Custom Tank Top Version #2:
The pattern was originally created in size xsmall and has minimal shaping, but instructions are included to make it with a custom fit that should work for most sizes (At least I hope so! E-mail feedback to spacerobot47(at)gmail(dot)com, post comments here, or contact me at my ravelry account: yonjuunana).
Check out the other versions of this pattern. If you want, you should be able to mix and match parts with them:
Materials: Aunt Lydia's Quick Crochet Denim, or other light worsted yarn, approx 600 yards for size xsmall. (Shown in color: Oxford) [EDIT: A note about yarn weight and substitutions: Aunt Lydia's is listed as worsted weight but seems to be lighter than that. I'm making another version of the top in Lion Brand Microspun, which is sport weight, and getting the same gauge. If you're substituting yarn, try making a swatch first.]
Hook: Size H and I
Sizes: xs (s, m, l)
Gauge: 3.5'' x 2.75'' for 18 stitches wide x 10 rows in the alternating back/front loop only stitch pattern used in the first part of the pattern. (Gauge isn't super important because you'll be trying on the garment at various stages to make sure it fits properly- but I recommend trying to get close to gauge for width at least. If you want to substitute a heavier worsted yarn like Sugar'n Cream, it may be hard to get gauge, so I'd try swatching and reducing the starting chain by a few stitches if necessary. I'm going to try this sometime and I'll update the pattern with advice when I do.)
Using the H hook, Ch 19 (21, 23, 25), leaving about a foot of yarn at the beginning of the chain.
Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and all remaining sts, 18 (20, 22, 24) sts, turn.
Row 2: Ch 1, Sc in front loop only of all sts, 18 (20, 22, 24) sts, turn.
Row 3: Ch 1, Sc in back loop only of all sts, 18 (20, 22, 24) sts, turn.
Repeat rows 2 and 3 until you have a long strip that can fit around your bust comfortably, or measure around your bust and crochet the strip to that length. Do not cut yarn. Use the foot of yarn left at the beginning to sew the front and back of the strip together to form a loop, with the stripes created by the front and back loop crochet on the outside.
Row 1: Ch 2. Sc around the top of the strip previously created (1 sc should fit in each row), sl st into first ch2.
Row 2: Now it gets a bit tricky- Figure out where the center front of your garment is, making sure the seam where you sewed the two ends of the strip together is on the back. Mark this center front stitch with a safety pin or something. Now count 13 sts to either side of this marker, and place markers there as well. (Customization notes: These markers will be about where the outside edge of the straps are. Feel free to try on the garment at this point to see if you want to adjust the strap placement at all, and move the markers if necessary) Ch 2, sc in all sts to 1st marker, dc in st with marker and next 2 sts, triple crochet next 3 sts, dc 3, sc to center marker, sc in st with center marker, sc to 9 sts away from last marker, dc 3, triple crochet 3, dc 2, dc in st with marker, sc all remaining sts, sl st into first ch2.
Row 3: Repeat row 2. Bind off and weave in end.
Straps (with outside shell edging):
Row 1: Attach yarn to front top, 3 sts to the inside from where one of the outer markers was placed (this should be right between a triple crochet and a double crochet stitch). Draw up loop, ch 39. Count 11 sts from the seam on the back, sl st into that st.
Row 2: Sl st into next st on back (12 sts from the center seam), sc all sts in chain (39 sts), sl st into front st next to the st you started at (moving from the center to the outside- should be a dc stitch).
Row 3: Sl st into next st on front, sc all st in strap (39 sts), sl st into next st on back.
Row 4: Sl st into next st on back, sc all st in strap (39 sts), sl st into next stitch on the front.
(In simpler terms- you're single crocheting back and forth along a strap that's 39 sts long, and on each side you attach the strap by slip stitching where you want it to connect, then slip stitching in the next stitch to move over a row, moving from the center side of the strap to the outside.)
Row 5: Sl st into next st on front, dc 3 into first st of strap, *sk 2, sl st 1, sk 2, dc 5 into next st* repeat between *s until you reach end of strap. Sl st into final st. Bind off and weave in ends.
Make 2 straps this way.
(For customization- After completing the top part you should be able to try on the garment at any time to make sure it's fitting properly. To make sure the straps are the length you want, I'd recommend trying on the top after the first row of the first strap or so, so you can see if the straps are at a good length and if not, you can adjust them by adding or subtracting a few sts so they fit.)
Row 1: Attach yarn at back seam on the bottom. Draw up a loop, ch 2, sc around the bottom of the strip like you did for the top, sl st into first ch2.
Row 2: Ch 2, sc all sts, sl st into first ch2.
Row 3: Count how many sts you have. For shaping, and to make this fit the lace pattern, figure out what the closest multiple of 8 is that's smaller than the number you counted. Ch 2, sc all sts, using evenly distributed sc2togs to reduce the number of stitches to that multiple of 8,
(For customization or a better fit for larger sizes- Measure around your chest under your bust, make a small gauge swatch of single crochet, and use that to calculate how many stitches are needed to fit around you, rounding up to the closest multiple of 8.)
Row 4: Ch 2, dc all sts, sl st into top of beginning ch3.
(Note: If you are substituting a lace pattern that is not a multiple of 8, you'll have to change this a bit. For example, if you want to use a multiple of 6, use the number 6 instead of 8 when following this section.)
Lace pattern (zig zag- multiple of 8):
Row 1: Ch 2, dc 2, *ch 3, sk 3, dc 5* repeat between *s until 5 sts remain, ch 3, sk 3, dc 2, sl st into first ch2.
Row 2: Ch 2, dc 4, *ch 3, sk 3, dc 5* repeat between *s until
Repeat rows 1 and 2 until there are 15 rows of the lace pattern total. For shaping: I do the first 5 rows using the H hook, the next 5 rows alternating between the H and I hook every repeat of the lace pattern, then the last 5 rows using only the I hook.
(Customization: You can try on the top at any point to see if it's long enough, and do extra repeats of the lace if it isn't. For curvier shaping, feel free to gradually increase to an even larger hook size.)
Bottom shell edging:
Row 1: Ch 2, dc all sts, sl st into top of first ch2.
Row 2: Ch 2, sc all sts, sl st into top of first ch2.
Row 3: *Sk 2, dc 5 in next st, sk 2, sl st* repeat between *s around entire bottom, sl st into first st, bind off. Weave in ends.
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