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Published on August 11th, 2016 | by Emma Friedlander-Collins

3 comments

Crocheting a yoke for a stylish upcycled tee

Today Emma Friedlander-Collins shows you how to save an old tee-shirt from the rubbish, and make a beautiful top with minimal crocheting. You might know Emma as Instagram guru Steel&Stitch and founder of the popular CrochetGirlGang club!

How to upcycle an old tee by crocheting a yoke by Emma Friedlander-Collinson on the LoveKnitting blog

I don’t know about you, but I’m a really lazy maker. I mean really lazy. I’ve never crocheted a blanket because the idea of having to make the WHOLE thing is just too repetitive and would take AGES.  (Actually, that’s a lie, I made one for my ‘Big Hook Crochet’ book, but giant size Granny squares make a blanket in two days – that’s my kind of crocheting!)  But recently I struck on the idea of crocheting the fun part of a top, a really pretty yoke, using some beautiful yarn, and then skipping the boring bit of working the endless rows to make the body, by sewing it to a plain old tee.

How to upcycle an old tee by crocheting a yoke by Emma Friedlander-Collinson on the LoveKnitting blog

One thing I really like about this, is that it makes something that’s high-street and genuinely unique. It’s also an opportunity to up-cycle something that you might otherwise have thrown away. It got me thinking about other opportunities sitting at the back of my drawers, waiting for a new lease on life. The answer came last week when the new MillaMia Naturally Soft Cotton was released.

How to upcycle an old tee by crocheting a yoke by Emma Friedlander-Collinson on the LoveKnitting blog

With a really beautiful range of colours, I was able to choose a ball that perfectly matched a favourite old vest top I wasn’t ready to part with. Because the cotton is so soft it seemed an ideal match, and all I’m going to make is a new bust and strap section. I’ll use an extended double crochet stitch (edc), with some gorgeous strong stripes of star stitch in indigo and purple to add some detail. Cotton is great for this sort of thing, as it has a ‘drapey’ finish, and the weight will allow the cotton of the top to hang nicely. Then all it will take is a swift snip of the scissors I’ll attach the bottom half of the vest and hey, presto! It will also mean that when (if!) I’m ready to take on the challenge of making a full vest top, it will already be part-way there.

How to upcycle an old tee by crocheting a yoke by Emma Friedlander-Collinson on the LoveKnitting blog

How to make an extended double crochet (edc)

Now I just want to take a moment to tell you about the edc; it uses less yarn than a half-treble or treble, gives a similar height, but doesn’t have the same ‘gappy’ quality to the finished fabric. It’s also less dense than a standard double crochet, which makes it an ideal stitch to use for a garment, especially a summer garment.

How to upcycle an old tee by crocheting a yoke by Emma Friedlander-Collinson on the LoveKnitting blog

To work an edc, simply insert hook into stitch, yarn over, pull through, yarn over and pull through one loop only, then yarn over and pull through the last two loops on your hook.  It’s super simple and a perfect pairing with a cotton like this.

Steel&Stitch


About the Author

Emma Friedlander-Collins started designing and selling crochet patterns in 2011. With her unique approach and unusual designs, she has established herself as an innovative crochet designer and online success. Emma's also the co-founder and partner in crime at #crochetgirlgang - a space for crochet girls the world over to share their makes, find some support and generally get crochet happy.




3 Responses to Crocheting a yoke for a stylish upcycled tee

  1. Charlotte says:

    It would be great to see a finished picture as the vest top is such a different shape to the drawing it’s difficult to see how it would fit/drape etc.

    Lovely colours though!

  2. Lyn says:

    I agree. I was hoping to find full instructions for making the yoke & straps and attaching to the tee. A finished picture would have been great.

  3. Elle says:

    I’m with Lyn and Charlotte…it would be really helpful to hear about how you attached the two pieces together. Thanks for sharing!

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