This is a fun pattern for crochet doll dresses with optional headband and shoes. I had in mind American Girl Dolls when I made the pattern. The top and skirt are two different pieces, but you can connect them if you want to make one whole dress. Enjoy!
V-stitch (V-st): (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) into ch 1 of the V-stitch of the previous row.
Shell: (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) into the ch-1 of the prev row shell.
Triple Shell - (3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc) into the ch-1 of the prev row shell.
Fan Shell: 5 dc into the ch-1 of the prev row shell.
Dc: double crochet
Sl st: slip stitch
Sc: single crochet
Step 1: Materials
Two colors of thin fingering weight cotton yarn
2.75 mm crochet hooks
Three small buttons
Step 2: Top of Dress - Rows 1-5
The top is worked top-down in rows with the opening at the back. When the top is finished, your going to sl st onto the top of the skirt to make a dress.
Row 1: ch 1 (counts as the first sc), sc across.
Row 2: ch 3, *V-st in the next st, skip 1 st, repeat from * to the end of the row (19 times), end with 1 dc.
Row 3: ch 3, *V-st into ch 1 of the V-stitch of the previous row, repeat from * to * to the end of the row, end with 1 dc.
Row 4: ch 3, *shell (see first step) into the ch-1 of the prev row V-st, repeat from * to * to the end of the row, finish with 1 dc.
Row 5: Repeat of row 4: ch 3, *shell into the ch-1 of the prev row shell, repeat from * to the end of the row, finish with 1 dc.
Step 3: Top of the Dress - Rows 6-10
Row 6: ch 3, 1 shell into next 3 shells; [this is the right side of the back], (fan shell in next shell of the previous row, 1 sc into the space between shells) 3 times, fan shell; [right sleeve], 1 shell into next 5 shells; [this is the front], (fan shell in next shell of the rev row, 1 sc into the space between shells) 3 times, fan shell; [this is the left sleeve], 1 shell into next 3 shells; [this is the left back], dc in the last st.
From row 7 and on continue to work only over front and back shells, not the sleeves.
Row 7: ch 3, make a shell into each of the next three shells of the previous row, skip four shells, then make five shells, skip four shells, then make three shells into the last three shells of the previous row. Dc in the last st. The eight shells that you skipped are for the two sleeves.
Row 8: ch 3, shell in first shell of previous row. (triple shell, shell) 5 times, dc into the last st of the row.
Row 9: Repeat row 8.
Row 10: ch 2, sc across the shell stitches to make a total of 60 single crochets. Don't fasten off yet, because once you make the skirt, you're going to to attach the top to the skirt with the same yarn.
Step 4: Finishing the Top
With a sewing needle, sew on 3 buttons on the left back. You can use any of the "holes" already there for the button holes, like in the picture.
Step 5: Beginning the Skirt - Rows 1-4
Now that your top is done, time to make the skirt.
This uses V-stitch and Shell and is worked from top - down, like the shirt.
Chain 50, and sl st to beginning chain to form a loop. Continue to crochet in rounds.
Round 1: ch 4 (counts 1 dc and 1 ch), *skip 1 ch, 1 dc in the next 2 chs - repeat from * to * to the end of the round, slip st to ch 4. That is for the waistband.
Round 2: ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), sc in every stitch around, including the ch-1s of the previous row. Sl st to ch 1.
Round 3: ch 3, skip 1 st, *V-st, skip 1 st, repeat from * to * to the end of the round, sl st to ch 3. This begins the shell pattern.
Round 4: ch 3, *1 shell into ch-1 space of the V-st, repeat from * to * to the end of the round, sl st to ch 3.
Step 6: Finishing the Skirt - Rows 5-10
Round 5: ch 3, *1 shell into ch-1 space of the shell of the previous round, from * repeat to the end of the round, sl st to ch 3.
Rounds 6-10: Repeat round 5 for 5 more rows, or to desired length. Optional: I did the last row with my second color instead of making the whole skirt white.
Tie off the extra yarn and weave in the ends.
Now you're going to attach the skirt to the top to make it a dress.
Ch 1, and sl st into each st of both the top and the skirt together, all the way around, and sl st to beginning. (The stitches you sl st in on the skirt will be the opposite side of the original chain). Fasten off and weave in the ends. Your dress is finished!
Step 7: Skirt Belt
Chain 70, or as long as fits around your doll's waist. You can add beads or crocheted flowers to the ends if you want. Thread the chain through the spaces around the waist. Your dress is finished! Now for the headband and shoes.
Step 8: (Optional) Headband
For the headband, use a matching color and the same hook.
Row 1: dc into the 6th chain from the hook. Dc 2 in next two stitches, ch 5, turn.
Row 2: 3 dc in the next 3 dc of the previous row, ch 5, turn. Repeat row 2 until the band is long enough to fit around the doll's head, and sew the ends of the band together. Tie off the extra yarn.
For the flowers, here is the pattern I used:
Make a magic ring. Here's a great Instructables tutorial on how to make one: How to Make a Magic Ring
In the magic ring, (ch 5, sl st), 5 times. Sl st to beginning to secure.
That was for the smaller flower (which I also used for the belt and shoes). For the larger flower, I chained 7 for the petals instead of 5. You can add beads or decorations to the flowers if you like. Then sew the flowers onto the headband.
Step 9: Doll Shoes - Rounds 1-2
These slippers are very easy and use the same yarn, but a larger hook (3.0 mm or similar). You can use two colors if you want.
Round 1: Ch 8, sc in second ch from hook and in next 5 sts. 5 sc in last st (toe of shoe). On the opposite side of the chains, sc in next 5 sts, (heel of shoe). Work 2 sc in last st, sl st to join. (19 sc total).
Round 2: Ch 2 (counts as first hdc). Hdc in same st, hdc in next 5 sts. 2 hdc in each of the next 5 sts, hdc in next 6 sts, 2 hdc in last 2 sts, sl st to the beginning to join. (27 hdc total).
Here is where you can change the color, but I am going to keep the shoe completely white.
Step 10: Doll Shoes - Rounds 3-5
Round 3: Use back loops for this row only. Ch 1. Sc into each st around, sl st to beginning to join.
Round 4: Ch 1, sc in next 5 sts, (Sk next st, dc into next st) 6 times. Sk 1 st, sc in next 15 sts, sl st to beginning to join.
Round 5: Ch 1, sc in next 5 sts, (Sk next st, sc into next st) 4 times. Sc in the rest of the stitches around, and sl st to join. Fasten off your yarn and weave in the ends. You can add beads or flowers to the shoes if you want to.
Step 11: Finished Outfit
Your doll outfit is complete! I hope you liked my Instructable, and post pictures if you end up making it!