Sunday, 2 July 2017

EASY TOP with removable poncho-like collar

free crochet topfree crochet top pattern

EASY TOP with removable poncho-like collar

I saw this project shared on Facebook recently and was immediately drawn to the ingenuity of the idea.  A top with a removable poncho-like collar?  How cool is that, right?

I showed this pattern to my friends Rajeshwari and Clara, who are my first “go-to” people when I have crochet ideas anyway, and they gave me these free charts to work this pattern with.  Thank you girls.. for being there for me always!

Thanks for joining me once again as we work on and discover this new pattern together. J

Do check my long Pinterest link for all the free patterns I’ve written up over the years right at the bottom of this blog.

And inspired by this photo, here are my pattern notes as I work on my project.  You can make this pattern to any size using any yarn.  Please look through the list of yarns given below to see which yarn is available in your part of the world. The list is only so that you can get an idea of yarn thickness, and then figure out an approximate requirement.  

Materials usedToday I’ve used ~ 150 gms of some the stunningly lovely Milford Soft knitting cotton 4-ply equivalent yarn (called Soft Ombre Pastel) with a 3.0 mm crochet hook
Do note that technically this yarn would use a 2 - 2.5 mm crochet hook.  I like the extra 'stretch' provided by using a slightly larger hook size.

For Indians : Our lovely Indian Red Rose and Anchor knitting cotton yarns are a good substitute.  I’d also suggest Alize cotton yarn – and you can get all of this with a easy mouse click on the top right hand side of this blog (read : Click here to buy yarns Online)

For Non-Indians : The other international yarns I've used in this (lace) weight category are Aunt Lydia Cotton 10, Aunt Lydia Bamboo Viscose 10, Sullivans Knitting cotton, DMC Petra and Hilaza Rustica Eclat knitting cotton.  
The prescribed / suggested hook for Milford Soft knitting cotton is 2 - 2.5 mm.  
I prefer a slightly larger hook as I love the extra stretch it affords a yarn, when making tops.

Difficulty level : Intermediate to Advanced Skill level.  For the poncho like collar/neckline, I think one needs Advanced skill crochet level :-/

Stitches used :
fsc : Foundation Single Crochet : To refresh your skill on the fsc, please view this superb video by Tamara Kelly at the link

Chainless dc start : Instead of the usual dc row start with ch 2 or ch 3, I’d like to introduce this lovely new way of starting a dc row. Do take a look at this self explanatory video at In case you are unhappy with this start, do continue with the usual ch 2 or ch 3 start.  However, all instructions are given assuming that you’re using this chainless dc start. 

dc 3-tog : Double crochet 3-tog : [yo, insert hk in st or ch-sp, yo and pull up a lp ; yo and draw through 2 lps] 3 times (4 lps on hk) ; yo, draw through all lps on hk.  One dc 3-tog made.

How to join with single crochet : Check the links below :

How to join with whip stich : Check the links below :

Abbreviations used :  Using U.S Terminology

fsdc : Foundation double crochet                            ch : Chain
dc : Double crochet                                                  sp(s) : Space(s)
st(s) : Stitch(es)                                                            hk : Hook
lp : Loop(s)                                                                    yo : Yarn Over
sk : Skip                                                                          sc : Single crochet
dc 3-tog : Double crochet 3-together

Instructions : (Using U.S Terminology)

I started this pattern off with the base of the top – so first you need to decide how long you want the top, and check out the measurements for that part of the body – so if you are taking this top all the way down to the waist, you will need to work half the round waist measure for your starting line – and if you are working it only till the mid-riff.. yup, you got it.. it’s the half mid-riff measure you will start with.
Also note that in patterns like this, you will need to take the largest body measure for your start count.  This means that if your chest measure is slightly more than the waist measure, that’s the measure (chest) you will use.

This is not my pattern – I found this chart and inspiration photograph – and these are my notes as I work on my pattern.

For this pattern, I’ve been inspired by two different patterns.  I am using one pattern for the base of the sleeveless top and the next pattern will be for the yoke/poncho/neck + sleeves… I am not sure what to term this second part, so the several terms for you to choose from ;)

Part 1 : Front and Back

free crochet top pattern

We will work two identical halves for this pattern – so one each for front and back. 

Start : with fdc in multiples of 7 + 5 for half the round chest / bust / waist measure. Turn.

From the very first row, let’s start with our “V”-st, which is (dc ; ch 1, dc) all in the
same st or ch-sp

Row 1 : dc in the 1st fdc ; 
*”V”-st in the next fdc ; sk next fdc, “V”-st in the next fdc ; 
dc in the next fdc ; ch 1, sk next 2 fdc, dc in the next fdc* ;
rep *to* till the end.  Turn.

From this row on, we will work the “V”-st in the ch-1 sp of the earlier “V”-st unless otherwise indicated.

Row 2 : dc in the 1st dc ; *“V”-st in the next 2 “V”-sts ; “V”-st in the next ch-1 sp* ; 
rep *to* till the last dc ; dc in the last dc.  Turn.

Row 3 : dc in the 1st dc ; “V”-st in the next “V”-st ; and in each “V”-st till the end ;  
dc in the last dc.  Turn.

Rep Row 3 till you reach the armhole or neckline level, whichever comes first.

Read instructions for decrease below before you go off to work on the top pattern repeat.

