All the patterns here are fairly traditional shapes for real people, too. Only the numbers are changed to fit the doll. The shapes are simple and can be made from a variety of pattern stitches. Most doll clothes work out better with a smaller yarn, so these garments are made mainly with DK or sport weight yarn. But some worsted weight isn’t necessarily such a bad thing.
Along with your yarn and hook, you will need a tape measure (all measurements here are in inches, but the same ideas apply in metric). Here are measurements I took of my 18” doll:
Around neck: 6” bust: 11-1/2” hip: 13 upper arm: 4-1/2”
wrist: 3-3/4 head: 12” waist: 11 thigh: 6-1/4
ankle: 4-1/4 across back at shoulders: 5 armhole depth: 2
underarm to wrist: 3-1/2 shoulder to wrist: 5-1/2 neck to waist: 4
neck to floor: 15 waist to knee: 6 crotch depth: 4-1/2 neck to hip: 8
inseam: 7 waist to ankle: 9
Only a few measurements are used for these sweaters, but if you want to make clothing, it is interesting to see how the numbers work together and are related to each other. These measurements are of the actual body. For garments, I often add ease – so the armhole depth would end up being 3” for a sweater that goes over a shirt. Figure 12 inches for the bust, allowing 6” for the front and 6” for the back.
Six Blocks sweater (7, counting the collar)
DK weight yarn, 4mm hook
Sample: Sateen yarn by Cascade. This was leftover yarn from 3 skeins used to make a toddler sweater.
Half the Bust, plus desired ease: (A) – 6”
Half that number: (B) – 3”
Make six rectangles, measuring A by B. Start by making two for the front and two for the back.
In this sample, the 2 back blocks are made with 3” rows worked for 6” in length. The 2 front blocks are made with 6” rows worked for 3” in length.
• Alternating rows dc and sc/ch1 (odd number of stitches)
• (sc, dc) with sc in dc of pr r and dc in sc of pr r
• Ch2 net stitch (for sleeves)
• Shell stitch for collar.
Join center back seam. Join halfway across tops for shoulders.
For the sleeves: Stitch the sleeves starting at the shoulder so you don’t have to sew them on later. Starting halfway down one side, join yarn, stitch up to shoulder and down to matching point for sleeve depth. Ch-2 net stitch allows the sleeve fabric to stretch longer to be more sleeve-like. On the last row, sc1 in each ch space to gather for wrist.
Join one seam for underarm seam and side seam on each side.
For the collar: Join yarn halfway between front neck corner and start of shoulder. Stitch around neck, ending at corresponding point on other front neck edge. Continue in patt st (shell stitch, here) for desired collar depth.
If desired, sc along front to add button/buttonhole bands.
Cardigan and cap
Sample: Bentley by Cascade, with a 4.5mm hook. One skein was enough for both the sweater and the cap, with yarn left over – that is the nice thing about doll clothes.
Cardigan: The body is made in one piece from the bottom edge to the underarm, then the back and fronts are continued up to the shoulders. It may seem convenient to work this way because you don’t have to sew any side seams. Unfortunately, it makes sewing in the sleeves tricky.
Row-by-row instructions can go on for pages, but all you really need is a schematic with the basic measurements, along with the pattern stitch you choose.
Mark your numbers (from the top of this file) on the chart – that would be in inches. For this sweater, start at the lower edge with a row of stitching as long as the bust measurement. Continue in patt st up to the underarm, then stitch the fronts and back sections separately. Sew the shoulder seams.
For each sleeve (make 2): Starting at the wrist, increase 1 stitch at the beginning and end of every 4th row until the piece is as wide as 2x the armhole depth. If it isn’t as long as the desired sleeve length, continue stitching without any more increases until it is long enough.
With right sides together, sew the top of the sleeve in at the armhole. Join the underarm seam, matching a little bit at the underarm to the underarm portion of the body.
Finishing: Stitch 1 round of sc around the outer edge of the piece, making a ch2 loop (but don’t skip any stitches) for buttonholes. In a second row, sc (or crab stitch) around, Here’s how to deal with the buttonholes: In the st before a buttonloop, draw up a loop. Draw up another loop in the ch-2 space. Yarnover, and pull through all loops to finish the stitch. Draw up a loop in the ch-2 space (again), Draw up another loop in the next sc. Yarnover, and pull through all loops to finish the stitch.
Cap (an experiment):
Looking at a golf cap recently, it looked like a circle where all the decreases were focused on one side, making a visor, with the back of the cap worked even with no increases or decreases, ending with a slight decrease all around (maybe 10%) for fit. I made one to try out the idea, and here is what I did:
Measurement: snug measurement of head - 12” for doll.
In a firm gauge, make a sc circle about 18” around, or 6” across: ch3, slip st to form a ring. (ch1, sc in ring) 6 times (12 sts in all). Place a marker in the last st of the round, and move the marker each round to keep track of where you are. Continuing in a coil:
Round 2: (ch1, sc2) around 1 time – 18 sts.
Round 3: (ch1, sc3) around 1 time – 24 sts.
Round 4: (ch1, sc4) around 1 time – 30 sts.
Continue increasing this way until the piece is 6” across. With the marker at beginning of round, place another marker after 6” in the round – that is halfway around the finished measurement for the hat. *SC even (no more increases) from the beginning of the round to the second marker. Continuing in sc, dec 6 sts evenly to the next marker to finish the round. Repeat from * until only 1/3 of those sts remain. Measure for fit. Dec 10% in the next round, all the way around. Finish off.
This is a variation on the Two Blocks top.
Sample: It used about 50-grams of fluffy yarn – it was a bit of leftover yarn.
Armhole depth: 3”
Make two squares, based on the bust measurement, in ch-1 net stitch on the diagonal. With right sides together, join ¼ on each side of the top edges for the shoulders, leaving ½ for the neck opening. Mark the underarm points on each side. With RS facing, join yarn at one side edge, sc up to the shoulder and down to the other underarm. Continue in sweater stitch, decreasing as needed to the wrist measurement. A schematic helps with the numbers.
Join side and sleeve seams.
Collar: join yarn at center back. (sc in next row-end, ch1, sc in next row end) all the way around the neck edge. This is an increase row. Continuing in a coil, in ch-1 net stitch, keep stitching until the yarn runs out. Slip stitch the last couple of stitches to smooth out the finishing point.
Three Blocks vest (4, counting the collar)
Sample: Pima Fine by Cascade, with a 4mm hook
Across Back: 5”
Armhole depth: 3”
The finished piece may look tricky, but here is the schematic:
It really is a block for the back and two more blocks for the front. You can use any stitch you want, but here is the pattern stitch for sample:
R1: ch2 (counts as 1dc), turn, dc2, sk1, (dc, ch, dc) in next st, sk 1), (dc5, sk1, (dc, ch, dc) in next st, sk 1) across, ending with dc3.
R2: ch1, turn, sc across.
Starting at the lower edge, make a block as wide as the across back measurement and as long as half the bust measurement (or desired length).
For each front, make a block 2/3 the width of the back, and just as long as the back. Join half the top edge of the front to 1/3 the top edge of the back for the shoulder seams.
On the buttonhole side of the front, mark the midpoint and halfway between that point and the bottom edge for buttonhole placement.
Finishing: with right side facing and starting at the center bottom back edge, sc around the whole piece, making (ch2) at each buttonhole location. Next row: in crab stitch, stitch around 1 time, reinforcing the buttonholes when you get to them.