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Free Knitting and Crochet Patterns from Elaine Phillips

Perfect Little Dress for 18-inch Dolls

Difficulty level: *** Intermediate

Free Doll Dress Knitting Pattern

I called this the "Perfect Little Dress" because of how versatile this pattern is. Knit it in midnight blue or black and it's the ideal evening dress. In brighter colors, it's a great casual summer dress. Some formal stripes and sober colors and it becomes perfect for the office.

I think this pattern is suitable for the intermediate knitter.

Skills Required/Techniques Used:
-Knit & purl, cast on & bind off
-Increasing: yarn over (YO), make 1 (m1)
-Decreasing: central double decrease (cdd)
-Working in the round on double pointed needles
-Picking up stitches

Materials: Calipso by Miss Tricot Filati (affiliate link) sport weight yarn (100% cotton), 137 yards(125 meters) /50 g - 1 ball (main multi color)
Paton (affiliate link)s Grace sport weight yarn (100% cotton), 136 yards(124 meters) /50g - 1 ball (matching solid color)

Needles: Circular US 1.5 ( 2.50 mm) and double pointed needles (dpn) for sleeves OR SIZE NEEDED TO OBTAIN GAUGE

Gauge: 28 st x 32 rows = 4" x 4" (10cm x 10cm) in stockinette st

- 4 stitch markers
- Stitch holders or 2 pieces 10” long of contrasting color waste yarn to hold stitches
- Yarn needle
- 5 buttons or 5 sew-on snaps size 2/0 or 3/0
- Sewing needle and thread of color matching the yarn for attaching the buttons/snaps

dpn – double pointed needles
K – knit
P – purl
St, sts – stitch, stitches
pu&k - pick up and knit
as est. - as established, work as the pattern demands, here knit the RS rows and purl the WS rows.
co – cast on
RS – right side
WS – wrong side
m 1 - 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 it as a regular stitch
cdd - central double decrease: 1) slip 2 sts on the right needle knitwise, 2) knit the next st, 3) insert the left needle in the slipped 2 sts and pass them over the just knitted st. = 2 sts decrease
bb – button band
sm - slip marker

Pattern Notes

Stockinette Stitch in rows:
Row 1 (RS): knit
Row 2 (WS): purl
Repeat row 1-2.

Stockinette Stitch in rounds: all rounds knit

Garter stitch in rows: all rows knit.

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

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

Dress, Short Overview:

The dress is worked top down, without seams. First the yoke and body are worked back and forth with circular needles to the hip line, with raglan increases. Then the skirt is worked in the round. The short sleeves are worked in the round with double pointed needles.

Button bands are worked on the back of the dress in garter stitch (all rows knit) with buttonholes. You can also knit without button holes and use snaps instead of buttons.

Button holes are made in the beginning of RS rows 1, 11, 21, 31, and 41 in the following way: k1, k2tog, yo, k1. In the next row, all sts knit.

Raglan increases are made before and after raglan lines with yo in every odd/RS row, thus you increase the number of stitches by 8 in every odd/RS row on the yoke. Increase as follows: yo, sm (slip marker), k1 (raglan st), yo.


Cast on 52 sts with solid color.

Work 2 rows in garter stitch (both rows knit)

Check the stitches and place markers as follows: 1 edge - 3 right button band (bb) - 4 right back - 1 raglan (place the first 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) - 4 left back - 3 left bb - 1 edge.

Row 1 (RS): k1, k2tog, yo, k1, *k1 till the marker, yo, sm, k1 (raglan), yo -repeat from * 4 times, k till the last st, p1. =60 sts

Row 2 and all even rows (WS): k4, purl to last 4 sts, k3, p1.

Row 3 (RS): *k1 till the marker, yo, sm, k1 (raglan), yo -repeat from * 4 times, k till last st, p1.

Rows 4-10 - repeat rows 2-3.

Row 11 - repeat row 1

Rows 12-20 - repeat rows 2-3.

The count of sts after each raglan increase:

Row 1 = 60 sts
Row 3 = 68 sts
Row 5 = 76 sts
Row 7 = 84 sts
Row 9 = 92 sts
Row 11 = 100 sts
Row 13 = 108 sts
Row 15 = 116 sts
Row 17 = 124 sts
Row 19 = 132 sts

Divide for sleeves and bodice

Continue with multi-colored thread

Row 21 (RS): k1, k2tog, yo, k16, transfer 30 sts to a piece of waste yarn, co 5, k34, transfer 30 sts to a piece of waste yarn, co 5, k18, p1. = 82 sts

Row 22 (WS and all WS rows): k4, p till last 4 sts, k3, p1.

Row 23 (RS increase row): k4, m1, k10, m1, k12, m1, (k10, m1) 3 times, k12, m1, k10, m1, k3, p1. = 90 sts

Rows 25-28 (RS): knit

Row 29 (RS, increase row): k4, m1, k11, m1, (k12, m1) - 5 times, k11, m1, k3, p1. = 98 sts

WORK rows 30 - 46 as established. Don’t forget to make button holes in rows 31 and 41.

Row 47/round 1: knit to last 4 sts, transfer the last 4 sts (left button band) to a spare needle, position it under the beginning 4 sts (right button band), left and spare needle in left hand. Insert the right (working) needle in the first stitch on the left needle, then in the first st on the spare needle, and knit both sts together. Repeat with the remaining 3 sts. = 94 sts. Place a marker between 2 and 2 sts of the former bb to mark the beginning of the round.

Work 20 rounds in stockinette stitch pattern: all rounds knit.

Change to solid color yarn and work 4 more rounds in garter stitch pattern. Bind off.


Sleeves are worked in solid color yarn:

Transfer 30 sts on dpn, distributing them evenly, pu&k 5 underarm sts. = 35 sts

Round 1: k30, underarm sts: k1, cdd, k1. = 33 sts

Round 2: p30, underarm sts: k3

Round 3: k30, underarm sts: cdd. = 31 sts

Round 4: p31.

Bind off.


Weave in all yarn ends. Block the piece. Sew on buttons/snaps.

Have fun!

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