How to make knitted clothes for dolls

Updated April 17, 2017

Knitting is a popular pastime. There are knitting groups that meet in coffee shops and various classes at yarn stores. If you have a doll collection, you can knit your own clothes for the dolls. Knitting doll clothes can be done by finding and using knitting instructions for children or books specifically geared to knitting for dolls. Here are a few tips to get you going.

Select the doll you want to knit clothes for. Use a tape measure and measure the doll from under the arms, stretching across its lower back (width) and down from top of the shoulder to the length desired. Measure the width and length of the arms. Jot down these measurements in a spiral notebook for reference, or create a graph to follow, if preferred.

Look in doll knitting books for similar measurements to find the size pattern needed (see Resources below). Buy or use the knitting needle size recommended for knitting the actual pattern. The instructions will tell you exactly how many stitches to cast on, when to knit or purl and for how many rows. Follow the directions exactly as written. Check each row with a pencil mark as you finish. This way you will always know what step or row you were up to should you have to put the knitting away and return to it later.

Knit a hat of the same colour yarn or one to match by searching pattern books for knitting doll hat instructions (see Resources below). Use a tape measure and measure the distance completely around the head of the doll for the proper size. Many knitting books have specific instructions listed by name of well known dolls.

Use heavier yarn to make the knitted garment looser or jumbo size, or use larger needles. Knit a small 6-stitch pattern for yourself to know how many stitches make an inch when changing needle size. Jot this down in the notebook.

Buy more yarn than actually is needed to make sure that you have enough to finish the knitted garment. Yarn colour is 'lot' numbered, so the chances of getting the same lot colour if you run short are slim. Do not open the extra yarn unless you need it. Most knitting stores will refund unopened yarn.


Learn to do basic knitting first at the knitting store if you do not already know how to knit. Knit a sweater for your child and a matching one for the doll. Use the same yarn colours to make them look like twins. Write down any changes made to the pattern for future reference. Make sure that you note the needle and yarn size. Paste the yarn tag to the instructions. Yarn left over from other knitted garments can be used to make a doll outfit. Never throw away leftover yarn.


Yarn skeins come numbered. If you run out of yarn, it will be impossible to replace the same exact colour. Always buy extra and return unopened yarn if you bought too much. Save the wrapper with yarn information. Attach to the instructions you wrote down. This way you can duplicate the doll outfit you had just made. Save a bit of yarn and paste to the book so you can see the colour and thickness of the original yarn. Washing will cause a slight change in colour.

Things You'll Need

  • Knitting needles
  • Yarn
  • Knitting books for children or dolls
  • Ruler
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Brooklyn-born Sondra Crane started writing at an early age and never stopped. She wrote Along Life's Path, her blog and a poetic glimpse into her life. She is a college graduate, piano teacher, classical pianist, copy editor, columnist and now a freelance writer. She has been interviewed in "The New York Times," [Orlando Sentinel," "Maclean's" magazine and in a radio interview by "Growing Bolder."