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How to Crochet a Top

Crochet tops are becoming a staple in a summer wardrobe. They’re airy and comfortable, helping you stay cool as you frolic under the sun, and are stylish enough to add personality to your summer style.


That’s why tops are a must-learn for every beginner crocheter. If you’re looking to get started crocheting your own tops, you’ve come to the right place. We provide you with the step-by-step instructions you need in this article, as well as patterns that can guide you on crocheting tops of different designs and styles.


Getting Started with Crochet Tops

To get started making a crochet top, you first need to gather your materials. All you need are a few supplies, including:


● Crochet hook

● Yarn

● Scissors

● Stitch markers

● Yarn needle or tapestry needle

● Measuring tape


Choosing the Right Yarn and Hook Size

While you can use the yarn of your choice to make a crochet top with your intended design, there are certain types that work better than others. But that doesn’t mean your options are limited.


Most yarn weights are suitable for crocheting tops, from fingering-weight yarn to worsted-weight yarn. The majority of crocheters, however, opt for 100% cotton yarn or cotton blends to make the fabric soft and breathable while giving it a nice drape.


When you’ve selected the type of yarn to use, you also need to select the correct hook size. In general, the thicker the yarn, the larger the hook you should use. Your yarn label or pattern will tell you what hook size is appropriate for that particular yarn weight.


Understanding Crochet Patterns

When making a crochet top for the first time, we recommend that you find a pattern that can help guide you in completing your project. Most crochet top patterns are easy to follow, providing all the materials, stitch techniques, and stitch counts you need to create your top. You’ll find that using a pattern will help make your crochet top project much less complicated.


There are a variety of patterns available for crochet tops, so there’s no doubt you’ll find one that focuses on the design or style you want to create. When doing your pattern search, make sure to identify what kind of top you want to crochet, whether a crop top, halter top, oversized sweater, or bralette, among others.


When starting, finding a pattern that aligns with your skill level is crucial. If you’re a beginner, look for patterns that use the basic foundational stitches, including slip stitch, single crochet, half-double crochet, and double crochet.

To keep things simple, you’ll want a pattern that creates a top with an easy construction — something that allows you to add straps or sleeves by seaming them in after the bodice is finished rather than one that you have to work together in one piece.


There are also patterns where the top’s front and back panels are symmetrical, making them easy to work than those that use complicated constructions.


Also, consider the yarn weight that the pattern uses. Medium to heavy-weight yarns are easier to work up than lighter-weight yarns.


Top Crochet Patterns and Designs

So you don’t have to; we looked for the best patterns to create crochet tops of different designs and styles. Take a look at each of our recommendations and find one that aligns with your personal style and skill level.


Yarn Weight: 4 Medium Worsted

Hook Size: D-3 (3.25 mm)


This sleeveless crochet top, with its airy design and loose stitches, will keep you cool during warm summer days. It adds a touch of flair with its button-down neckline and shell detailing, making for a staple piece in your summer wardrobe.


Yarn Weight: 3 Light

Hook Size: D-3 (3.25 mm)


Vintage clothing designs are quickly making a comeback. Join the trend by crocheting this vintage long-sleeve sweater. It uses lightweight yarn to create an airy fabric and intricate texture – a design that never goes out of style, regardless of the season.


Yarn Weight: 3 Light

Hook Size: D-3 (3.25 mm)


Crochet pieces are both classic and modern, complementing your unique fashion sense — whatever that may be! This pattern will help you create a timeless piece that you can style in a variety of ways, whether worn on its own or over a long-sleeve top.


Yarn Weight: 3 Light

Hook Size: F-5 (3.75 mm)


If your fashion sense is loud and bold, you’ll love this mod tunic top pattern. It creates a statement piece with an interesting design that you can customize with your favorite colors and hues. Feel free to get creative and apply color block techniques to create a crochet top that screams your personality.


Yarn Weight: 3 Light

Hook Size: G-6 (4 mm)


Granny squares are a favorite among crocheters. They add life to a plain top, creating an interesting pattern that you can customize with your favorite color combinations. This pattern creates a light and airy crochet top with intricate details that will level up your summer attire.


Yarn Weight: 3 Light

Hook Size: D-3 (3.25 mm)


Want to make a crochet top that you can wear from day to night? This Victorian-inspired top is so versatile, suited for different outfits or occasions. This pattern will help you recreate this vintage piece, complementing your classic fashion sense.


