Here’s another stitch pattern, this time I’d like to use it to make a camisole, sort of in the style of Free People’s Luminsta Cami: a beaded cropped cami with a scalloped hem, sequin embellishments, and V-neckline. I am using 4-ply cotton yarn and hooks (3mm, 3.5mm). Again, I work without a gauge and make estimates by looking at the stitch pattern.
Stitch pattern is in multiples of 10. I want to work from the hem upwards. I want the hem to be wide and loose, so I use a larger hook for the foundation chain then work the rest of the rounds in smaller 3mm hook.
I make a chain (multiples of 10) that is loose around my high-waist, then I add 1/2 extra this measurement. I made this much allowance because I am using a larger hook for foundation and a smaller hook for the rest of the cami. I also add this much allowance because the stitch pattern will make the foundation chain shorter. NOTE: The stitch pattern is written in UK crochet terms.
The stitch pattern is in rows but I work in rounds. Rounds 1-3 complete the pattern design. For this first pattern design I used dc instead of hdc (I use US crochet terms). I follow the pattern using hdc only afterwards. This results in looser and lacier design at the hem, and tighter afterwards.
I got a stitch pattern and using 3mm hook and 4-ply cotton yarn, I want to make a pair of house shorts. The stitch pattern (shown below) is worked in rows, multiples of 4 sts+4. I am working in the round so that needs 4 sts foundation chain. (Note: stitch pattern is in UK crochet terms).
One essential thing in crocheting garments that I have never done is making a gauge swatch. A gauge swatch helps the crocheter keep to the sizing of a given pattern. For the designer, the gauge swatch helps determine how the garment may be worked for different sizes. For this latter purpose, I may soon be making the gauge swatch, but for most other circumstances, I’ve never used it.
Instead, I familiarise with the yarn and hook, look at the stitch pattern and make estimates from there. For example, this pair of shorts, I want it to be loose-fitting. Looking at the stitch pattern I can see that the foundation chain needs to be longer by 2-3 inches because the stitch pattern skips 3 chains. The dc stitches normally are 2-ch long especially if stacked together. So this means the chain will become shorter once the stitch pattern’s first and second rounds are completed.
So I made a chain in multiples of 4 that is 2 inches longer than the largest measurement of my hips. Then I worked a full round of the stitch pattern and put it on to see if it fits. It fits. Then I made 3 more rounds. It still fits with just enough space.
This is how I work, just looking at the stitch pattern, the hook and yarn.
As I work towards the lower hip, I will probably use a larger hook to increase shape, if not, modify the pattern to increase the number of stitches.
Still stash busting, I decided to make another crocheted bra. Here is the pattern in crochet symbols. I used 4-ply cotton yarn and 3mm crochet hook. I crocheted the bra cups separately then joined them in the center.
This diagram below shows the assembly of the bra. The cups are joined several stitches in the center. The bra band is worked along the base of the cups. The diagram also shows at which point on the cups the straps are joined.
Here below is the pattern for the crocheted bra band. Work 3-4 repeats of this scallop pattern. You can make a bra that ties at the back, just add two long chains at each side of the bra. Or you can make the chain all around the back of the bra but you need to measure properly otherwise it will be difficult to put on the bra over your head.
In this photo below, the bra cups have been finished and joined at the center. A round of sc is worked along the base of the cups and then a long chain is made to go all around the back, then the scallop pattern is commenced.
Here (below), the scallop pattern is being worked all around the bra. You can opt to make a bra that ties at the back for a better fit.
With the bra band finished, next is the trim that goes all around the bra cups and along the back. I use one round of simple sc stitches and one round of dc stitches that reduce to hdc and sc stitches along the V-neck of the bra.
At the area below the armpit, the dc stitches decrease to create the curved shape.
At the corner of the bra cup, the turn is made by an increase – note that sc is used along the V-neckline and then hdc and dc along the outer edge of the bra cup.
The bra so far, below, and now we need to decide on the straps of the bra. I decide to make a thin strap, 3 strands of the same cotton yarn crocheted together to make a long chain.
