Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Free Crochet Pattern - Summer Shells

I'm not normally a pattern writer, so I can't guarantee that this one will be error-free, but it is a very easy pattern I wrote last summer while improvising a top for Ginny. It is sized for a 6-9 month baby, but can be easily made larger/smaller by changing the foundation chain or using heavier/lighter weight yarn. If you use the pattern, I only ask that you leave me a comment telling me how it went and if there are any pattern corrections to be made.

Summer Shells

Materials Used:
J Hook
Yarn: TLC Baby (Sport Weight)
Main Color (MC): 3 ozs.
Contrasting Color (CC): 1 oz.
Tapestry Needle
15 hdc = 4"
13 rows (in hdc) = 4"
3 shells = 4.25"

Pattern Note:
Pattern begins at waist working down. Do not join rows. Once bottom is finished, pattern works in rounds from waist up to neckline. For a longer top, rows may be added following Row 4 and/or Round 12.

Size: 6-9 mos.

Foundation chain is created in multiples of 6 + 5. To increase, add multiples of 6 ch until desired size.

With MC, ch 95.

Row 1 (mark as right side):
Dc in 5th ch from hook (counts as dc and ch-2 sp); *ch 2, sk next 5 chs, in next ch work (dc, ch2, dc) − V-stich made. Rep from * across. Turn.

Row 2:
Sl st in ch-2 sp of first V-stich. Ch 2 (counts as first dc throughout), 6 dc in same sp − beg shell made. Sk next ch-2 space; *7 dc in ch-2 space of next V-stich − shell made. Sk next ch-2 sp; Rep from * to beg 4 skipped chs; 7 dc in space.

Row 3:
Sl st in next 4 dc, ch 4 (counts as dc and ch-2 sp throughout). Dc in same dc as last sl st made – beg V-stich made. *Ch 2, work V-stich in 4th dc of next shell. Rep from * across. Turn.

Row 4:
Sl st in ch-2 sp of first V-stich, make beg shell in same sp. *Sk next ch-2 space. In Ch-2 sp of next V-stich make shell. Rep from * to beg V-st; make shell in ch-2 sp of beg V-stich. Turn.

Rep Rows 3 and 4 2 times (or for desired length).

Rep Row 3 changing to CC in last st.

Next to Last Row:
Sl st in ch-2 sp of first V-stich. Ch 4 (counts as first trc), 6 trc in same sp. Sk next ch-2 space; *7 trc in ch-2 space of next V-stich − shell made. Sk next ch-2 sp; Rep from * to beg V-stich; 7 trc in ch-4 space. Turn.

Last Row:
Sl st across previous row.

Round 1:
With right-side facing, hold garment upside down, and join MC with sc to first ch-5 sp of foundation. Work 4 sc in same sp. Work 5 sc in each ch 5 sp across. Join with sl st to first sc. (75 sc) Ch 2.

Round 2 and 3:
Hdc in each sc around, joining with sl st at end of each round. Ch 2.

Round 4 (dec round):
Hdc in next 13 st. Dec 1 st. *Hdc in next 14 st. Dec. 1 st. Repeat from * around. (70 hdc)

Rounds 5-12 (or until desired length):
Hdc in each st around, joining with sl st at end of each round. Ch 2.

Round 13:
Hdc in each st around, joining with sl st at end of round. Fasten off.

Locate center front 21 stitches.
Row 1:
With right side facing, join MC with hdc and hdc across remaining 20 stitches. (21 hdc) Turn.

Row 2:
Sl st in first hdc. Hdc across next 19. Leave last hdc unworked. (19 hdc) Turn.

Row 3:
Sl st in first hdc. Hdc across next 17. Leave last hdc unworked. (17 hdc)

Edging and Straps:
Join CC with sc in last hdc made. Sc 2 more in same corner stitch. Sc evenly down hdc rows, then sc in each hdc around back and to opposite corner. 2 Sc in corner, then ch 40 and sl st back down to same st. Sc in same st and across to end of row. Before joining with first sc, ch 40 and sl st back down to same st. Join with first sc and FO.

Belt:If desired, with H hook, ch 150 and sc in back ridge of each chain starting with 2nd ch from hook. Weave through first shell row at waistline.


  1. That is so cute! I have some purple and pink striped Bernat baby yarn I need to use and I think this is the perfect thing for it! Thanks for posting about the pattern on c'ville!

    And I'm sure you will have more readers now! It is sort of odd how it all works out!

  2. There is a mistake in this. The starting chain should be 95, if you want to have 75 sc on the beginning of the top. It says 135!! Do you realize how big this then would be? I did. I was making it and had to take it all out.

  3. I too attempted this pattern. First, you need to put a gauge on the pattern so one knows if they are using the right size hook. Second, yes, the chain is wrong; and Third if you use a J hook it will fit a 9 year old, not a 9 month old. It is a darling little top, but please correct your pattern.

