Picnic Bay Summer Dress Free Crochet Pattern

Ah the Picnic Bay Summer Dress Free Crochet Pattern... a true fave of mine and quite special indeed. I designed this dress for my bestie and fiber cohort Stephanie (of Triple Knot Studio) for her vacation last year to Mexico. I knew she wanted to wear all handmade on her trip and needed a beach dress but had not yet tackled making on herself.  She did not know I was designing one and made the sample in her size - it was a surprise. And boy was she surprised.

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I was surprised I got the measurements right because I couldn't exactly ask her for them lol. I spent days (weeks) stalking her instagram and photos of us from our hang outs & meet ups trying to gauge her size and measurements. It was an interesting challenge for myself design-wise and both fun AND slightly stressful.  I wanted the dress to be fun and flirty for the beach with a hint of Audrey (my inspiration for all my garments) and have a drop waist. When you can't exactly measure the person, well, this makes the process a bit more "fun".

In the end I love how it came out and LOVE how it fits her and now am thrilled to share the pattern with you all to make your own Summer Dress.

I think what is so special about this dress is that it truly is designed for EVERY woman. Curvy to straight hipped - I think this dress works for everyone. And what is super fun is that you can add skirt rows and instantly have a fabulous fall maxi dress. WINNING!

Hope you love it and don't forget to share on social media and show us what you make with the tag #stitchandhustle

PATTERN NOTES: 

This pattern is written for Adult Woman size Extra Small.
(Size Small, Medium, Large, 1X, 2X, 3X, 4X in parentheses)

Finished Measurements - Bust: 36.25 (39.25, 42.35, 45, 48, 51, 53.75, 56.75)”

Pattern is written for a short beach dress. You can add length to the skirt for a maxi dress by continuing the skirt pattern and will need more yarn

This pattern is made in two panels, front & back and the skirt is added after assembly

Assembly calls for Mattress Stitch Method, if you do not know this you can whipstitch instead.

READ THROUGH PATTERN BEFORE BEGINNING

Block BEFORE assembly

GAUGE: 4” sq  =  11 sts  x 10 rows  in hdc stitch

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Finished Measurements - Bust: 36.25 (39.25, 42.35, 45, 48, 51, 53.75, 56.75)”

MATERIALS:

Category #3 DK or light worsted weight cotton
Primary Color (Space Cadet from Wool & The Gang): 410 (450, 500, 540, 590, 630, 680, 730) yds
Contrast Color (Ocean from Betta Knit): 400 (440, 480, 525, 570, 620, 660, 710) yds
Crochet Hook Size I-9 / 5.5 mm
Tapestry needle to weave ends
Tape Measure
Fasteners or safety pins


Stitches Used / Abbreviations:

fhdc – foundation half double crochet
ch – chain loop
sc – single crochet
hdc – half double crochet
dc – double crochet
bpdc – back post double crochet
sl st – slip stitch
hdc2tog – hdc 2 together

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PATTERN:

STEP 1: MAKE 2 PANELS IN MAIN COLOR

Row 1: Fhdc x 50 (54, 58, 62, 66, 70, 74, 78), turn.
Rows 2 - 19: Ch 2 (acts as first hdc), 49 (53, 57, 61, 65, 69, 73, 77)x hdc across for total 50 (54, 58, 62, 66, 70, 74, 78) hdc incl ch 2.

Begin Shaping Armhole:
Row 20: Ch 2 (acts as first hdc), [hdc2tog] 2 times, hdc across to last 4 stitches then [hdc2tog] 2 times, 4 stitches decreased, 46 (50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 70, 74) stitches remain
Rows 21 - 22: Repeat Row 20, 38 (42, 46, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66) stitches remain
Rows 23 – 25 (26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32): Ch 2 (acts as first hdc), hdc2tog, hdc across to last 2 stitches then hdc2tog, 2 stitches decreased each row, 32 (34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46) stitches remain.
Row 26 (27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33): Ch 2 (acts as first hdc), hdc across for total 32 (34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46) hdc incl ch 2.

