Monday 29 August 2022

18" doll dress


This is my new Designer Friend 18" doll so I've been busy adapting some of my other patterns to fit.  My first attempt is this top down dress, knit from the neck down in one piece, with a back seam, using straight needles throughout.  I added a back opening to make it easier to dress the doll.  The dress will fit most 18" dolls  

The pattern has been tested (thanks to my sister) but mistakes can easily slip by so if you find and errors or have problems with the pattern please leave a comment below

Actual measurements: Dress: Chest 14”, length from shoulder to hem 9”

You will need: 50g dk yarn, 4mm (US 6) and 3.25 (US 3) needles, 2 10mm buttons
Tension (Gauge):  24sts x 28 rows x 4” (10cm) using 4mm needles over stocking stitch
k: knit,     p: purl,    st(s): stitch(es),    tog: together,    yf: yarn forward       
gs: garter stitch - every row knit,    rs: right side facing,    ws: wrong side facing
slst:  slip stitch
ssk:  Slip next 2 stitches knitwise one at a time onto right hand needle, then knit through back loops together, or use slip 1, k1 pass slipped stitch over
kfb: increase by knitting into first loop then knit into back loop of same stitch

Using 3.25mm needles, cast on 51sts
Work 2 rows gs
Buttonhole row   k2tog, yf k to end
Next row   k3, (kfb, k5) 8 times,    59sts
Change to 4mm needles and stocking stitch, begin yoke shaping:
Row 1         k6 (yf, k2, yf, k12) x 3, yf, k2, yf, k9           67sts
Row 2         k1, purl to last 3sts, k3
Row 3         k7 (yf, k2, yf, k14) x 3, yf, k2, yf, k10        75sts
Row 4         k1, purl to last 3sts, k3
Row 5         k8 (yf, k2, yf, k16) x 3, yf, k2, yf, k11        83sts
Row 6         k1, purl to last 3sts, k3
Row 7         k9 (yf, k2, yf, k18) x 3, yf, k2, yf, k12        91sts
Row 8         k1, purl to last 3sts, k3                                          
Row 9         k10 (yf, k2, yf, k20) x 3, yf, k2, yf, k13      99sts                          
Row 10       k1, purl to last 3sts, k3
Row 11       Buttonhole row k2tog, yf, k9 (yf, k2, yf, k22) x 3, yf, k2, yf, k14 107sts
Row 12      k1, purl to last 3sts, k3
Row 13       k12 (yf, k2, yf, k24) x 3, yf, k2, yf, k15      115sts                        
Row 14       k1, purl to last 3sts, k3
Row 15       k13 (yf, k2, yf, k26) x 3, yf, k2, yf, k16      123sts                        
Row 16       cast off 3sts, purl to last 3sts, k3              120sts
Row 17       k14 (yf, k2, yf, k28) x 3, yf, k2, yf, k14      128sts                        
Row 18       (p16, k32, p16)  x 2
Row  19      (k16, cast off 32, k16) x 2
Change to 3.25 needles
Join backs and front:   ws facing, K15, slst, knit first stitch of front, psso,  knit across 30sts front, slst, knit first stitch of back, psso, k15           62sts
Work 4 rows in gs
Inc row  rs facing, k1, (kfb) x 11, k8,  (kfb) x 22, k8, (kfb) x 11, k1    106sts

Change to 4mm needles
Next row    purl 
Begin skirt pattern
Row 1    k1, (k2tog, yf, k6) to last stitch, k1
Row 2    purl
Row 3    knit
Row 4    purl
Row 5    k5 (k2tog, yf, k6) to last 5sts, k2tog, yf, k3
Row 6   purl 
Row 7   knit
Row 8   purl
These 8 rows form the pattern.  Repeat 8 rows of pattern 2 times, then rows 1 to 6
Hem pattern
Row 1    k1, (k3, k2tog, yf, k1, yf, ssk)) rep to last stitch, k1
Row 2    purl
Row 3    k2, (k1, k2tog, yf, k3, yf, ssk) rep to end
Row 4    purl
Row 5    k1, (s1, k2tog, psso, yf, k5, yf) rep to last stitch, k1
Rows 6-8    knit 3 rows garter stitch
Cast off loosely
To Finish off
Sew back seam.  Sew placket of back opening on wrong side.  Sew on 2 buttons to match buttonhole.  Finish off all ends, block skirt to avoid hem curling up.



  1. Lovely can not wait for more patterns in this size range

  2. Great pattern! Fun to knit.

  3. I love this pattern! I have been knitting for a very long time but this is the first time knitting doll clothes. I am making dresses for my great nieces who have 18” American Girl dolls.

    I did want to point out that I think I may have found a tiny mistake in the pattern. On row 5 of the skirt section, the pattern says to knit the repeating part until the last 4 stitches. I think it should be the last 5 stitches instead (but I could be wrong) 😑. Let me know what you think! Thanks again for such a fun pattern.

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment. Yes you are right, there is a mistake on row 5, it should be 5 stitches. Its so easy for little typos to get through so I really appreciate you pointing this out

    2. Pershendetje doja t'ju pyesja nese keni kanal ne Youtube?

  4. Hi, I’m very new to knitting sort of. Did it years ago in school days. I just can’t get my head around how you get from 59sts to 67sts at the beginning. And then the stitches keep increasing as the rows go on. I’ve googled each abbreviation to check I’m doing as per pattern but clearly missing something. Any advice would be great if you get this. Many thanks!

  5. The yf- yarn forward, or as it is often referred to as yo - yarn on needle, creates an extra stitch. So row 1 and subsequent alternate rows have an increase of 8 sts per row. Hope this helps

    1. Thanks for taking the time to reply, it seems so logic now you’ve said it. I thought yf was to create little holes only wasn’t counting stitches on needle at all.

  6. I am having trouble with the gauge. All my #3 yarn knits up to 22 sts x 28 rows = 4”. Do you think that will still work for this pattern?

    1. The dress would be slightly larger but should still be OK.

    2. I am enjoying this pattern but am confused to where the sleeves are put in.

    3. The sleeves are part of the yoke. Follow the pattern and you will see how it works out

  7. To hit the gauge, go down a needle size. I’m using size 5 US and that works for me.

  8. Hi is there and error on this row:- Continue in stocking stitch, increase 1 stitch at each end of 13rd and every following 12th row to 44sts, then every alternate row to 48sts ending on a purl row (42 rows) - is it 13th or 3rd for the next increase

    1. could you be more specific on which pattern. thanks

  9. There is no PDF download link.