16, p1.
Row 36 (WS): Repeat row 34.
Bind off. Cut yarn. Make another sleeve.


Weave in all yarn ends. Join shoulder seams. Join sleeve seams. Set in sleeves. Join the back seam of the dress leaving 10 cm (4") open at the top.
Sew in a 4" (10 cm) zipper to the back opening.
Cut 2 pieces of yarn 25” long each. Thread them along the Empire waist line to make a belt. Tie the ends.
Sew pearl beads along the neckline (optional).


Pattern was updated on September 2, 2018

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There are 7 total comments on this article.

Leave a comment about the article.
Poster: Lianne Browne
April 27, 2015

I used a ball of Glamour from my stash and 3.75mm needles to get the correct size. I purposely made it shorter with short sleeves
Poster: Jean stokes
November 24, 2015

Thank you
Poster: Judie Colwell
October 6, 2014

I also had trouble with size. Anyone have suggestion for needle and yarn size?
Poster: Jan
December 17, 2014

I followed the suggestions for needles on the yarn band; and found that size 6 (4mm) needles gave me approximately the gauge listed for this pattern. 24 stitches and 30 rows for a 4x4 inch square.
I followed the pattern and used almost every inch of yarn. This dress is going to come just below the knee on my 18 inch doll.
Poster: joan woods
June 4, 2015

dolls dress is what I AM LOOKING FOR
Poster: Nicole
September 15, 2014

I don't think this pattern is for a 18 inch doll
Poster: crystal
December 18, 2012

Working on this dress for a friends baby girls doll for christmas so far so good this is only my seconed patteren ever to fallow and so far i under.stand everything thanks tohelp from you tube. Lol

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