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Free Knitting and Crochet Patterns from Elaine Phillips

American Girl Doll Nordic Winter Dress

Difficulty level: *** Intermediate

Free Doll Dress Knitting Pattern

This outfit (see hat pattern here) was loosely inspired by traditional Scandinavian styles. Long-sleeved, long-skirted dresses were traditionally popular. Often, they are decorated along the bottom of the skirt with embroidery and lace patterns. I chose to use Nordic / Fair Isle colorwork instead. Not quite as traditional for the dresses, but it does come from Scandinavia and is a much better fit for a knitting pattern!

I repeated the same motif for the hat, and worked a narrow band of Nordic-style colorwork around the yoke of the dress to offset the skirt.

Add a vest to complete the style!

If you are experienced with Nordic-style colorwork, you can substitute any 17-st colorwork pattern for the one that I used.

You can purchase this dress from our Etsy store!

Skills Required/Techniques Used:

-Knit & purl, cast on & bind off

-Decreasing: knit 2 together (k2 tog), slip-slip-knit (ssk)

-Working in the round on double pointed needles

-Picking uo stitches

-Working color patterns, stranded knitting

Materials: Knit Picks (affiliate link) Palette fingering weight 100% wool yarn 231 yds (210 m)/ 50 g color white (main color) - 1 ball, red (contrast color) 1/3 ball

Notions:yarn needle, 5 small metallic or plastic sew-on snaps, sewing needle and thread of the matching color, crochet hook 2.25 mm (for belt, optional)

Needles: US # 1 (2.25) circle and double pointed needle (dpn) of the same size OR Size NEEDED TO OBTAIN GAUGE

Gauge for stockinette st: 28 sts x 36 rows = 4” x 4” (10 cm x 10 cm)

k - knit
p - purl
pu&k- pick up and knit
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.
RS - right side
WS - wrong side

Pattern Notes:

Stockinette in rows:
Row 1 (RS): knit
Row 2: purl
Repeat 2 rows.

Stockinette in rounds:
All rounds knit.

Garter Stitch in rows:
All rows knit.

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

The selvedge/edge stitches are worked as follows: knit the first st and purl the last st.
Color patterns are worked by schemes.


Dress is worked top down in one piece with round yoke, first back and forward, with button band on the back, then in the round. The button band is worked on 3 stitches in garter stitch. The sleeves are worked in the round on dpn.

With main color cast on 52 sts: 1 edge st, 3 button band (always knit), 44 yoke (knit in the RS rows and purl in the WS rows), 3 button band (always knit), 1 edge (purl).

Row 1 (RS): knit all sts till the last one, p1.

Row 2 (WS): k4, p44, k3, p1.

Row 3 (RS, increase row): k4, *k2, m1 - repeat from * 22 times, k3, p1 = 74 sts

Row 4 (WS): k4, p 66, k3, p1.
Row 5 (RS): knit all sts till the last one, p1.

Row 6 (WS): repeat row 4.

Row 7 (WS, increase row): k6, *k2, m1 - repeat from * 31 times, k5, p1 = 105 sts

Row 8 (WS): k4, p 97, k3, p1

Rows 9-12: k4, work according to diagram A, k3, p1

Rows 13-18: work in main color as established: RS rows knit till the last st, p1, WS rows: k4, purl till the last 4, k3, p1.

Divide for sleeves and bodice:

Row 19 (RS): k 18 (right back), transfer 20 (sleeve) to a lengh of yarn, cast on 3 sts, k 29 (front), transfer 20 (sleeve) to a lengh of yarn, cast on 3 sts, k 17, p 1. = 71 sts

Row 20 (WS): k4, p 63, k3, p1 = 71 sts

Row 21 (RS): knit 70, p1.

Repeat rows 20-21 five more times.

Row 32 (WS): like row 20.

Row 33 (RS increase row): k4, *k2, m1 - repeat from * 31 times, k4, p1 = 102 sts

Row 34 (WS): k4, purl till last 4 sts, k3, p1.

Row 35 (RS): knit till the last st, p1.

Repeat rows 34 and 35 five more times.

Row 46 (RS): like 34.

Row 47 / Round 1: Work row 47 as established, till the last 4 stitches, transfer the last 4 sts of the button band to a spare needle, position it over the beginning 4 sts of the button band, left and spare needle in left hand. Insert the right needle in the first stitch on the spare needle, then in the first stitch on the left needle and knit both sts together. Repeat with the remaining 3 sts. Place a marker between the sts of the button band - leave 2 sts in the end of the round and 2 sts in the beginning of the round. = 98 sts

Round 2: *k2, m1 - rep 49 times = 147 sts.

Round 3: knit all sts. Repeat round 3 19 more times.

The snowflake pattern is a multiple of 17. The closest multiple of 17 to 147 is 153. So in the next round, you will need to evenly add 6 stitches – work m1 every 24 stitches.

Work snowflake pattern according to diagram B.

After the pattern, work 4 rounds in garter stitch. Bind off. Cut yarn.


Transfer 20 sts from the waste yarn to dpn, pu&k 3 sts over underarm sts. Work in the round on dpn in stockinette for 44 rounds, work 4 more rounds in garter st. Bind off, Cut yarn.


Pu&k 52 stitches along the neckline. Work 12 rows in stockinette. Bind off. Cut yarn.


With red yarn crochet a chain 16" long. Make 2 small tassels and attach to the ends of the belt. If you do not crochet, knit the belt in garter stitch on 3 stitches.


Weave in yarn ends. Block. Sew on snaps on the button band.

Diagram A

Diagram B

Click image to enlarge

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Poster: Jane
May 17, 2017

Do these adorable patterns fit other dolls?

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Difficulty Level:3-Intermediate
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