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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 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.

Skills Required/Techniques Used:

-Knit & purl, cast on & bind off

-Increasing: yarn over (YO), knit front and back (kfr&b)


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

Notions: yarn needle, 5 stitch markers

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)


K – knit

P – purl

St , sts– stitch, stitches

kfr&b - knit front and back

co – cast on

yo - yarn over

sm - slip marker

Pattern Notes:

Stockinette Stitch in rounds: All rounds knit

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

Garter stitch in rounds:
Round 1: knit
Round 2: purl
Repeat 2 rounds

Raglan increases: Increase for raglan by yarn over (yo) on each side of indicated, marked, stitch in every other round: yo, sm (slip marker), k1 (raglan st), yo. The number of sts increases by 8.


The dress is worked from top down in rounds without seams, with raglan increases.

Cast on 66 sts, join and continue to work in rounds, place a marker at the beginning of the round, slip marker while working. The beginning of the round is in the mibble of the back.

Rounds 1-2: knit

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

Rounds 4-5: knit

Check sts (=66) and place 4 raglan markers : 10 (right back) - 1 (the first raglan line, place a marker before this st) - 11 (right sleeve) - 1 (the second raglan line, place another marker before this st) - 20 (front) - 1 (the third raglan line, place another marker before this st) - 11 (left sleeve) - 1 (the forth raglan line, place another marker before this st) - 10 (left back).

Round 6 and all even rounds: slip the beg. marker, *knit till the raglan marker, yo, sm, k1, yo - repeat from * 4 times, k the remaining sts. till the end of the round. (+8 sts)

Round 7 and all odd rounds: knit

Repeat rounds 6-7 eight more times.

After round 6 the number of sts = 74 sts

After round 8 = 82 sts

After round 10 = 90 sts

After round 12 = 98 sts

After round 14 = 106 sts

After round 16 = 114 sts

AFter round 18 = 122 sts

After round 20 = 130 sts

After round 22 = 138 sts

Divide for sleeves and bodice:

Round 24: sm, k20, bind off the next 29 sts, k40, bind off the next 29 sts , k20. = 80 sts
Rounds 25-26: knit

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

Round 41 (increase round): *kfr&b, k2 - repeat from * to the end of the round = 120 sts

Rounds 43-69: knit

Round 70: purl

Round 71: knit

Repeat rounds 70-71 two more times.

Bind off.


Weave in all yarn ends. Insert either a piece of yarn, or cord, or ribbon into the eyelet round along the neckline.


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There are 12 total comments on this article.

Leave a comment about the article.
Poster: barbara t
November 4, 2017

how adorable!!!! i'd better get busy! christmas is coming!
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: 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: 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: 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?
View All Comments (12)

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