Crochet

Patriotic Crochet Tank Top

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!

-Amanda

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