Below, the straps are attached to the cups and need to be joined at the back. I simply tie at the back so that the straps can be adjusted to fit.
Here, almost finished the bra! I am thinking of lining this bra and adding soft pads. The design of this bra is also quite pretty that I think it would be suitable to be modified to make a structured bodice. I will try this when I get more yarn.
I am soon going to design crochet for larger sizes. I am getting some dress forms in sizes up to 42″ bust. All of my crochet garments are based only on my own body which is very small.
Admittedly, I have not seen a crocheted bra that can really give good support for a large size. Here, I would like to take this challenge. I believe both design and material are essential. I can make the design for a crocheted bra that can support up to 42” bust but if I can’t get the material, it would be more difficult. Cotton is really good crochet material for bras and swimsuits (and perhaps even a support panty and girdle) but some sections of it will need good strong elasticity. There are some cotton-nylon blend yarns which might be OK. Another thing I will need are adjustable notions for bras.
At any rate, I have also reached a point wherein I think it is not really practical to wear a crocheted bra if you’re a large size. It would be nice, however, if crochet can meet the needs of people (big or small) who can’t get a suitable bra from the shops (like myself, being a size 28AA having to settle for the usual 32A).
I made this skirt because I still had lots of yarn leftover after I finished the Boho Inspired Cropped Top. I used 6-ply cotton yarn and 3mm hook. I started with the motifs then worked the waistband and the skirt in the round.
I had lots of fun with the skirt. Making the flowers and sewing them on was fun. I pinned the flowers in place before sewing. I also loved making the big tassels. A simple string made of crocheted chain of 3 strands of 3-ply yarn is woven all around the waistband. An easy and fun project! This skirt can be worn with a slip or maybe if I am not lazy, I’ll try to sew a lining.
This is an exercise in shaping. I have taken a look at crocheted dress scehmatics on the Drops (http://www.garnstudio.com) website as well as some knit magazines. Then I try to follow the measurements and shape using simple crochet stitches.
Images – Crocheted Dresses by DROPS and their shaping
My example/exercise here is a dress worked in 4-ply cotton yarn and 3mm hook. As advised in the Drops website, I hold up the dress when measuring, because the weight of the yarn stretches and lengthens. The cotton dress use a simple mesh stitch pattern, a good beginners exercise, because it is easy to increase/decrease and shape.
Here (below) I have finished the back section of the dress. hardest part was matching the two sides together, especially the shaping of armholes. Always measure with the piece hanging up, to get the right measurement taking into account the weight of the yarn.
I seamed the sides of the dress with sc stitches which will make the dress stronger and not sag. I crocheted sc stitches all around armholes and neckline, also to strengthen these areas and prevent sagging.
Below photos, I seam with good strong sc stitches so that the dress has a strong structure and will not sag.
I also make sc stitches all along the armholes, neckline. This is very important and will determine the final fit of your dress. At this point you can alter the size and shape of armholes as well as the neckline.
Note: Never weave in ends until you are perfectly happy with the fit of the dress. So you can still unravel the sections you want to change.
Then I felt I need to embellish the dress so I made some flower and leaves and sewed them to the neckline over the shoulder and to the back at one side.
I made this project to continue learning about simple constructions of garments with motifs, and also, to use up all my 6-ply cotton yarn! :) Only very few left!!
6-ply cotton is thick and used with 3mm (or larger) hook, a project can be quickly finished. Also, it is great yarn for making tests and experiments for a new pattern.
Anyway, I’d like to quickly make a high-neck top with motifs. First I choose a suitable motif, square. I choose one that does not have too many holes in it or at least not very large holes. A 5-ch gap is OK, also maybe 6. But bigger, for example 8-ch or 9-ch gap is too big for me whatever yarn is used.
I also choose a motif that has a good strong join with other motifs. If the motif has 5 rounds, I would prefer that it joins to the next motif at 4 or 5 points. If a motif has 8 rounds and joins at only 3 points then that would be a weak join creating a weak unwieldy fabric with large holes between the motifs. So find a motif that has sufficient points joined. The motif I am using has 7 rounds and joins at 6 points. Perfect!