  4. Thanks to the two anonymous posters - you are correct!! The starting chain should be 95, not 135. I have made that pattern correction, and will post the guage info shortly.

  5. Gauge info is now posted in the pattern. A J hook worked for me, but I tend to crochet rather tightly, so I often use larger hooks than patterns call for. But, use whatever hook will give you the specified gauge in the pattern.

  6. Thank you so much for posting this pattern! I saw your post on Crochetville. It is so cute and I love the green you used. I will definitely use this pattern!

  7. Hello yarn mom, I'm from Indonesia. I'd like to use your pattern, it looks cute on your adorable baby. My baby is 6mth, I'll tell you the result hopefully soon :)

  8. Hi Laurah and Bona,
    Glad you like the pattern - please let me know if you have any questions as you work through it!

  9. Hello Dear...

    I really smiled when I saw the baby in that lovely dress of hers.Its realy cute.I am an ardent crocheter but not a mom as yet. But still would love to make that dress and keep for myself. Simply because I love baby and their tiny frocks.Thanks..

  10. I absolutely love this top. However, when i made it following the pattern it fit my 4 yr old daughter! I even took time to check the guage, dropped down to a g hook and my guage was right on with yours.

    I plan to make more for my DD as it looks soooo cute on her.

    on a side note, i have been searching for a shawl pattern for my mom with no luck. after doing this top i loved the vstitch/shell combo so much that i made a shawl for her using it. it is just lovely and she adores it. thanks soooo much X's 2!!

  11. Hi there, I don't know if you saw there was a pattern correction since the pattern was first posted. The starting chain should be 95, rather than 135. Did you start with 95?? I am so sorry it turned out large, but am happy that it is a perfect fit for the 4 yr old!! Did you end up with 16 shells total per row? And, the top should be about 9" wide (at the bodice section) when laid flat... Any advice you have or insight would be great, because I want to make sure the pattern works for others in the future! Thanks again for your post!

  12. thank you so much for posting this pattern. its the cutest little halter i have seen and i am making it right now. My question to you is about the slip stich you mentioned at the end of every row from 5 to 12. I dont think that is required.

  13. this is a really cute pattern but just a suggestion you might want to say how many stitches are in each row it really helps

  14. Hi! Thanks for the free pattern and I'd like to let you know that I had no trouble at all reading your pattern and I tweaked it a little by adding two straps instead of making it a halter...hope you can view the pic I'm posting...http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30315535&l=006e7412b0&id=1174959878
    Thanks again, Melissa

  15. Hi Melissa,
    Your top turned out so cute! Thanks for sharing it!

  16. Thank you so much for posting this pattern! I made one for my little girl with black and pink yarn, and it turned out really well. I also made one using a ribbon for the tie at the top and added a ribbon between the shells and the top half. You can see a pic of it on my blog, under the "crochet" tag. Thanks again for the great pattern!

  17. I am making this beautiful top for my little girl. I am almost done with it but cannot understand the smock part? What is the smock? Where do I start it at? lol. Sorry! Hope you can help me! And thanks so much for sharing your works with us all! :-)

  18. Hi VF,
    The Smock part is just that front part that forms the very top of the front of the outfit. To this point in the pattern, you've completed the "skirt" (shells part) as well as the hdc stitches in the round to form most of the top. The smock just adds the top remaining rows to the front (where the straps are added eventually). The smock part of the pattern is the front part in the picture shown above her armpits. Let me know if that doesn't make sense!

  19. I made this dress for my Goddaughter's soon to be born daughter :))) it turned out excellent. very easy to follow and quick to make. Thanks, I know I'll be making it again.

  20. I have been searching for a cute pattern like this for my friends newborn. I am going to start it right now. Thank you for sharing!

  21. I made this a couple of weeks ago for my cousin's daughter's 1st B-day. I used Bernat Baby Coordinates (it has a slight shimmer to it) and it turned out beautiful. It was yellow with pastel green trim. I sized it for 18 months and used ribbon in the same shade of green for the belt.

    The only change I made was in the shell section, last row. I used sc across instead of sl st. It was just a preference, it seemed to look more finished to my eye.

    The pattern was very easy to follow. Thank you so much for sharing this one. I will make it again and can't wait to try other colors!

    T in Joliet

  22. Working on thisright now! :-) loving it! Thanks for sharing!

  23. I don't get the last part of row 2

  24. The end of row two was difficult to understand. I tweaked it, unfortunately I didn't write down or pay attention as I was doing it. Also, I crochet VERY tightly myself. I obtained gauge with a G hook, but figured if you were using a J, I had better at least go up to an H. I just finished the "bottom" and its adorable, however even with the decreasing rounds the top is much larger than 9 months. I'm going to go down to an F hook and see if I can reduce the "top" size more to fit my 9 month old grand daughter.

  25. Is the skirt part just left open? I saw nothing about connecting it but hanging open looks strange to me. Thanks for any help.

  26. I don't have little ones to crochet for but I have to say she is a cutie-pie in that adorable dress! Great job mom!