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
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.
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.
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:
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!
Inspired by Audrey Hepburn, this casual, pullover dress has so many options to personalize and customize exactly how you like. Knit it long or shorten it up and turn it into a sweater. Make the sleeves long or short, change the neck, adjust the stripes - it’s really up to you!
This breezy, v-neck pattern can be made into either a top or a dress. It features a fitted waist that can be worn solo or with your favorite belt. This flattering design is available in nine sizes, from XS to 5XL.
This shimmery, formal design is ideal for dressing up for a night on the town or a fancier event. It has an open back and is inspired by the 1960’s. Add some boots or heels and your favorite jewelry, and you’re ready to go!
Here’s a super cozy, free sweater dress knitting pattern that could easily be dressed up or worn casually. Pair it with a collar and necklace, or snuggle into it at home with your favorite leggings - it’s super versatile! This intermediate pattern will quickly become a staple in your closet.
This cozy sweater dress features ¾ length sleeves, a turtleneck collar, and it even has front pockets! The body is made with a waffle texture, while the cuffs, collar, and hem sport a comfy ribbing. It’s available in 6 different sizes and is best for intermediate knitters.
Yarn weight: Worsted and Bulky
Suggested yarn: Bernat Satin Yarn and Bernat Roving Yarn
This drapey dress features an intricate, eyelet pattern that creates a delicate look. The pattern is available both in written and chart form. Because it’s made to be worn in a layered style, you can easily change up the look by trying out different layers underneath.
This short-sleeved shirt dress has a comfy, kangaroo pocket in the front and is designed to be worn with layers and the super long scarf (pattern included). It’s easy to make and perfect for creating a comfy, casual look in the fall or winter.
Enjoy the carefree style of this breezy and beautiful knitted dress. It can be made as a tunic, knee-length dress, or maxi dress and is easy to customize. It’s made by knitting the front and back panels and then seaming them together.
This comfy and flattering dress features a short skirt that can easily be worn over leggings or jeans, although you can adjust the pattern to make it longer if you’d like. It’s perfect for those comfy and casual fall days. It’s worked from the top down and is available in three different sizes.
This oversized dress is oh-so-cozy and even has pockets! It’s knitted in pieces and then the front and back are seamed together. Using larger needles with fingering-weight yarn helps give the dress a lovely and comfortable drape.
This size small dress is knit using the moss stitch and just might quickly become your go-to winter outfit. It’s a fairly easy project to knit, which is great, because you may want to make more than one in different colors! It’s worked in pieces and seamed together.
This slouchy, comfortable pattern can be knitted into either a sweater or a dress. It has a v-shape, drop shoulders, and a stockinette stitch turtleneck. It’s perfect for cozy, rainy days and could even be worn during pregnancy!
This attractive-looking dress is lovely for dressing up but is still super comfortable! Its cabled sleeve pattern and buttons on the back add detail, and its shapely design flatters nearly any body type. This pattern is available in 8 different sizes and is best for intermediate knitters.
Sport a classic look with this long and fitted knit dress. Add a belt, sling on some jewelry, and step into your favorite heels - there are so many ways to dress up this simple but modern knitted dress pattern. This dress is available in 5 sizes and is best for intermediate knitters.
This layered dress is knit in the round and requires almost no seaming! It features a ribbed waist that helps create a flattering, hourglass shape, as well as bust and hip darts. Herringbone stitches add interest to the edges, but you can switch them out for a rib or seed stitch border if you prefer.
This loose-fitting tunic is knit from the top down and is ultra comfy! Accent the sleeves and hem with neon as the pattern suggests, or keep them more subtle - it’s up to you! This pattern is available in six different sizes, from XS to XXL.
This gorgeous, intermediate-level dress was originally designed as part of a capsule wardrobe. It’s a lovely staple to have in your closet that’s fitting for a variety of occasions! You’ll want to be comfortable with cable knitting in order to make this pattern.
With this colorful, top-down knitted dress, you can be dressed and ready for a summer evening out in no time. It features a shaped waist, split sides, and flattering, soft stripes. It’s available in sizes S through XXXL.
This summertime dress is fitting for a stroll in the sunlight or dinner in town. It’s worked from the bottom up and features a gathered waist and a mid-length skirt. It’s available in eight sizes from XS to 4XL.
This top-down knitted dress is stunning with its knot pattern bodice and short, puff sleeves. It offers diagrams along with the written instructions. Enjoy the freedom of summer with this cute and classy design!
This cover-up is loose, flowy, breezy, and ready for a day at the beach! If you can work in the round, knit, cast on, and bind off, this pattern is suitable for even beginners. Get ready for your next beach trip with this cute and casual pattern!
Yarn weight: DK
Suggested yarn: The Women’s Institute Home Cotton DK
This striped dress design is full of color and personality! It’s worked from the top down and features raglan sleeves, side vents, and a shaped waist. Get creative using your favorite colors with this bright and carefree pattern!
Here’s a warm and cozy dress pattern that would go great with leggings and boots on a cool fall or winter day. This knitted dress pattern for adults was inspired by a child’s dress named after the author’s daughter, Nova. The pattern offers the option of creating a knee-length dress (as shown) or a longer version.
This gorgeous, breezy dress is worked from the top down and has so much beautiful detail and personality. It’s worked using the garter stitch and stockinette stitch as well as a lace pattern. It’s an excellent summer staple for your closet that can be worn dressed up or dressed down!
Yarn weight: DK
Suggested yarn: DROPS Cotton Light
More Knitting Patterns
Here are a few more knitting patterns you may be interested in.
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Sarah Stearns has helped millions of makers find their next craft project with free patterns and step-by-step tutorials on her blog, sarahmaker.com. Read more.
With over a decade of experience in knitting and crochet, she has been featured in prominent publications like The New York Times, Scientific American, Good Housekeeping, Vox, Apartment Therapy, and Lifehacker.