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Free Knitting and Crochet Patterns from Elaine Phillips

American Girl Doll Evening Dress with Train

Difficulty level: ** Easy

Free Doll Dress Knitting Pattern

Skills Required/Techniques Used:

-Knit & purl, cast on & bind off

-Increasing: make 1 (m1), knit front and back (kfr&b)

-Working short rows

-Picking up stitches

-Basic chrocheting

Materials: Paton (affiliate link)s Glam Stripes sport weight yarn, 261 yds/239 m 2.1 oz/60g acryllic/polyester - 1 1/2 balls.
Notions: yarn needle, stitch marker, 8 small silver buttons (8mm diameter), sewing needle and thread to attach buttons and shoulder straps.

Needles: US 2 (2.75mm) circular needles OR SIZE NEEDED TO OBTAIN GAUGE
Crochet Hook: C (2.75 mm)

Gauge for stockinette stitch: 26 st x 34 rows = 4" x 4" (10 x 10 cm)


k - knit

p - purl
co - cast on

st, sts - stitch, stitches
pu&k- pick up and knit;
kfr&b - knit front and back
w&t - wrap and turn
Srow - short row

RS - right side

WS - wrong side
m1 - Make 1 increase - I used the increase described by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Make a backward loop over the right-hand needle and in the next row/round purl/knit as a regular stitch.

sl - slip

pm - place marker

sm - slip marker

sc - single crochet

Pattern Notes:

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

Repeat 2 rows

Stockinette Stitch in rounds: knit all rounds

1 x 1 Rib in rows: multiple of 2 plus 1
Row 1 (RS): *k1, p1 - repeat from * to last st, k1
Row 2 (WS): *p1, k1 - repeat from * to last st, p1

Repeat 2 rows.

Garter st in rounds
Round 1: knit
Round 2: purl
Repeat 1-2 rounds

Wrap and turn (w&t) in the short rows:

With yarn in front sl 1 stitch to the right needle

Move yarn between the needles to the back

Slip the stitch back to the left needle

Turn the work and bring yarn back to the wrong side between the needles

Edge stitches: knit the first st and purl the last st in the row


The dress is worked from top to below the waist, back and forth with a back fastening.
Then it's worked in rounds.
The button band is crocheted.

Cast on 77 sts and work 18 rows in 1x1 rib.

Row 1 (RS, increase row): k1, *k2, kfr&b - repeat from * across the row to the last 4 sts, k3, p1 = 101 sts
Row 2 (WS): k1, p100.

Row 3 (RS): k100, p1.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 eight more times. Repeat row 2 one more time.

Row 21 (RS)/round 1: k100, place marker, k1 and join into round, this is the first round of the skirt. Marker shows the beginning of the round.
Slip marker while working.
Work 49 rounds in stockinette: all rounds knit.

In the next 20 even rounds (50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70, 72, 74, 76, 78, 80, 82, 84, 86, and 88) make 1 st before and after the marked st. : knit all sts till marker, m1, sm, k1, m1. Thus in each even round the number of sts increases by 2. In the next round, knit the m1 stitches. By round 89 there are 141 sts.

Short rows to shape the train:
Round 90: m1, sm, k 1, m1, k65, w&t (the first short row);
Srow 2 (WS): purl till marker, sm, p66, w&t;
Srow 3 (RS): k66, m 1, sm, k1, m1, k60, w&t;
srow 4 (WS): purl till marker, sm, p 61 , w&t;
Srow 5 (RS): k61, m 1, sm, k1, m1, k55, w&t;
Srow 6 (WS): purl till marker, sm, p 56, w&t;
Srow 7 (RS): k 56, m 1, sm, k1, m1, k50, w&t;
Srow 8 (WS): purl till marker, sm, p51, w&t;

Srow 9 (RS): k51, m1, sm, k1, m1, k45, w&t;
Srow 10 (WS): purl till marker sm, p 46, w&t;
Srow 11 (RS): k46, m1, sm, k1, m1, k40, w&t;
Srow 12: purl till marker, sm, p41, w&t;
Srow 13 (RS): k41, m1, sm, k1, m1, k35, w&t;
Srow 14 (WS): purl till marker, sm, p36, w&t;
Srow 15 (RS): k36, m1, sm, k1, m1, k30, w&t;
Srow 16 (WS): purl till marker, sm, p 31, w&t;
Srow 17 (RS): k31, m1, sm, k1, m1, k25, w&t;
Srow 18 (WS): purl till marker, sm, p26, w&t;
Srow 19 (RS): k26, m1, sm, k1, m1, k20, w&t;
Srow 20 (WS): purl till marker, sm, p21, w&t;
Srow 21 (RS): k21, m1, sm, k , m1, k15, w&t;
Srow 22 (WS): purl till marker, sm, p16, w&t
Srow 23 (RS): k16, m1, sm, k1, m1, go on knitting across till you return to the beginning of the round, and finish round 90; pick up all wraps and knit them together with the st around which they are wrapped.
Round 91: knit across.
Rounds 92, 94 and 96 purl
Rounds 93, 95, 97 knit. Bind off.

Shoulder straps are worked back and forth in stockinette st:
Position the dress flat, with its front facing, bodice part open. Count from the right corner of the bodice 23 sts. Row 1 (RS): pu&k 7 sts, in the next 7 sts of the bodice's edge. Turn.

Row 2 (WS): k1, p6.
Row 3 (RS): kfr&b in all st across = 14 sts.

Row 4 (WS): k1, p13

Row 5 (RS): k13, p1.

Repeat rows 4-5 thirteen more times. Check the length of the strap, it should be 5 1/2". Bind off.
Now count from the strap 17 sts to the left. Pu&k 7 sts, from right to left in the 7 sts of the bodice's edge, purl back. Further work as the first strap.


Crochet the button band on the right back: *1 sc in each of the next 3 edge sts, ch3, skip the next 3 edge sts, repeat to the end of the row.
Sew 8 buttons to the left edge of the back.

Weave in all yarn ends. Block the dress or lightly press it with an iron. Sew the shoulder straps to the back of the bodice.


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There are 13 total comments on this article.

Leave a comment about the article.
Poster: Karen
November 17, 2017

I'm down to finishing, but the instructions on the buttons and closing the back are slim to none. Any thoughts?
Poster: Kath Wilmott
April 22, 2016

Does anyone know how big the outfit/doll is, please?
Poster: Rose Ann Smith
June 29, 2016

American girl doll size
Poster: KathleenLarkin
April 19, 2018

I have 2dolls they are 14inches I have no patterns for them
Poster: Kath Wilmott
May 14, 2018

Thank you for the info. I didn't know the size of an American doll! Garment finished!
Poster: Joanne
July 31, 2019

The original American Girl dolls are 18 inch tall. Was that your question?
Poster: Lissa Kadlec
May 4, 2020

The doll is 18"
Poster: Kath Wilmott
April 21, 2016

I am going to knit this dress for a knitted rabbit! It is roughly 14". Will this dress be okay, because it doesn't give any measurements? Thanks.
Poster: Maureen
July 13, 2015

Did you use the suggested yarn? I did not. However, even tho my gauge was accurate I found the dress to be about THREE inches too long. Would love to hear from you re your dress.
Poster: Monnie
June 3, 2016

If I stopped knitting 3 inches early, would the train that they show in the picture still work out on the doll, or would I have to eliminate the train part of the dress? Thx ahead of time!
View All Comments (13)

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Patterns:Knit >> Doll Clothes
Difficulty Level:2-Easy
Technique:Short Rows
Yarn Weight:Sport
Yarn Brand:Patons

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