CROCHET / SEWN TOP
Last year as part of Crochet Summer 2014, Cal Patch shared a tutorial with us on making a knit tee with a crocheted yoke. I wanted to take the idea one step further, so I created a box top with a the main body sewn out of cotton fabric and crocheted yoke.
This project is designed for a beginner sewer and a crocheter with a set of a few beginner skills. The crochet stitch used is a take on the classic granny square of 3 double crochet clusters, and works up quickly. If you need a step-by-step tutorial on working the components that make the 3-DC cluster in a granny square, you can view our Granny Square Triangle tutorial here.
I have quite a hefty fabric stash, and sew often, and now I can't look at a cut of fabric without thinking "what color of The Fibre Co. Meadow will look good with this piece?"
Enjoy! - KGO
PART ONE: SEWING
• 1.5-2 yards cotton fabric
Important: make sure to pre wash and dry your fabric. I recommend lighter weight woven fabrics such as double gauze, linen, chambray, lawn, or voile. Your fabric and yarn yardage may be more / less than estimated due to the size you chose to make and final depth of your yoke and length of top. I have found a good yardage estimate is # of inches in A (see step 1) multiplied by 2.
• Around 300 yards Laceweight yarn. I used The Fibre Co. Meadow.
• Size E (3.5 mm) crochet hook
• Size G (4 mm) crochet hook
• Notions: Large eye hand sewing needle, coordinating sewing thread, pins, marking tool (chalk, disappearing ink, etc), sewing gauge, straight edge ruler. I used a size 1 John James cotton darner for my needle, and it was just large enough for the Meadow to fit in.
• STEP 1: Cut two pieces (front and back) from woven fabric.
A: When determining the desired length from your hem to the armhole, measure a few shirts you like the fit/length of. This top is meant to be loose fitting without being too baggy, with ease around both the bust and hips. I find a mid-hip length or slightly shorter is most flattering.
B: To calculate, measure around the widest part of your bust. Divide by 2. Add 3 to that number for ease, then add 2 for the 1" of seam allowance on each side. The back and front should be the exactly the same. If your hips are much larger than your bust (more than 6"), you may want to add more ease, or taper to a larger size at the hips.
• MY EXAMPLE: A: 15 + 3 + 1 + 2 = 21” / B: (36/2) + 3 + 1 + 1 = 23”
• STEP TWO: Pin the fronts and back together with right sides facing. Mark 4” down from the top on each side. You may do this either with a pin, or using the marking pen of your choice. I prefer the Clover chaco pens for marking my fabrics.
• Tip: If you have a fabric with a clear direction (as in the case of my shirt with birds), make sure your pieces are both pinned facing the same direction, and the mark is 4" from the top so that your motifs are facing the correct way.
• STEP THREE: Beginning at mark, sew front and back together using 1” seam allowance. Make sure to secure stitches at each end. Once sewn, you will have a tube of fabric with 4" openings at the top on either side.
• Tip: Due to the wider seam allowance, I found it helpful to mark the sewing line down the length of the fabric. This helped to ensure I sewed a completely straight seam at the same width throughout.
• STEP FOUR: Press seams open. Carefully fold seams under creating 1/2" folds and enclosing the raw edge. Press. Edgestitch along entire length of each fold.
• Tip: An edgestitch is a a line of stitching about 1/16" - 1/8" from a fold or seamline. You will want to edgestitch along the folded edge (see graphic), not close to the original seamline from Step 3.
STEP FIVE: Fold front and back top hem under 1/2”, press. Fold top hem under another 1/2”, press. Edge stitch along the fold.
Your body is now prepped for crocheting the yoke!
CROCHET / SEWN TOP, PART TWO: CROCHETING
• STEP SIX: Using your sewing gauge and marking tool, draw a line 1/4” from your top hem on the front piece. Thread your hand sewing needle with a length of your yarn 4 times the width of your piece.
• MY EXAMPLE: After sewing, my top width is 21” across, so my yarn is about 84” long.
• STEP SEVEN: Beginning at one corner, work the blanket stitch across the top. Be sure to evenly space the stitches, and align them to the line you drew in Step 6. You will need a multiple of 3 + 1. Repeat Steps 6 + 7 on the back.
• Tip: Stitches placed about 1/4” apart look and work the best. If you need help with working the blanket stitch, I found this to be a very clear tutorial.
• STEP EIGHT: Using your smaller crochet hook and yarn, and beginning on the right side with RS facing, insert your hook into the first space created by the blanket stitch from front to back, grab the yarn with your hook, pull through. Ch1.
• STEP NINE: Work SC across the row, making one stitch in each space created by the blanket stitch. Change to larger hook.
• STEP TEN: Turn. Ch3, DC, *skip 2, DC 3; rep from * to 3 st rem, skip 2, DC 2.
• Tip: Once the row is complete, your 3 DC clusters shouldn't wave or pull in across the width of the piece. If you have too many clusters (your piece is waving), un-do the row, and skip 3 sc stitches a few times across, removing one or two 3 DC cluster groups. If you have too few clusters (your piece is pulling in), un-do the row, and only skip 1 stitch a few times across, adding one or two 3 DC cluster groups.
• STEP ELEVEN: Turn. Ch 3. *DC3 in space; rep from * to end, DC in space between final DC 3 and ch3 from prev row.
• STEP TWELVE: Turn. Ch3, DC, *DC 3 in space; rep from * to end, DC 2 in space between final DC 3 and ch3 from prev row.
• STEP THIRTEEN (FRONT): Repeat Step 12 once more. Work neck shaping by stair-stepping DC 3 clusters, creating a smooth scoop neck edge. Work each side until desired depth of armhole.
• MY EXAMPLE: I want an 8" armhole, and the fabric portion of my shirt is 3", so my crochet yoke is 5".
• STEP THIRTEEN (BACK): Repeat Step 12 + 13 until 3 rows prior to finishing front. Work neck shaping for 3 rows by stair-stepping DC 3 clusters, using image as a guide.
MY EXAMPLE: My front is 11 rows total, so I worked 8 rows on the back before starting shaping.
• STEP FOURTEEN: Once your front and back are complete, join the shoulders using the method of your choice. Weave in any loose ends.
MY EXAMPLE: I used the single crochet seam using this tutorial.
• STEP FIFTEEN: Using your larger hook, SC around the neck, connecting the steps from your front and back neck shaping using a ch2, then working a SC on each chain on the following row. I found 4 rounds of SC looked the best. Weave in any remaining ends.
• FINISHING: Fold bottom hem under 1/2”, press. Fold hem under another 1 1/2”, press. Edge stitch along the first fold. Your shirt is complete!
You can view the original blog post of the finished project here.