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  • Customized Tank Top with Crochet: Update


    Remember I started to customize a tank top with crochet?

    I cut a tank top to crop it and to give it a deep V-neck. Then I added crochet to it to customize it.

    It’s mostly done now, and I like it. This is a size Medium tank top on a Small-size mannequin. In standard sizing, Lindsay the mannequin is on the Extra-Small side of Small. I’m on the Large side of Medium. On me, the waistline of the top sits higher, like an Empire-waist top. Also, on me there is no ruffling where the crochet meets the cut hem.

    Customized tank top with crochet.

    My new tank top customized with crochet.

    I uploaded a bunch of photos of this project to its Ravelry project page. (If I take a selfie I’ll add it there too. Maybe even here on the blog if I’m not too shy.)

    This is my first attempt at a customized tank top with crochet. Thank goodness for a timely email I received from designer Sue Perez! She shared with me her sewing experience: a V-shaped neckline needs special reinforcing. I took that into account when I chose the crochet stitches and gauge for the neckline.

    This experience of refashioning store bought clothes answered lots of questions I had. For example:

    1. The thickness of the yarn is fine. It’s standard sport weight, very smooth, and is a cotton mixed with rayon for drape. In crochet thread sizing this would be a Size #3.

    I wouldn’t want to go with a yarn that’s any thicker than this, or that has any fleecy loft or friction on the yarn’s surface.

    A thinner yarn (a.k.a. a crochet thread Size #5 or #10) would work great, especially for fancier, fussier garments. This sport weight thickness works for the casual nature of a daytime tank top, or for a tee shirt. It also gave me the feeling of making progress quickly enough to stick with it.

    2. Amount of yarn: I’d say it took up to 1.5 balls of Lotus yarn; that’s 325-375 yds.

    3. Attaching the crochet: Worked out so far. It will also have to hold up to washing and wear. Crocheting right onto tee shirt fabric like this? Yes, it can be done. I used a needle-sharp steel crochet hook. It was the largest I have and was not quite large enough for the yarn. A larger one might have left noticeably big holes in the fabric though.

    I didn’t loooove doing the first row. Funny thing about crochet – it’s often the case. Crocheting into the foundation chains isn’t my favorite thing either, nor is crocheting foundation stitches. I usually want to get whatever the first row is, over with. Same with this top.

    I mostly don’t want to look at the holes where the crochet stitches meet the fabric, but I don’t notice it at the hem when it’s on me (only in this photo because it’s rippling a bit). At the neckline, though, I added a row that covers the holes.

    A customized tank top with crochet looks pretty nice, doesn’t it? I super love the hem. Those are split clusters of triple trebles.

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    • October 8th, 2014 by Vashti Braha

    Lab Experiment: I’m Customizing a Tank Top with Crochet


    Customizing a tank top with crochet: hem in progress with pink DV Lotus yarn.

    Crocheting the bottom hem. Armholes & neckline next.

    Crocheting the bottom hem. Armholes & neckline next.

    This is my first attempt at customizing a tank top with crochet, so I’m using a $4 scoop-neck tank top from Walmart (White Stag brand).  Update: It’s coming along well! See this followup post.

    It looks dowdy on me, so I drastically cropped it and turned the neckline into a deep V. The crochet you see adds length along the bottom hem. I’m using standard sport weight yarn and a US/F (3.75 mm) crochet hook. The steel hook you see here is the largest sharp-headed crochet hook I have. I wish I had one that’s slightly bigger for pulling through loops of sport weight yarn. Crazy?

    The real reason I’m doing this:

    • What is it like to crochet DesigningVashti Lotus yarn onto t-shirt fabric? Is sport weight yarn a good match? (If I have to use lace weight yarns, I might as well just crochet the whole darn thing.) What does the texture of this yarn look like with a plain cotton machine knit fabric? 
    • I have mill ends of this “Pink Sugar” color; the dyeing looks more tonal than solid (not in this photo though). Do I like it? What is it generally like to pair Lotus colors with my tee shirt colors?
    • Can I use a super sharp crochet hook when customizing a tank top with crochet? I want to be able to start crocheting right onto fabric and get a result I like. Would I enjoy doing it more than sewing along the cut edges first? (I sealed the cut edges with an invisible permanent washable no-fray liquid.)
    • How will it all hold up to wearing, machine washing and drying, and the Florida sun? Will the no-fray liquid add enough strength to the edges?
    • How will I like wearing it? Will I find I have a preference for customizing a tank top with certain kinds of crochet stitches? What if the crochet adds too much weight to the top?

    Lots of what-ifs. Will I want to do something similar with my cashmere sweaters? ::gasp::

    I have a few pullovers that I want to convert into cardigans. Ideally, give them a roomier fit while I’m at it. Heck, add beads. Cashmere love is a many splendored thing.

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    • September 16th, 2014 by Vashti Braha


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