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!
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.
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.
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 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.
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.