Simple Doll Dress


This is my 50th post!  Since this blog is mostly crochet-related, I thought it would be good to have a crochet pattern for my fiftieth post.  🙂


This was my latest crochet project that I mentioned in my last post.  It was made with some of my Christmas yarn from my aunt (thank you, it’s fabulous!)


Here’s another version that I made.  It was designed to look like one of Mary’s dresses in Little House on the Prairie.

This dress has been in the making for a while, as well as this post (I’m somewhat of a perfectionist and didn’t want to post until I was happy with it.)  I wanted a dress that could work with various yarn weights and could fit any doll, so it took a while to design a pattern that other people could follow.  (At least I hope that’s the case!)

I made two dresses; one in sock-weight yarn, and one in worsted weight; to see if it would work in different yarn weights…and it does, with some modifications.

Use whatever yarn / hook size you like.  It might be helpful to know what sizes I used, for the sock yarn I used a D (3.25), and for the worsted weight,  I (5.50).  Make sure your hook isn’t too small, or the fabric will be too tight and not drape well.  On the other hand, too big of a hook will leave holes in the fabric and result in a scantily clad doll, and we don’t want that!


First, make a chain that is the length you want for the bodice.  (Sock yarn – 15, Worsted Weight – somewhere around 10.)  Add one more chain for turning.  If you’re not sure what length to do, it’s better to go for shorter, because crochet stretches.  The numbers I’ve listed are before turning chains, but it doesn’t really matter.


Single crochet in the 2nd ch from the hook and in each ch across.  I used the Knotless Chain, which I LOVE, because holes in the end of my chain drive me nuts.  Here’s an excellent tutorial.


See how nicely it tightens up?


For the remaining bodice rows: ch 1, turn, sc across in back loop only.


This creates the ribbed effect that you can see in the picture above.  (This is also the picture I showed you in a previous post.)

From here on out, I’ll be demonstrating with worsted-weight yarn.  It’s in a dark color, so it’s hard to see.  If you have too much trouble seeing it to follow along, let me know, and I can work on redoing the pictures.  I did do my best to take good pictures (it involved lugging a lamp through the house, borrowing an iPhone, and hogging the floor with a bucket lid…but it’s worth it if the pictures are OK!)


Repeat Row 2 until the bodice is wide enough to wrap around your doll’s torso.  If you’re going to add buttons, you might want to make it a bit shorter so you still have room to crochet buttonholes.

Now we’re going to crochet along the sides, to make them less bumpy.  There’s no set method for this, just try to make sure they don’t ruffle or pucker.  Crochet along three sides, making *sc, ch 1, sc* in each corner, until you’ve reached the start.

Does this help clarify it any?

Does this help clarify it any?  Don’t single crochet along the last bodice row that you did.  It’s already nice and tidy.  (The right side is facing up right now.)


Now, slip stitch to the other side to make it into a ring.  To be more specific, slip stitch to the top left-hand corner in the picture above.  I think you’ll be able to figure it out.  Make sure that the right side is still facing out.


You’ll have something that looks like this.

The basic method from here on out is to work on the skirt, increasing until you have the desired circumference, and then begin working in straight rounds.  I added a crochet thread edge after I’d fastened off.  Then we’ll go back to the top and add straps by chaining and skipping some stitches.  Finally we’ll add sleeves, if desired, by picking up stitches around the armholes and crocheting a narrow tube.  I added buttonholes and buttons after it was all finished.

I’ll give you the patterns for worsted weight yarn and sock weight yarn, but that’s just a starting point.  If you’re using a different yarn weight, it’s easy to modify it.

Notes: Ch 2s do not count as a stitch.  ‘Inc’ means ‘dc 2 in same stitch’.  Since you may have single crocheted a different amount of stitches when edging the bodice, your stitch count might be different.  Wing it!  It will turn out fine.

Pattern for Worsted Weight Yarn with size I (5.50 MM) hook:

After slip-stitching to join the bodice into a ring, you’ll start on the increases.

Rnd 1:  Ch 2.  Starting in the next st, inc in every st around.  Your last increase will be made in the slip stitch from the joining.

Rnd 2: Ch 2.  Starting in the next st, *dc 1, inc* around, making last increase in sl st from previous rnd.

Rnds 3 – 11 (or desired length): Ch 2.  Starting in the next st, dc in each st around, making last dc in sl st from previous rnd.

Pattern for Sock Weight Yarn with size D (3.25 MM) hook:

Rnd 1: Ch 2.  Starting in next st, *dc 1, inc* around, making last increase in sl st from previous rnd.

Rnd 2: Ch 2.  Starting in next st, *dc 4, inc* around, making last increase in sl st from previous rnd.

Rnd 3: Ch 2.  Starting in next st, *dc 12, inc* around, making last increase in sl st from previous rnd.

Rnd 4: Ch 2.  Starting in next st, *dc 13, inc* around, making last increase in sl st from previous rnd.

Rnds 5 – 17 (or desired length): Ch 2.  Starting in next st, dc in each st around, making last dc in sl st from previous rnd.

Edging for both versions:

You can use whatever edging you desire, or leave it plain if you prefer.  I used crochet thread and a 2.1 mm hook, and did a chain-loop edging.  For the worsted weight it was: *Ch 3, sc in next st* around, and then 1 more round of that, with the single crochets in the chain-3 spaces.  For the sock yarn it was: *ch 3, sk 1, sc in next st* around, with only one round.


Now it’s time to add buttonholes.  I wanted the buttons on the back for the dress above, so it didn’t interfere with the yarn.


Join the yarn to one side of the bodice.  Make a chain that is long enough to fit around your first button, and single crochet to the next stitch.  Single crochet a few more, and repeat.


Then sew buttons to the corresponding spaces on the other side.


The above picture illustrates how to add straps.  You’ll need to place the chain spaces above your doll’s arms, and chain enough to go over them.  Try to chain and skip a similar amount of stitches for each armhole.


If you want to add sleeves, here’s how.  First locate the armhole.  Then join your yarn to one of the skipped stitches.


The hook is showing approximately where you’ll join it.


I used a Standing Double Crochet.  To do that, start with a slipknot on your hook, and yarn over, keeping your finger on the slipknot so it doesn’t untwist.


Then insert your hook into the stitch and pull up a loop.  Finish your double crochet as normal (YO, pull through 2, two times.)


Double crochet in the rest of the skipped stitches.


Here I’ve folded back the double crochets just made so you can see where to put the next stitch.  It’s between the skipped stitches and the chain space.  Make 1 double crochet in that space.


Then turn it 180 degrees from the last picture so you can start working around the chain space.  However many chains you made, that’s how many double crochets you’ll put in it. Work into the space, not into the chains, so it’ll be sturdier.  Then put one double crochet into the space between the skipped stitches and the chain space, like you did before.


Then make 1 dc in the rest of the skipped stitches, and slip stitch to the first dc to join.  Count how many stitches you have, because you’ll need to replicate it on the other sleeve.

The rest of the rounds are as follows: Ch 2, dc in each st around, slip stitch to join.  For the worsted-weight version, I did 5 dc rounds (including the picking up of stitches), and 2 sc rounds to finish it off.  Do this on both of the sleeves.  The top of the bodice might be slightly loose after all this, so I did a single crochet round with a few decrease to tighten things up.  (This was after I’d fastened off the sleeves.)

I think that’s about it.  Let me know if you have any questions.  If you end up making something from this pattern, I would love to see pictures of it!

How did I manage to make this post over 1500 words?!  I really had better publish it already!

~ The Cogaroo ~


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