Shape Neck & Make First Strap:
Row 27 (28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34): Ch 2 (acts as first hdc), 6 (6, 7, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9) hdc, 18 (20, 20, 22, 22, 24, 24, 26) sc across, 7 (7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10, 10) hdc, turn.
Row 28 (29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35): Ch 2 (acts as first hdc), 5 (5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8) hdc, hdc2tog, hdc, TURN.
Row 29 (30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36):  Ch 2 (acts as first hdc), 6 (6, 7, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9)x hdc across, TURN.
Row 30 (31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37):  Ch 2 (acts as first hdc), 4 (4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7) hdc, hdc2tog TURN.
Rows 31 (32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38) - 43 (44, 44, 45, 45, 46, 46, 47): Ch 2 (acts as first hdc), 5 (5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8)x hdc across, TURN.

Fasten, leaving long tail for assembly (approx. 6 inches)

Continue Shaping Neck & Make Second Strap:
Rejoin yarn at other side and work as for First Strap beginning in Row 28 (29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35)

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ASSEMBLY

Step 2: Assemble the Bust / Top Part of your dress
Marry your two panels with one strap on each side and this will now be INSIDE OUT.

ON BOTH SIDES:
Using your stitch marker or fastener, pin sides of panels together at Row 20 beginning armhole shaping.
Using your long tail from the bottom, and using mattress stitch method, attach the sides working from the bottom to the fastener on each side.
Using mattress stitch, connect the straps on each side.

After top is assembled TURN RIGHT SIDE OUT
Attach your yarn at center of back of assembled piece, then move on to the rest of the body and skirt:

MAIN COLOR:
Round 1: Ch 2 (acts as first hdc), 23 (25, 27, 29, 31, 33, 35, 37)x hdc around, (hdc2tog] at seam, 48 (52, 56, 60, 64, 68, 72, 76)x hdc around, (hdc2tog] at seam, 24 (26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38) x hdc then sl st to join to ch 2 for total 98 (106, 114, 122, 130, 138, 146, 154) hdc incl ch 2.

Round 2: Ch 2 (acts as first hdc), 97 (105, 113, 121, 129, 137, 145, 153)x hdc around, sl st to join to ch 2 for total 98 (106, 114, 122, 130, 138, 146, 154) hdc incl ch 2.

CHANGE TO CONTRAST COLOR – WAIST DECREASE
Round 3: Ch 2 (acts as first hdc), 97 (105, 113 121, 129, 137, 145, 153)x hdc around, sl st to join to ch 2 for total 98 (106, 114, 122, 130, 138, 146, 154) hdc incl ch 2.

Round 4: Ch 2 (acts as first hdc), 22 (24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36)x hdc around, [hdc2tog] at seam, 48 (52, 56, 60, 64, 68, 72, 76)x hdc around, [hdc2tog] at seam, 23 (25, 27, 29, 31, 33, 35, 37) x hdc then sl st to join to ch 2 for total 96 (104, 112, 120, 128, 136, 144, 152) hdc incl ch 2.

Round 5: Ch 2 (acts as first hdc), 21 (23, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33, 35)x hdc around, [hdc2tog] at seam, 48 (52, 56, 60, 64, 68, 72, 76)x hdc around, [hdc2tog] at seam, 22 (24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36) x hdc then sl st to join to ch 2 for total 94 (102, 110, 118, 126, 134, 142, 152) hdc incl ch 2.

Round 6: Ch 2 (acts as first hdc), 93 (101, 109, 117, 125, 133, 141, 151)x hdc around, sl st to join to ch 2 for total 94 (102, 110, 118, 126, 134, 142, 152) hdc incl ch 2.

CHANGE TO MAIN COLOR:
Rounds 7-13: Ch 2 (acts as first hdc), 93 (101, 109, 117, 125, 133, 141, 151)x hdc around, sl st to join to ch 2 for total 94 (102, 110, 118, 126) hdc incl ch 2.

*** for longer torso add rows here – more yarn than stated on materials list will be required ***

CHANGE TO CONTRAST COLOR – HIP INCREASE

Round 14: Ch 2 (acts as first hdc), 22 (24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36)x hdc around, [2x hdc] in next st, 46 (50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 70, 74)x hdc around, [2x hdc] in next st, 23 (25, 27, 29, 31, 33, 35, 37) x hdc then sl st to join to ch 2 for total 96 (104, 112, 120, 128, 136, 144, 152) hdc incl ch 2.