Then I measure the motif. My motif is 5 inches wide. This gives me some idea as to how many motifs I will need to make a high-neck top, to go all around the body. This is also tells me if I can use the same motif to make the straps of a sleeveless top. Or maybe the motifs are big enough also to cover a small cap sleeve. Perhaps there isn’y enough yarn so I can make a backless top with spaghetti straps. Is the motif too big when I leave a gap for the armholes? Can I adjust the gap? Or do I need to make half motifs?
Sometimes, when I make a motif and join them, the motif determines the final outcome of the garment design. For this particular project, I don’t have a big stock of yarn, so I will keep everything simple and basic. Here is a simple layout diagram for two sizes (below). I would like to experiment with larger sizes later when I finally get a dress form in large size.
Then I try to make a trim along the edge of at least two joined motifs to see if the motifs will change their size. This is a lacey edging, above, following the crochet pattern chart.
Here (below) is a simple sc edging which keeps the size of the motifs the same. The lacey edging above made the motifs smaller by about a fourth of an inch.
For a bust size 30” you’ll need to join 6 motifs together. Maybe 7 motifs for positive ease, depending on the yarn you use – is your yarn stretchy or not? Is the yarn suitable for 0 or negative ease crocheted garment? Anyway, I think this motif would not look nice for negative ease garment.
Then join more motifs and see how it goes. For my top I need two motifs for the front that makes up the high-neck part of the garment. There will be one motif that go under the armpit each and two motifs to make up the low-back design. This is a total of six motifs.
Choosing an edging is not so hard. If you don’t find one you like ten you must make one or modify an existing one. I choose first on the basis of the foundation stitches of the edging. For example in this project, I could easily make a foundation of 5-ch loops all along the edge of the motifs. So now I must look for an edging that works on 5-ch loop foundation, of the same multiples of loops. If there are not the same multiples, then I can alter the pattern.
Next is the shoulder straps for the top. My decision is to make simple thin straps. You can make fancier ones, wider or with lace. Mine is just a chain made from two strands of the same cotton yarn.
After finishing the top, I decided that it would need an undergarment, also crocheted, so that I wouldn’t need to wear a bra underneath. So I crocheted the bra cups from The Camisole Exercise #1 and sewed them onto the underside of the motif top (photo below). I include the camisole pattern below for your reference.
I am very happy with the outcome of this quick little experiment. This motif top was finished in less than one day. With more yarn, it is possible to make a dress or a longer top. Next time I will try to make one that has sleeves.
This project began with a square motif. Using 6-ply cotton yarn and 3mm crochet hook, I made and joined several motifs to make the collar or cowl for sleeveless top that I planned to work from the top down. But that never happened, my experiment failed.
So I made the strip of motifs longer to go around the torso. I wanted to make a V-neck sleeveless top. I started working around the strip, upwards, split for the neck and armholes. I didn’t like how the shaping was coming along, too broad at the shoulders.
So I ripped this and started with the strip of motifs again. This time, I use a simpler stitch pattern which was easier to shape. I made the shaping narrower towards the shoulders. It looked so much better. I continued on and sewed the ends of the strap to the back.
Afterwards, I looked for nice crocheted edging patterns. I found some and modified them to suit my project. I made a simple lace edging along the neckline of the top. I also made a similar trim along the outer side of the bra cups and along the back.
The top would become a low-back top but that’s alright, I am beginning to get more used to such types of garments. It is also more suitable for our tropical climate.
The inspiration for this project is the triangle bralette. I really wanted that v neckline and triangular shape for the bra part of this garment. Then I made some flowers and sewed them on the top. Inspired by Free People’s Secret Garden High-Neck Bra and Secret Garden Triangle Bra. I am adding fringes to the top now, inspired by their Fringe Bralette.
I made the flowers separately using two strands of 3-ply cotton yarn in natural colour (I didn’t have 6-ply). Then I sewed the flowers to the front of the top. Next was the fringe, all also made with 3-ply natural cotton yarn.
