Hey Crafters! Here in the US, we just had Memorial Day Weekend to honor those who paid the ultimate price for our country. To get in the patriotic spirit, I decided to wear a newly completed crochet project.
I’m a member of a couple crochet-themed FaceBook groups. They’re a great place to find inspiration! Another member posted a crochet tank top they had just completed, and she used a patriotic color scheme. It was so cute, so I just had to look up the pattern to make my own.
The pattern on which I based my tank top is Hooked on Homemade Happiness’ Ombré Tank Top. Of course, I skipped the ombré part and went a more patriotic route, but an ombré color scheme would look awesome as well.
I used Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Cotton! Yarn in the colors Burnt Sienna, Monkey Red, 6 White, Denim Blue, and Dark Denim. This was my first time using this yarn, and I was quite impressed! I’m used to cotton yarn having a certain feel to it, usually stiff, smooth, and chunky. However, this yarn is super soft! It feels great against the skin and stays cool because it is cotton.
This is a medium weight yarn (4), and the packaging recommends hook size US I-9 5.5mm. These both match what the pattern calls for. If I were to remake this project, though, I might opt for a smaller hook size to create tighter stitches. After I washed this project, the stitches stretched out a bit, so tighter stitches could minimize that.
The pattern itself is super easy. However, I decided to customize mine a little. My family tends to run long and lean, and I’m no exception. Normally, I’m a small in clothing sizes. However, the pattern designer states she is only 5′ and made a size small for herself. If I did that, my belly button would be sticking out!
I opted to make mine in the medium sizing, but changed color every 5 rows, instead of 4, like in the large size. Because I was extending the length, I realized the bottom would be very wide if I kept increasing every single row. For the first ten rows (5 in Burnt Sienna, 5 in Monkey Red), I worked the pattern exactly as written. Then, I made an adjustment on the next ten rows (5 in White, 5 in Denim Blue) to make the sides straight instead of flaring out.
Essentially what I did was work the 3dc increase in the middle of the row, but I worked a decrease at either side. To do this, I worked my first dc in the first stitch, worked a dc decrease in the second and third stitches, then worked to the middle. In the middle, I worked the 3 dc in the center stitch, and then worked more double crochet towards the end of the row. In the third and second to last stitches of the row, I worked a double crochet decrease. Finally, I worked a dc in the last stitch of the row.
This kept the number of stitches in each row the same while still allowing for the “v” shape in the middle of the tank. I think that the straight sides are more flattering to my body shape than a continual flare, and it ensured the bottom didn’t grow excessively wide.
I then finished the tank by exactly following the pattern for ten rows in my last color, Dark Denim. Once my panels were complete, I sewed them along the sides and added straps. To sew the panels together, I sewed the white and blues together but did not sew the reds so that I could have armholes. Since I used a whipstitch and did not want to see the stitching, I used white to sew the white sections, denim blue to sew the denim blue sections, and dark denim to sew the dark denim sections. It was a little tedious swapping yarn colors, but I feel it made the end result cleaner.
While the pattern calls for simple chain straps, I wasn’t a fan of the idea. I didn’t care for the look, and I was concerned it would dig in to my shoulders if it was too narrow. To create my straps, I worked with two strands, Monkey Red and Dark Denim. After attaching to the top of the front panel, I worked foundation double crochet with both strands to create a thick, plush strap. Then, I attached it to the back panel. I repeated this process on the other side, wove in my ends, and then I was done!
Overall, I’m really happy with this project! I love that this tank top looks very chic and classy while still channeling retro, handmade vibes. See, homemade can be awesome!
I also still have about half of skein of each color left (except for the Dark Denim because I did extra rows). I’m not sure what I should make with the leftover yarn, so if you have an idea let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading, and Happy Crafting!