Step-by-Step Guide to Crocheting a Top

Ready to crochet your own top? Trust us, it’s not as difficult as it sounds. With a couple of materials, mastery of the basic crochet stitches and techniques, and our step-by-step guide, you’ll find it easy to put a crochet top together.


Before anything else, make sure to take your measurements so you know how to size your project. Stretch the measuring tape across your torso, waist, or anywhere you want to top to end. This will be important when working your foundation chain. Then measure the length from your neckline to your waist or torso, which will be important when crocheting the top’s main body.


Creating a Foundation Chain

The first step to crocheting a top is working up a foundation chain. Start with a slip knot, pulling about 6 inches of yarn from the skein and wrapping it around 2 of your fingers. Pinch the loop and push your crochet hook into it. Then, take the working yarn with the hook and pull it to slide the knot onto the hook.


Now you’re ready to start the foundation chain. Wrap the yarn around your hook and pull the hook through the loop. Keep repeating this process until you reach the exact measurements. You don’t need to count chains at this point, but you do need to measure the foundation chain so your top will fit you perfectly.


To help you measure accurately, hold the foundation chain across your body and check if it covers your torso or waist the way you want it to. If it’s too small, keep chaining.


Working the First Row

Once you’ve completed your foundation chain, you can start creating the first row. For this tutorial, we’ll be using the single crochet stitch.


Insert your hook into the chain closest to it then pull the working yarn onto the hook. Wrap the yarn around the hook and pull it through both loops. This creates one single crochet stitch. Continue working single crochet stitches into each of the chains on the row.


At the end of the row, wrap the yarn around your hook and pull up a loop. You’ve now created the bottom of your top.


Building the Main Body

To continue working from the first row, flip your piece over and start crocheting the next row in the same manner. That means working one single crochet stitch into each of the chains on your first row and then crocheting 1 chain when you reach the end.


You’ll be working in this back-and-forth manner until the bottom of your top reaches the size you’re going for. To help you with the measurements, hold the piece below your breasts and add more rows as necessary to achieve your desired length.

You can use different stitch techniques here to add more texture and visual interest to your top. Instead of a single crochet stitch, you can experiment with a moss stitch or camel stitch.


When the bottom of your top has reached your desired length, you can start working on the top half. At the end of the last row, don’t chain a stitch. Instead, you want to turn your work and skip the first stitch. Work single crochets in every stitch across the row.


If you want to make a halter-top design, decrease stitches to make the sides diagonal. If your top is a simple V-neck, crochet 2 triangular pieces and attach them to the last row of the bottom band.


After creating the first row, continue turning your work, skipping the first stitch of every row, and working single crochets into the rest of the stitches on the row. Repeat these steps until the neckline is as high as you want it to be. You can check if you have your desired measurements by holding the piece against your body regularly.


Adding Sleeves (if applicable)

Now it’s time to add sleeves. Depending on your intended design, you can create simple straps, short sleeves, or long sleeves. We’ll provide instructions for each below.


Strap

When you reach the end of your last row for the top’s body, don’t cut the yarn just yet. You’ll work continuously to create the straps. To do this, create a chain that’s long enough to secure the strap on both ends of the top.


You can measure the length from your neckline to the scapula, running the measuring tape above your shoulders.

To make the strap thicker, insert your hook through the last chain you made. Then wrap the yarn around the hook and pull through the loops to make a slip stitch. Continue working slip stitches through each of the chains until you reach the neckline.


You can use the same working yarn to make the other strap. Without cutting it, make 1 single crochet stitch into every stitch across the neckline and repeat the same process above to make the opposite strap. Make sure that the number of chains is even so both straps are the same length.


Short Sleeves/ Long Sleeves

If you want your top with short or long sleeves, start by measuring the circumference of the armhole on your top. Then create a foundation chain for the sleeve, using the armhole measurements and your desired sleeve length as reference.

When you’ve completed your foundation chain, join the last chain with the first chain using a slip stitch. You can work the sleeve in rounds or rows, depending on your preference.


To work in rounds, chain 2-3 stitches to make the first stitch. Then create single crochets in each stitch around the sleeve. Join each round with a slip stitch and continue working in rounds until you reach your desired length. Do the same for the opposite sleeve.


To work in rows, chain the appropriate number of stitches depending on the width of your armhole opening. Turn our work and create single crochets across the row. Then, turn at the end of the row. Repeat this process until the sleeve is as long as you intended. Do the same for the opposite sleeve.