The hardest part of making a dress with a motif is choosing the right motif. In this case, I selected a bebe motif without the Irish rose in the center. I also made this motif smaller by working only until round 7 of the 9 rounds of the motif. I modified the corner picot-loops at round 7 so that it can be joined to other motifs. Here below is a chart of the motif that I used/modified – the motif marked B.
The next decision to make when using motifs to make a dress is to decide how many motifs you will use to fit around the body. Of course this also means you must decide where you will start the dress – at the top, over the bust, or below, at the hem? Or perhaps at the waist or hips? Whatever you decide, you should have a strategy for shaping. My strategy is simply using different hook sizes.
There is something called “Bebe Irish Crochet” in antique patterns and these usually consist of an Irish rose center with the double picot filling all around it. As square motif or medallion is made and can be joined together to make the lace fabric.
I have collected some examples of this “bebe Irish crochet” pattern and have decided to use them to make crochet garments. I am making the motif in size 8 cotton thread and 1.24mm hook, and came up with a shrug. Why not give it a try?
Here are various examples of the motif in antique and modern publications.
Here’s another antique pattern, a very interesting construction for a crocheted garment – The Boudoir Jacket.
The pattern calls for hook size 5. I read somewhere that the antique size is equivalent to a US size F (3.5mm). However, I think that antiue size 5 is similar to current Japanese hook size standards – thus hook 5 is 3mm. This chart may also be useful in converting, see http://www.antiquepatternlibrary.org/html/warm/vhooks.htm where antique size 5 is 4mm.
I have figured that the pattern calls for 4mm hook. The foundation chain (160 chain stitches) goes around the neck over the shoulders down to the front. So the length of this chain determines the length of the jacket on the front. I am using 3mm hook and Light Fingering (UK 3-ply) yarn. This makes a foundation (with 3 rows completed) of about 30 inches, reaching just midriff for me. You can use larger hook and yarn for larger size or you can add chain stitches to the foundation, and add rows.
Boudoir Jacket No. 476 Size 30 to 36
The jacket is worked from the neck down, completing the back and front sections. The side section is then crocheted along the back edge of each side of the jacket, then joined to the front, creating the armholes. The shell border is crocheted all around the jacket as well as all around the armholes.
Materials: I used Light Fingering weight yarn (UK 3-ply) and 3mm crochet hook. I also used a button for the front of the jacket. I decided not to make the shell border around the armholes because I feel that it cuts the beautiful flow of lines of the jacket.
Row 1: Ch 160, dc in fourth stitch from hook, dc in each of next 75 ch, 2 dc in 76th ch, 2 dc in 77th ch, ch 1, 2 dc in 78th ch, 2 dc in 79th ch, 1 dc in each of the next ch to the end of the row, turn.
Row 2: Ch 3 (count as dc), sk first dc, back loop dc in every stitch to the center, 2 back loop dc in dc before the ch, 2 dc in ch, ch 1, 2 dc in same ch, 2 back loop dc in next dc, back loop dc in each dc to end of row, turn.
Row 3-27: Work as in Row 2. Fasten off.
Row 28-onwards: Counting 38 dc from back tip of jacket, ch 3 (count as dc), work back loop dc in each of next 32 dc (33 dc made), turn. Repeat to make 2 rows (for size 28), 4 rows (for size 30), 6 rows (for size 32) or 8 rows (for size 36). Join with sc to corresponding st to the front of the jacket, forming the armholes. Fasten off.
Work entirely around the jacket.
Row 1: Join yarn to lower edge of jacket, ch 3 (count as dc), sk 3 sts, *(3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc) in next st, sk 3 sts; rep fr * all around, putting 3 shells in each corner stitch. Join with sl st to first dc.
Row 2: Ch 3 (count as dc), 6 dc in next ch sp, *front post dc in next dc, 6 dc in next ch sp, rep fr * all around, join with sl st to first dc.
Row 3: Ch 1, sc in same dc, ch 3, sc in next dc (picot made), continue making picots in every dc of the shell skipping the dc between the shells. Join with sl st to first sc. Fasten off.
Work the same shell border around the armholes, skipping 2 stitches instead of 3.