Turning the yavanna vest from cozy wooly vest to swishy crochet summer dress.

crochet summer dress

Design Inspiration

I once received a comment about how (x) person didn’t make my patterns because they didn’t like the colors I chose. But I think the beauty of art is that you chose how you make it. You are free to adapt and create as you choose. A design is a possibility, make it yours.

That, my friends, is exactly what I did with the Yavanna vest, I turned it into a crochet summer dress. This idea has lived rent free in my head since November 2021 when I first released the vest with WEcrochet. I mean the Yavanna vest is technically a bodice, turning it into a dress was the next step, right?

Inspiration for this idea also came from looking at 15th Century Italian Renaissance gowns with their square necklines and empire like waists. Need I say, after I started my increases I noticed that it more closely resembled a 1950’s style dress.

Source: Vintage Dancer

True, it has a square neckline and not the favored scoop one but the waist from this dress is similar to the crochet one.

Note to self acquire a poofy underthing for maximum swish.

The yarn

Since we are in March, I wanted to explore other fibers that would work with the Yavanna design but also with Spring/Summer weather. The color and consequently the yarn were a much easier choice than I anticipated.

I wanted to make another garment with the Bernat Softee baby cotton yarn I had in my stash. Technically, it wasn’t yarn anymore, it was a garment. Albeit one I didn’t really like to wear.

Anyway, the garment was made with approximately 2 skeins of said yarn. Hence, sourcing it, very important.

Luckily, Amazon can be a wondrous place and had the Granny Smith color I was in dire need of.

crochet summer dress in progress while wearing a tendonitis brace.

Construction of a crochet summer dress

I’ve already mentioned that the original design this pattern is based on is the Yavanna Vest. Grab your copy of the pattern on Ravelry or Etsy, or simple click here to view the post.

But, I can already hear you saying, but you changed the yarn, so what did you alter pattern wise?

Very astute my crafty friend. Being a Cotton/Acrylic blend, the Bernat yarn just doesn’t have the same stretch, or drape.

However I did follow the Yavanna Vest construction closely. Which makes this crochet summer dress a top down construction.

From Yavanna vest to crochet summer dress.

Alterations for a crochet summer dress

To the Yavanna Vest Pattern:

  • Went from a size 2 to a size 3.
  • added an extra row of single crochet to the front straps
  • left out the crab stitch border around the armhole, it would have been way too tight.
  • on that note, I left out the crab stitch border from the bottom of the dress for obvious reasons.
  • I didn’t bother blocking the garment.

Of course in order to go from bodice vest to crochet Summer Dress we need increases…

Dress increases

I decided to include a little waist detail by working 3 rows in single crochet before I started alternating single crochet and Linked Double Crochet rounds.

Note: Because I’m using Ldc stiches, I’m joining at the end of every round. If you choose to work with another stitch for the skirt you could work in continuous rounds.

  • I started my single crochet border with 112 stitches.
  • For the next round – *sc 3, inc; rep from * around = 140 sc. I chose to increase every 3 stitches because I wanted dramatic increases to create ripples, sort of how a full circle skirt falls. If you would like a less dramatic increase you could go with sc 7, inc. and sc in any remaining stitches.


  • Then, sc round followed by a linked double crochet (Ldc) round.
  • After I started alternating increase sc rounds with Ldc rounds. Even though the not all stitch counts were multiples of 5, I kept with the *sc3, inc and just sc in any remaining stitches.

I stopped increasing when I had 274 stitches. Yes, even I doubt my life choices at this point. Never the less, I persevered and with help from the crafting muse I completed the dress on the 8th of March!

To finish the dress, do two rounds of single crochet followed by a crab stitch round.

Other Useful Information


  • Length from strap to hem = 34″
  • Length of skirt portion = 19″
  • Waist (measure flat) = 14.75″
  • Width of hem (measure flat) = 42″

Yarn Usage: Bernat Softee Baby cotton 254 yds in 120g

  • Repurposed garment = 2 skeins
  • First Amazon purchase = 4 skeins
  • Second Purchase – 2 skeins – only used 1.
  • Yarn total = 7 skeins / 840g.
crochet summer dress almost complete!

And there you have it, A vest turned dress. Incidentally, if you are interested in viewing this make I do have handy visuals.

Let me know some of your favorite pattern alterations!

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