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Free Knitting and Crochet Patterns from Elaine Phillips

Vintage Summer Dress for 18-inch Dolls

Difficulty level: *** Intermediate

Free Doll Dress Knitting Pattern

Dress your American Girl Doll in style for the summer holidays! These fitted dresses use the same basic pattern but are easy to customize to match any look with different colors and striping. I used solid yarn for the tops and multi-colored yarn for the skirt. This pattern is good for utilizing leftover sock yarn.

Skills Required/Techniques Used:
- Knit & purl, cast on & bind off
- Increasing: yarn over (YO), knit front and back (kfr&b)
- Decreasing: center double decrease (cdd)
- Working in the round on double pointed needles

Materials: you need about 220-250 yds (200-230 m) of fingering weight (sock) yarn.

Notions: yarn needle, 4 stitch markers, 4 sew-on snaps, sewing needle and thread to attach the snaps, any small embellishments - buttons, bows, etc.

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

Gauge: 28 sts x 40 rows = 4" x 4" (10 x 10 cm) in stockinette st.

Pattern Notes:

Stockinette Stitch in rows:
Row 1: knit
Row 2: purl
Repeat 2 rows

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 2 rounds

Selvedge/edge Stitches: knit the first stitch as if to knit and purl the last stitch.

Raglan increases: All increases for raglan are done in odd/right side (RS) rows in the following way:
Work until 1 stitch remains before the marker, yarn over (yo), knit 2 (the marker is between these 2 stitches, slip marker while working, yo. Repeat on all raglan lines, thus 8 stitches are added in each RS row. In each following wrong side row, purl the yo stitches.

Button bands (bb) are worked together with the body of the dress in garter stitch, all rows knit.

k - knit
p - purl
cdd - center double decrease: slip 2 sts knitwise on the right needle, knit the third st, pass the 2 slipped sts over just knitted one.
kfr&b - knit into front and back
yo - yarn over
st, sts - stitch, stitches
RS - right side
WS - wrong side
pm - place marker
sm - slip marker

Short Overview of the Pattern

The dress is worked top-down, seamlessly, first back and forth, then in the round. The sleeves are worked in-the-round on dpn. The bodice and the hem of the skirt are worked in solid color yarn, the skirt, in multi color yarn.



Using circle needles and solid colored yarn cast on 56 sts and work 2 foundation rows in garter st - both rows knit.

Row 1 (RS): k4, *yo, k2tog - rep 24 times, yo, k3, p1 = 57 sts

Row 2 (WS): k4, p49, k3, p1

Row 3 (RS increase rows): k4 (right button band), k4 (right back), yo, k1, pm (place marker), k1, yo (1st raglan line), k10 (right sleeve), yo, k1, pm, k1, yo (2nd raglan line), k13 (front), yo, k1, pm, k1, yo (3rd raglan line), k10 (left sleeve), yo, k1, pm, k1, yo (4th raglan line), k4, k3, p1 = 65 sts

Row4: k4, purl 57, k4, p1

Row 5 (RS and all odd/RS rows): *knit till 1 stitch remains before the marker, yo, k1, sm, k1, yo - repeat from * 4 times, knit till the last st, p1. Thus you add 8 sts in each odd row.

Row 6 and all even, WS, rows: k4, purl till last 4 sts, k3, p1.

Repeat rows 5-6 nine more times

Stitch count after the increases:
After row 3 = 65 sts
After row 5 = 73 sts
After row 7 = 81 sts
After row 9 = 89 sts
After row 11 = 97sts
After row 13 = 105 sts
After row 15 = 113 sts
After row 17 = 121 sts
After row 19 = 129 sts
After row 21 = 137 sts
After row 23 = 145 sts

Divide for sleeves and Bodice

Row 25 (RS,): k 20 (right back), transfer the next 34 sts to a piece of waste yarn (right sleeve), cast on 3 sts (for underarm), k 37(front), transfer the next 34 sts of the sleeve to a piece of waste yarn (left sleeve), cast on 3 sts (for underarm), k 19, p1 (left back). = 83 sts

Rows 26 (WS): k 4, purl 75, k3, p1.

Row 27: knit till last st, p1.

Row 28: knit 4, purl till last 4, k3, p1

Repeat rows 27-28 three more times. Cut solid yarn, continue in multi-colored yarn.


Row 35 (RS, increase row): k5, yo, k1, yo, *k3, p2, k3, yo, k1, yo - rep from * 8 times, k4, p1 = 101 sts

Row 36: k4, p7, *k2, p9 - rep from * 7 times , k2, p7, k3, p1

Row37 (increase row); k6, yo, k1, yo, * k4, p2, k4, yo, k1, yo -repeat from * 8 times, k5, p1 = 119 sts

Row 38: k4, p9, * k2, p11 - repeat from * 7 times, k2, p9 , k3, p1

Row 39 (increase row) : K7, yo, k1, yo, *k5, p2, k5, yo, k1, yo - rep 8 times, k6, p1 = 137 sts

Row 40: k4, p11, * k2, p13 - rep 7 times, k2, p11, k3, p1

Row 41 (increase row): k8, yo, k1, yo, *k6, p2, k6, yo, k1, yo - repeat from * 8 times, k7, p1. = 155 sts

Row 42: k4, p13, * k2, p15 - rep 7 times, k2, p13, k3, p1.

Row 43 (increase row): k9, yo, k1, yo, *k7, p2, k7, yo, k1, yo - repeat from * 8 times, k8, p1 = 173 sts

Row 44: k4, p15, * k2, p17 - repeat from * 7 times, k2, p15, k3, p1

Row 45: k19, *p2, k17 - repeat from * 7 times, p2, k18, p1

Row 46: k4, p15, *k2, p17 - repeat from * 7 times, k2, p15, k3, p1

Row 47: repeat row 45 till last 4 sts, fold the working piece to make the beginning and the end of the rows meet, right side facing, from the right needle transfer the last 4 sts of the row (left bb) on a spare needle, overlap with the first 4 sts (right bb) on the left needle, hold the left and spare needles in left hand. Insert the working, right, needle in the first st on the spare needle, then in the first st on the left needle, yo, pull yarn through both sts. Repeat with the remaining 3 sts. Thus you close the work into round. Place a marker between the 2 and 2 sts of the former button band to mark the beginning of the round

Round 1: (2 sts of this round are already knited and on the right needle,) k15, m1, *p2, k17 - repeat from * 7 times, p2, m1, k16, p1, sm.

Round 2: p1, k17, *p2, k17 -repeat from * 8 times, p1, sm

Repeat round 2 35 more times or to desired length. Keep in mind that you'll need 5 more rounds in garter stitch to finish the hem: 1st, 3rd and 5th rounds knit, rounds 2 and 4 purl. The hem rounds are worked with solid color yarn. Bound off.


Transfer 34 sts from a length of yarn, pu&k 3 underarm sts. = 37 sts

Rounds 1-3 knit,

Round 4: cdd, k34 = 35 sts,

Round 5, 7 and 9 knit; rounds 6, 8 and 10 purl. Bind off.


Weave in all yarn ends. Sew on the snaps on button bands.

Have fun!

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Patterns:Knit >> Doll Clothes
Difficulty Level:3-Intermediate
Yarn Weight:Fingering

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