Hello again, and happy almost summer everyone! It’s been a big couple of weeks for me. The first and most obvious is the new website! Woot Woot! I’m not all that tech-savvy, so this was definitely a long process for me. I know I’m not the only one out there that has to click every single button in WordPress to figure out what they do. Usually this is followed by immediately forgetting what said buttons do and having to click them all over again. I think I’m finally getting the hang of it though. I even got crazy and looked at the html page for about 10 seconds before deciding I wasn’t on that level yet.
The next big thing for me was that I got my business license! Woot Woot! I’ve been on the fence about going legit and setting up a shop to sell. That means switching gears from crocheting and crafting as a hobby, to actually attempting to make a little pocket change. Heck, if I can make enough to support my own crafting habit, I think I’ll be doing great! I imagine this will be a bit of a challenge given that my two littles rarely nap at the same time and my husband works 70+ hours a week. But I found, that even just since getting this far, I’m actually excited about all the work. There’s something to say for doing something you’re passionate about, especially when you’re feeling a little lost in the throes of motherhood. So here’s to new adventures!
I thought I’d kick off the new site with a new crochet pattern, and guess what, it’s free! That’s what we all like to hear. We’re creeping up on summer here, so most of us have probably traded our bulky acrylic yarns for some lightweight cotton. And if you’re not 3 months postpartum like I am, you might even be baring your midriff with some fun crop tops. According to my Target shopping expertise, crop tops are all the rage this season. I will not personally be partaking, as I would prefer to shed a little more baby weight before sharing my stretch marks with the world. However, my younger sister is all athletic and college-y and has a six pack, and requested that I make her one for summer.
Since I expel most of my mental energy on nap schedules and potty training, I just named this top after my sister because I didn’t have to think too hard. Isn’t she so cute?
I have only done this pattern to fit a size medium, but if I get some interest, I would be willing to update it with more sizes. This top has more of an open weave and is design to be worn over a cute bralette or bright bandeau bra.
I tested this top out with two different types of cotton yarn. One was Lion Brand 24/7 Cotton, and the other was Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton. You can see the difference in textures here. While the tops ended up fitting the same, I actually prefer the feel of the Lion Brand 24/7 Cotton. The yarn has a little bit more of a cord-like quality versus the softer kind of fuzziness of the I Love This Cotton. You could pretty much use any Level 4 cotton yarn though.
The top is essentially made from four different pieces stitched together. The first is the front piece and one side of the bralette. Since a medium top measures approximately 36″-38″ and I wanted this to be a bit fitted, the front panel needed to be about 17″ unstretched.
The tapering is done by doing a half-double-crochet-together. It starts on the inside, but I did two rows extra on the side before beginning the tapering process (don’t want any side boob!).
I like to make the straps without breaking the yarn. In my opinion, the less breaks and seams, the better.
Next you attach yarn to the outside of the front panel and work the other side of the bralette. Attaching from the outside ensures that your stitch counts match so your top stays even.
It’s also a good idea to line your straps up next to each other to make sure they’re the same length.
The back panel is essentially the same as the front, just without attaching the bralette portion. It is 9 rows high in order to match up to the sides of the front panel.
I like to attach one side with slip stitches without breaking the yarn, because again, the less breaks the better. Alternatively, you could whip stitch this portion together, but I like to use slip stitches because I think they’re more secure. Make sure that right sides are facing each other so that when you turn it, the seams will go on the inside.
When the front and back panels are attached, the whole piece should measure approximately 34″ across.
The fourth and final piece is the ribbing. You could make this ribbing as long as you wanted, in theory. Heck, you could probably make a full-blown tank top. i went with 20 stitches across.
To get the ribbed effect, you simple crochet into the back loops only in each stitch across the row. I’ve tried to show here what that means, but if you need more help, Youtube is my go-to when I get stuck on a crochet stitch.
You repeat this until the piece reaches approximately 30″ unstretched. Making the bottom piece a bit smaller than the top is necessary since 1) you’re using double crochet stitches instead of half doubles and they’re looser and 2) it allows the to hug the torso a little better.