Round 15: Ch 2 (acts as first hdc), 95 (103, 111, 119, 127, 135, 143, 151x hdc then sl st to join to ch 2 for total 96 (104, 112, 120, 128, 136, 144, 152) hdc incl ch 2.

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SKIRT:
PLEASE SEE CHART FOR ILLUSTRATION

Round 16: Ch 3 (acts as dc, ch 1), dc in same st, ch 3, skip 3 hdc, sc in next hdc, ch 3, skip 3 hdc, *[dc, ch 1, dc] in next hdc, ch 3, skip 3 hdc, sc in next hdc, ch 3, skip 3 hdc,*; Repeat * to * around and sl st to second ch of beginning ch 3 to complete round. Pattern will be repeated 12 (13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19) times across round.

Round 17: Sl st into ch 1 space; ch 3 (acts as dc, ch 1), 3 dc in same, skip dc & ch 3, bpdc into

sc, skip ch 3 & dc, * [3x dc, ch 1, 3 x dc] in ch 1 sp, skip dc & ch 3, bpdc into sc, skip ch 3 & dc, * Repeat * to * around, 2 dc into beginning ch 1 sp and and sl st to second ch of beginning ch 3 to complete the first cluster & the round.

Round 18: Sl st into ch 1 space, ch 3 (acts as dc, ch 1), 2 dc in same, dc in next 3 dc, bpdc into bpdc, *dc in each of next 3, [2x dc, ch 1, 2 x dc] in ch 1 sp, dc in each of next 3 dc, bpdc into bpdc * Repeat * to * around, dc in each of next 3, dc into beginning ch 1 sp and sl st to second ch of beginning ch 3 to complete the first cluster & the round.

Rounds 19 - 24: Sl st into ch 1 space, ch 3 (acts as dc, ch 1), dc in same, dc in next 4 dc, skip next dc, bpdc into bpdc, *, skip next dc, dc in each of next 4, [dc, ch 1, dc] in ch 1 sp, dc in each of next 4 dc, skip next dc, bpdc into bpdc * Repeat * to * around, skip next dc, dc in each of next 4, sl st to second ch of beginning ch 3 to complete the first cluster & the round.

Round 25: Sl st into ch 1 space, ch 3 (acts as dc, ch 1), 2 dc in same, dc in next 4 dc, skip next dc, bpdc into bpdc, *, skip next dc, dc in each of next 4, [2x dc, ch 1, 2 x dc] in ch 1 sp, dc in each of next 4 dc, bpdc into bpdc * Repeat * to * around, skip next dc, dc in each of next 4, dc in beg ch 1 space, sl st to second ch of beginning ch 3 to complete the first cluster & the round.

Rounds 26 - 31: Sl st into ch 1 space, ch 3 (acts as dc, ch 1), dc in same, dc in next 5 dc, skip next dc, bpdc into bpdc, *, skip next dc, dc in each of next 5, [dc, ch 1, dc] in ch 1 sp, dc in each of next 5 dc, skip next dc, bpdc into bpdc * Repeat * to * around, skip next dc, dc in each of next 5, sl st to second ch of beginning ch 3 to complete the first cluster & the round.

Round 32: Sl st into ch 1 space, ch 3 (acts as dc, ch 1), 2 dc in same, dc in next 5 dc, skip next dc, bpdc into bpdc, *, skip next dc, dc in each of next 5, [2x dc, ch 1, 2 x dc] in ch 1 sp, dc in each of next 5 dc, bpdc into bpdc * Repeat * to * around, skip next dc, dc in each of next 5, dc in beg ch 1 space, sl st to second ch of beginning ch 3 to complete the first cluster & the round.

FINISHING & TRIM:

Neck Edging
Attach contrast color B at back center of neckline.

Round 1: Ch 1, sc across, continue sc up the strap placing 1 sc for every hdc row and 2 sc in ch 2 spaces, sc in each hdc across the front neck line, then up the second strap placing 1 sc for every hdc and 2 sc in ch 2 spaces, and then back across and sl st to beginning ch 1. Fasten off.

Armhole Edging
Attach contrast color B at back where strap begins.

Round 1: Ch 1, sc up the strap and around each armhole placing 1 sc for every hdc and 2 sc in ch 2 spaces, join with sl st to beginning ch 1. Fasten off.

Weave in all ends and block.

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