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27+ Free Dress Knitting Patterns for Beginners

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Searching for the perfect, breezy dress for summer? Or perhaps you’re on the hunt for a comfy sweater dress to wear over leggings and boots? Whether you’re dreaming of summer sunshine or cozy winter warmth, beach getaways formal events, this list of free dress knitting patterns has something for every occasion. There’s a special kind of joy in choosing your favorite style and tailoring it exactly to your size and preferences to create a dress you absolutely love!

Knit Dress Patterns

It’s definitely a proud moment when you bind off and block your first freshly knit dress, perfectly designed with your preferred colors, ideal length, and favorite knitting stitches. Trust me, it’s nothing like rummaging through store racks for a dress that’s just “okay.”

If you haven’t knit a dress before, you might be surprised at how many options there are for different knitted dress styles! Some of the categories you’ll find in this list include:

  • Tank top dresses
  • Short sleeve dresses
  • Long sleeve dresses
  • Sweater styles
  • Beach cover-ups 
  • Formal dresses
  • Maxi dresses

Many of the patterns also include instructions for how to adjust the length of your dress or convert it into a sweater instead. Talk about versatility! The hardest part is choosing which pattern to make first!

Can a beginner knit a dress?

If you’re wondering whether you can knit a dress, my answer is a resounding “Yes”! But it’s good to have a few simpler projects under your belt first (think dishcloths, scarves, hats, etc.) and be comfortable with the basic knitting techniques. 

I remember when I first learned how to knit; even a simple hat was a big deal! But the more you knit, the more you learn. So, don’t shy away from the challenge.

Fear not, beginners! Some of the easiest patterns in this list include the Bernat Dress with Kangaroo Pockets and Scarf (#7), Maven (#11), and the Kimono Dress or Sweater (#19).

Knitting Techniques to Know

Many dress patterns require knowing knit and purl stitches, casting on, binding off, basic shaping, knitting in the round, following a chart, and seaming pieces together. Take some time to practice these skills before getting started, and be sure to read through your pattern thoroughly to see if there are any other techniques you’ll need to review.

Here are some of the techniques you’ll want to practice before getting started on your dress pattern.

Supplies You’ll Need

While reading through your pattern’s instructions, you’ll also want to take the time to check the supplies list. The basic supplies you’ll need to knit a dress typically include:

  • Yarn
  • Knitting needles
  • Other notions (scissors, yarn needle, stitch markers, buttons, etc.)

What yarn is best for knitting a dress?

When it comes to picking the type of yarn for your dress, washability is a key factor. After all, all garments, like dresses, need washing, and having a machine-washable option is a big help! Superwash wool yarns and cotton-blend yarns are a few popular choices for making dresses.

Yarn weight, on the other hand, can vary depending on the pattern and style of the dress. Most knitted dresses are made with either a lighter- or medium-weight yarn, such as fingering, DK, or worsted.

In this list, we’ve included suggested yarns for each individual pattern, so you don’t have to worry about choosing the best option for your particular dress pattern.

Tips for Knitting Dresses

Here are some tips for successful dress knitting:

Swatch, swatch, swatch! 

Knitting a gauge swatch before getting started on your pattern is super important for a clothing item such as a dress. Making a dress is a significant project, so it’s worth the extra step to ensure it fits just right! Take the time to create a gauge swatch right away and see if you need to size your needles up or down before starting in on the pattern.

Measure twice, knit once.

Most of the knitted dress patterns below are available in a variety of sizes. However, instead of just choosing whatever size sounds about right (S, M, L, etc.), check out the measurements for each size. Then, take your own measurements and choose the size that matches up the best. Remember, sizing can be tricky and vary from designer to designer. Going by your actual measurements is the best way to ensure that your dress fits just right!

Double-check the yarn label for care instructions.

Make sure to read your yarn label carefully to understand how to wash and care for your garment. You just put so much effort and love into making your dress, so help it last as long as possible. No accidentally shrunken dresses, please!

27 Free Dress Knitting Patterns

Enjoy these beautiful and free knitted dress patterns!

More Knitting Patterns

Here are a few more knitting patterns you may be interested in.

photo collage of a woman wearing a cream colored knit dress against gray background, an orange long-sleeve knit sweater against a white background, a woman wearing a blue knit sweater against a white background, and a woman wearing a teal crop top knit sweater against a grass background outside. Text overlay that reads

What’s Next?

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We hope this article was useful for you! If you have any additional questions, feel free to join my Facebook Group. We created this group for you to share pictures, ask questions, and help each other out.