This pattern is sized by measurements, so it can be customized to you! I provided a size chart below to select a general US size, this chart is based off of OpalMoon Designs sizes on their Etsy pages for the Panel Dress (see measurements in description here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/651303025/the-striped-panel-dress-in-black-sage?ref=shop_home_active_25&frs=1). This dress is not the original construction of the dress requires some sewing on the shoulders and sides, and there are some different options for sewing on the sides. If you use natural fibers, it will be stretchy enough to completely close the sides. The pattern on my ravelry store (https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/crochet-panel-dress) will have a stitch diagram, in this article I will provide written instructions, which will reference size chart measurements, and then I will add pictures to help you sew and construct your panel dress!
Yarn Used: Tahki Yarns Cotton Classics in Deep Red Violet. Any DK (category 3 weight) yarn will work, natural fibers (cotton, bamboo, etc) or blends with nylon will work best because it will stretch more to fit your body type.
~1500yds/1400m for sizes up to XL. ~1600m/1500m for 2XL & 3XL.
|Size Chart for Front and Back Panel Measurements||XS/S||M||L||XL||XXL||3XL|
|Horizontal/Bust (x2 to determine appropriate size)||15.5″/39.4cm||17.5″/44.5cm||19.5″/49.5cm||20.5″/52cm||21.5″/54.6cm||23.5″/59.7|
|Vertical Length Front & Back before dec for neckline and Sleeves||40”/117cm||40.5”/118.3cm||41”/119.5cm||41.5”/120.8cm||42”/122.1cm||42.5”/123.4cm|
|Vertical total Length of Panels||50″/127cm||50.5″/128.3cm||51″/129.5cm||51.5″/130.8cm||52″/132.1cm||52.5″/133.4cm|
Beginning Front/Back Panel: Ch, or foundation double crochet chain (https://www.mooglyblog.com/foundation-double-crochet-fdc/ for a tutorial), until you reach the horizontal length of your selected size from the size chart. Ensure this is an even number.
I recommend using a chainless double crochet instead of all the ch-2 indicated in the stitch chart (https://www.mooglyblog.com/chainless-starting-double-crochet/ for a tutorial), it will make the overall piece straighter. Otherwise you can choose to block the entire project with slip stitches all the way around.
Dc rows until you reach the vertical length for the selected size in the size chart. This is where the front and the back panels begin to differ:
Front Neckline (Fig. A): Dc in HALF of the stitches, then turn. *(Dc2tog in the second stitch and in the second to last stitch, this is considered a “dec row” from now on. Dc in every stitch in the next row, this is considered a “regular row” from now on.)* 3 times. Dec row until you either 1. Reach 6 stitches, or 2. Reach the final length (should be ~20 rows). Join yarn in the armpit area on the other side, and repeat on the other side. The picture below shows a finished Front Panel:
Back shoulders (Fig B.): “Dec row” every other row until you meet one of the following conditions: 1. You reach 12 stitches in your row, then dc until you reach the total vertical length in the size chart. 2. You reach the total vertical length in the size chart. Then you can finish off. The picture below shows a finished back Panel:
Sewing Front/Back Panels together:
Shoulders: start at outside edges and work towards the middle (as shown by the stitch markers in the image below
Sides: Start at first “dec row” on both front and back panels (shown by the stitch marker in the picture below). You can choose to sew the dress completely to the bottom for an ultra form-fitting dress. Or you can choose to stop somewhere on the upper thigh or hip to create the panel look, I recommend somewhere around 10”-15” (~25-38cm) from bottom to create a panel effect. Please customize this area of the dress. For a “looser” fit, do not completely pull the joining string tight, and gradually increase the space like a corset. Reminder: if you are using a natural stretchy fiber, it will automatically stretch and you may want to go down a size if you are choosing to go this route.
Here is an optional way to sew your panels together like a corset:
Sleeves: After sewing, join yarn in the bottom of the armpit (Fig C). *(Ch-3 and dc in each row all around) 3 times.
Ch-3, Dc2tog in every other st, all the way around (tip: if you find yourself ending on a dc2tog, join the 2nd dc to the 3rd st in the ch-3).
*(Ch-3 and dc in each row all around until you reach the crease of your arm or elbow (~25 rows).
Then sc in each stitch, you can choose to fasten off or continue with the panel portion.
Then you can begin the panel portion of the sleeve (Fig D). Ch-1, sc in half of the stitches.
Ch-2/chianless starting dc, dc until you reach the ch-2, then tr in next 2 stitches. Dc until you reach the last stitch in the round.
*(Turn and chainless starting dc/ch-2, dc2tog, dc in each dc st, tr in each tr st, dc in rest of dc st until third to last stitch, then dc2tog and dc in final dc. Turn and chainless starting dc/ch-2, dc in each dc st, tr in each tr, dc in rest of dc) Repeat until there are 20 stitches total, then repeat the dc-tr-dc stitch pattern until you reach the desired length. Fig. D shows how many rows are in the pictured dress.
Then ch-1, sc in each dc, and dc in each tr, sc in each dc. Ch-3, slip stitch in same stitch, slip stitch in each sc until middle dc of previous row, slip stitch in 1st dc and Ch-3, slip stitch in 2nd dc, slip stitch in each sc, then when you reach the last stitch slip stitch, ch-3, slip stitch, and fasten off.
Now you have a completed Panel Dress! You can add some other details such as blocking with slip stitches, or picot stitches on the neckline or around the base of the dress. The completed pictures feature a picot stitch around the neckline. Fringe may also be an interesting addition to this dress. If you want to add fringe, take a piece of cardboard the length that you want and wrap your yarn around it. Cut one side and then use your crochet hook to make a knot of the fringe. A more in-depth tutorial can be found here: https://www.wikihow.com/Add-Fringe-to-a-Crochet-or-Knit-Project. I encourage you to make this pattern your own and credit me for the base pattern. I hope you enjoyed making this pattern! If you want the stitch guide please purchase my pattern on https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/crochet-panel-dress