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Free Knitting and Crochet Patterns from Elaine Phillips

American Girl Doll Sailor Dress or Tunic

Difficulty level: ** Easy

Free Doll Dress Knitting Pattern

I designed this nautical doll dress as a complement to the Child’s Easy Sailor Dress. This way, a girl can have the same exact outfit as her doll!

The dress is quick to knit and friendly to inexperienced knitters. It features a back opening. I used snaps for the closure, but buttons would work also.

I was going for a navy theme, which was why I used the navy blue yarn and white stripes. Some sort of red accessory, such as a bow or ribbon would go well with this color combo. Other "nautical" color combinations you might like to try are white with navy stripes, navy with red stripes and white with red stripes.

Skills Required/Techniques Used:

-Knit & purl, cast on & bind off

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

-Working in the round on double pointed needles

-Picking up stitches

Materials: Knit Picks (affiliate link) Palette fingering weight 100% wool yarn 231 yds (210 m)/ 50 g navy – 2 balls
small amount of white;
Notions: 4 stitch markers, yarn needle, 2 pieces of waste yarn, metallic snaps - 6 for the tunic, 10 for the dress, sewing needle and thread of the matching color.

Needles: US # 1 (2.25 mm) circular needles and double pointed needles (dpn) for sleeves, OR SIZE NEEDED TO OBTAIN

Gauge for garter st: 28 sts x 56 rows = 4” x 4” (10 cm x 10 cm)

k – knit
co – cast on
kfr&b - knit into front and back
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
sm- slip marker

Pattern Notes:

Garter stitch in rows:
All rows sts knit

Garter Stitch in rounds:
Round 1: purl
Round 2: knit
Repeat 2 rounds.

The selvedge/edge stitches are worked as follows: knit the first st and purl the last one.

Raglan increases: Increase for raglan by making 1 st (m1) on each side of a marked stitch in every right side RS row. There are 4 raglan lines, so in every RS row the number of sts increases by 8.

Dress or Tunic

The dress or tunic is worked in garter stitch, seamlessly, top-down and back-and-forth, with raglan sleeves and a button band on the back.

The sleeves are worked in garter stitch in the round on dpn.


With navy colored yarn, cast on 52 stitches and knit 2 rows. Check the stitches and place markers:
1 selvedge - 7 right back - 1 raglan (place a marker before this st) - 10 right sleeve - 1 raglan (place the second marker before this st) - 12 front - 1 raglan (place the third marker before this st) - 10 left sleeve - 1 raglan (place the forth marker before this st) - 7 left back – 1 selvedge.

Row 3 (RS and all RS rows are increase rows): *knit all sts till marker, m1, sm, k1, m1 - repeat from * 4 times, knit all sts till the last one, p1.

Row 4 (WS and all WS rows): knit all sts till the last one, p1, slip markers while working.

Repeat rows 3 and 4 thirteen more times.

After row 3 the number of sts = 60 sts

After row 5 = 68 sts

After row 7 = 76 sts

After row 9 = 84 sts

After row 11 = 92 sts

After row 13 = 100 sts

After row 15 = 108 sts

After row 17 = 116 sts

After row 19 = 124 sts

After row 21 = 132 sts

After row 23 = 140 sts

After row 25 = 148 sts

After row 27 = 156 sts

After row 29 = 164 sts

Work rows 13-14, 17-18, and 21-22 with white yarn.

Divide for sleeves and bodice:

Row 31 (RS): k 23, transfer the next 38 sts to a piece of waste yarn, co 5, k 42, transfer next 38 sts to a piece of waste yarn, co 5, k 22, p 1. = 98 sts

Row 32 (WS): knit to last st, p1.

Row 33 (RS, increase row): k 4, *k 1, kfr&b - rep from * to last 4 sts, k 3, p 1. (=143 sts)

Row 34: knit to last, p 1.

Work as established (all rows knit) to desired length.

Make several stripes in white near the bottom of the skirt.


Transfer 38 to dpn, distribute them evenly.

Round 1: Starting with the central (third) underarm stitch, pu&k 3, knit 38, pu&k 2. = 43 sts

Place a marker before the third underarm st to mark the beginning of the round. Slip the marker while working.

Round 2: purl.

Round 3: knit.

Repeat rounds 2 and 3, two more times. Bind off.


Weave in the yarn ends. Sew small snaps onto the back opening.

Have fun!

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There are 1 total comments on this article.

Leave a comment about the article.
Poster: Dorothy Brooks
November 10, 2020

Hi there, First I want to tell you how beautiful your patterns are, I love each and everyone of them. However, why is it I can not print a copy of the patterns I download? My vision is not what it use to be (80 years of age) so I like to print the pattern & have it close to me. I would appreciate any help you may give to me. Thank you, Dorothy

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Patterns:Knit >> Doll Clothes
Difficulty Level:2-Easy
Yarn Weight:Fingering
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