Depending on your desired fit, you may need to adjust the width of your sleeves by increasing or decreasing stitches. Just make sure to evenly increase or decrease on each round or row. As you work, wear the top to check if the sleeves fit right.


Finishing Touches

Congratulations! You’ve completed your crochet top! There are a couple more things you need to do so your project looks polished and professional. These include weaving in the ends and blocking your project.


Take your tapestry needle and thread the loose end of the yarn into it. Insert the needle under the stitches of your top and secure the end. Weave the yarn horizontally or vertically for a few inches to prevent it from unraveling. When the yarn is fully concealed, trim the excess close to the fabric.


Now it’s time to block your project. Blocking is the process that helps loosen the stitches and set the fabric to shape. There are two ways to block your crochet top: wet blocking or steam blocking.


For wet blocking, fill a basin with lukewarm water and mild detergent. Submerge the top in the water and gently squeeze the fabric. Remove it from the water and press the fabric in between clean towels to get rid of excess liquid. Then, lay the top on a blocking board and shape it to your desired measurements. Secure the ends with pins and leave it to air dry.


You can also opt to steam block your fabric. To do this, hold a steam iron a few inches away from your top and move the iron across the surface. Don’t press down on the fabric so you don’t end up flattening your stitches. While the top is still warm, shape and pin it to your desired measurements.


Tips and Tricks for Crocheting Tops

To help you crochet a top successfully, take the following tips into consideration:


Keep a consistent tension: Relax your grip as you work, being mindful about holding the yarn too tightly or loosely. A tension that is too tight will cause stiff stitches. A tension that is too loose will make your stitches less defined.

Make a gauge swatch: Before beginning your project, work a couple of rows to create a gauge swatch. This will help you find the right tension that matches your project’s gauge. If needed to achieve the right tension and gauge, adjust your hook size.

Measure your project to a T: Accurately measuring your project will ensure that your top fits you. Make sure to follow your measurements and try on your project regularly to ensure a perfect fit.


Customization and Variations

Make your crochet top uniquely yours! This is a good opportunity to unleash your creativity and create a top that you’ll be proud to wear. There are plenty of ways you can customize your project, starting with using different color variations.


You can use color-blocking techniques or create a gradient effect to make your top more eye-catching or use variegated yarn for an interesting visual appeal. You can also work decorative stitch patterns along the edges of the top. Or better yet, try different stitch patterns to substitute fundamental stitches to achieve a unique texture.


If you want your top to have a little more pizzazz, don’t be afraid to incorporate embellishments like beads, tassels, or sequins. Make this project as creative as you want!


Troubleshooting Common Issues

While crocheting your top, you might run into these common problems that beginners often face. Don’t worry, we’re here to provide you with solutions for each of them.


Uneven Tension

You know you have uneven tension when your stitches vary in size and your top looks inconsistent or misshapen. To resolve this, practice maintaining consistent tension as you work. Keep your grip on the yarn relaxed and adjust your tension as needed.


Curling Edges

If your top’s edges end up with an unflattering shape, i.e. curling inward or outward, you can opt to add a border or edging to stabilize the edges. You can either do this with a single crochet or reverse single crochet, or use decorative stitch techniques.


Curling is also caused by inconsistent tension. While working, make sure to relax your grip so the stitches don’t come out too tight or dense.


Incorrect Fit or Size

Sizing is probably the most challenging part of crocheting a top. If your project ends up too large or small, you may have overlooked your measurements.


Before starting, make sure to take accurate measurements of your bust, waist, and arms, as well as the length of your upper body. Compare your measurements with the pattern you’re using and adjust it to your specific size.


An uneven tension can also cause incorrect sizing. If your tension is too tight, your top may end up too small. Too loose, on the other hand, and the top will be oversized. We recommend making a gauge swatch to find the right tension that matches your pattern’s gauge. You can also adjust your hook size to even out your tension.


Conclusion

Learning how to crochet your own top is a skill that every beginner and advanced crocheter should master. It’s not as difficult as it sounds, with most patterns using only the fundamental stitch techniques. But don’t be afraid to experiment with different stitches, colors, and embellishments to create a top you’ll truly love.


Now that you’re armed with everything you need to crochet your own top, grab your materials and get started! It’s going to be a fulfilling journey that will yield a beautiful piece we guarantee you’ll love wearing.