American Girl Doll Sailor Dress or Tunic

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.

Materials: Knit Picks Palette fingering weight 100% wool yarn 231 yds (210 m)/ 50 g navy – 2 balls
small amount of white;
metallic snaps: 6 for the tunic, 10 for the dress

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

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 marked stitch in every right side RS row.

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. Distribute the stitches:
1 selvedge - 7 right back - 1 raglan (place a marker) - 10 right sleeve - 1 raglan (place a marker) - 12 front - 1 raglan (place a marker) - 10 left sleeve - 1 raglan (place a marker) - 7 left back – 1 selvedge.

Starting with the next row 3 (RS), make raglan increases in each odd row: 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29.

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

Divide for sleeves and bodice:

Row 31: 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.

Row 32: knit to last st, p1.

Row 33: k 4, *k 1, kfr&b - rep from * to last 4 sts, k 3, p 1.

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 dpns.

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

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!

Download PDF