Next you’ll attached the ribbed bottom to the top bralette. Again, I left my yarn attached and used slip stitches. (Don’t forget, right sides face each other so the seams stay hidden!) This part requires that you stretch the bottom ribbing a bit to match the top. This prevents bunching and unevenness. It’s best to pin or clip it in place while you put the slip stitches in, but if you’re lazy like me, you can definitely just wing it.
Almost done! Seam up the last side! I attached yarn and used slip stitches. You can also whip stitch the last side closed.
Finally, with a tapestry needle, attach the straps to the back of the top. Strap placement is one of those things you can personalize on your own top. (You could even get crazy and make them a little longer so they can criss-cross!) My advice is that wherever you place them, count the stitches along the back so you place them both evenly. I counted in 10 stitches from the seam on each side and attached my straps. I did my stitches on the inside of the top so that they would be very discreet.
And you’re done!
Hope you enjoy! For those of you that don’t crochet, never fear! I will be making a few to sell very soon. If you would like to make a request before the Etsy shop is up and rolling, feel free to send me a message on my Contact page. Happy Crafting!
Kiki Crop Top Pattern
- 2 Skeins of Cotton Yarn (approx 300 yds)
- Size H – 5 mm crochet hook
- Tapestry Needle
16 HDC x 10 rows = 4in square
- HDC – Half double crochet
- DC – Double Crochet
- Ch – Chain
- Slip Stitch
- Foundation HDC
- Foundation DC
- BPDC – Back Post Double Crochet
- HDC2Tog – Half double crochet two together
HDC2Tog – Yarn over, insert hook into first stitch and pull up a loop. Yarn over, insert hook in second stitch and pull up a loop. Yarn over and pull through all loops on hook.
Row 1 – Foundation HDC 65 stitches. Turn. Note: should measure approx. 17″ unstretched.
Row 2 – Chain 2. HDC in first stitch, and in each stitch across (65). Turn.
Rows 3-7 – Repeat row 2.
Row 8 – Ch 2. HDC in first stitch, and in next 30 stitches. HDC2together across next two stitches. Turn. (32)
Row 9 – Ch 2. HDC2Tog across first two stitches. HDC in next stitch, and each stitch across. Turn. (31)
Row 10 – Ch 2. HDC2Tog across first two stitches. HDC in next stitch. HDC in next 28 stitches. HDC2Tog across last two stitches. Turn. (29)
Row 11 – Ch 2. Ch 2. HDC2Tog across first two stitches. HDC in next stitch, and across. HDC2Tog across last two stitches. Turn. (27)
Row 12 – 23 – Repeat Row 11
Row 24 – Ch 2. HDC2Tog across first two stitches. HDC in next stitch.
Row 25 – Ch 2. HDC in first stitch and next stitch. Turn.
Repeat Row 25 until strap reaches approx 9″ unstretched.
Ch 2. 2 HDC in first stitch. 2 HDC in next stitch. Turn.
Ch 2. 2 HDC in first stitch. HDC in next two stitches. 2 HDC in last stitch.
Tie off, leaving long tail for attaching strap.
Attach yarn to unworked side of front panel.
Repeat from Row 8.
Row 1 – Foundation HDC 65 stitches. Turn.
Row 2 -9 – Ch 2. HDC in first stitch, and in each stitch across.
Ch 1. With Right sides facing inward, line up edges of front and back panels. Slip stitch across one side seam attaching back panel to front panel. Tie off.
Row 1 – Foundation DC 20 stitches. Turn
Row 2 – Ch 2. BPDC in first stitch, and in each stitch across.
Repeat Row 2 until ribbing reaches approx 30″ unstretched.
With right sides facing inward, line up ribbing and panels. Note: you will have to gently stretch the ribbing to match the length of the panels. Secure in place. Slip stitch across attaching ribbing to panels. Tie off.
Attach yarn to open side seam, with right sides facing inward. Slip stitch seam closed. Tie off.
To attach straps, count 10 stitches in from the side seam on the back panel. With tapestry needle, whip stitch strap in place. Repeat with other strap.
Weave in ends.