Part 2 : Armhole shaping
For the shaping of the armhole, you will first need to decide how deep you want this opening. 

Decrease Row : sl-st past the 1st 3 “V”-sts ; dc in the next dc (of the 4th “V”-st from end) ;
“V”-st in the next “V”-st ; and in each “V”-st till the last 3 “V”-sts ;  
dc in the last dc (which is again the 4th “V”-st from end).  Turn.

Once again, go back to rep of Row 3 till you reach the neckline level.

Part 3 : Neckline shaping

free crochet top pattern

At this point you will need to decide how deep you want your neckline.  Once you’ve got that figured, here’s what you need to do.

Count off to the centre “V”-st and place a marker there.  Then decide how wide you want your neckline
1.       Once you have both the depth and width figured, count off an even number of “V”-sts from the centre stitch (where you’ve just placed a marker) and place two markers to mark the two sides of your neckline
2.     You will now work from one side of your armhole to this side marker and then back to the armhole.
3.     You will work all the way from armhole to neckline till you reach the shoulder
4.     Once you reach the shoulder, fasten off
5.     Re-attach your yarn at the 2nd marker for the other side of the neckline to shoulder portion and work all the way from neckline to armhole till you reach the second shoulder.  Fasten off.
You have successfully completed the front or one side of your top.

Work all these instructions for the back or other side of your top.
Remember that you may not want the same depth for the back of your neckline, so you will need to re-work the depth and width of your back neckline.
IF you decide to have a completely high neckline, then you will work from armhole to armhole, side to side all the way to the shoulder.

Part 4 : Finishing

Once you have completed both the front and the back pieces, you will join your two shoulder bits and then the sides to finish off the top.  I suggest that you run a round or two of sc all around the neckline as well as the armhole for a neat finish.

Part 5 : Lacy collar / poncho-like neck

For the last and final beautiful lacy collar bit, we will work it separately and then either join it at the shoulders OR keep it separate so that it can be worn with this top as well as other matching outfits.  This collar bit is worked in a round.

I will as usual give a general idea on how to work on this.  The main thing that you need to keep in mind is that you get the stitch count for the pattern, and then you need to decide what kind of a neckline / collar you’d like.  So what do I mean by this?  Well, we start off with a large round that will be the first line of our pattern.  So once you work this round, put it around your neck and see how “high” you’d like this.. High means that it will be closer to the neck and low would mean that it would be more like a boat-neck and will flop over the shoulders quicker (i.e like the designer has done here).

Once again, using these ideas, one can make this for any size. Please also go through all these detailed instructions before you start 

Our stitch count is in multiples of 9 + 1.

Start Round 1 : with fsc in multiples of 9 + 1
Keeping the chain flat, join with a sl-st to the 1st st.

Check out this video on how to keep your chain flat without twisting when working with a longer chain length

Round 2 : sc in the 1st fsc ; *ch 8, sk next 2 fsc, sc in the next fsc* ; rep *to* all around till the end and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.

Note : If you find that this first round is too loose (as I did), then please opt for a shorter ch-sp. I worked a ch-6 instead of ch 8.  
I am, however, writing this as charted – as this may work for some. Remember this when you go through the next set of instructions.

Now after I completed my collar, I thought it was a bit too loose, though I did want it to flop over the shoulders and had made that first round that way – when I saw whom it was intended for, I had a change of mind.. Now rather than rip out the whole hard work, I just decided to tighten up the neckline around the first fsc round.  So I just worked a few sc 2-tog every few stitches evenly all around till I had the shape I wanted.  I just thought I’d throw this out there.  So go ahead and start on this beauty.. and it’ll all work out, you’ll see.

Oh, just for kicks I ran a round of picot around the neckline too, as you can see. ;)

In our following row, we will work a dc 3-tog as our pattern stitch.  Please go to the top of this blog for a “how to” on this stitch.

Round 3 : sl-st into the 1st ch-8 sp , sc in the same ch-8 sp ,
*[ch 8, sc in the next ch-8 sp] ; {rep [to] once ; (ch 3, dc 3-tog, ch 3, sc) all in the same ch-8 sp}* ;
rep *to* all around and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.

Now there are two ways to proceed here on, and I will give you both options.  Please note that you will need to use only one – so as usual, choices and decisions.

Remember however that if you work 4A, you will be increasing your circumference every round.  This means that the space between the dc 3-tog sets will increase… but it will also allow you to grow the width a little more.. and give it a lovely fuller flare.

So here’s what I suggest – you could work a few rounds of 4A and then opt to work Round 4, which will give you the best of all worlds.  That said, this does require advanced crochet skills. :-/

Oh, and if you work the alternate Round 4A, the border round will not work in the way it is written.  It will need to be calculated by you.  So yet again, only for the advanced crocheter.

Round 4 : sl-st into the 1st ch-8 sp , sc in the same ch-8 sp ; 
*ch 8, sc in the next ch-8 sp ; ch 8, sk the next dc-3 tog set , sc in the next ch-8 sp*;
rep *to* all around and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.

Round 4 A : sl-st into the 1st ch-8 sp , sc in the same ch-8 sp ; 
*ch 8, sc in the next ch-8 sp ; ch 8, sc on top of the next dc-3 tog set ;
ch 8, sc in the next ch-8 sp*;
rep *to* all around and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.

Now depending on which pattern you chose above (i.e Round 4 or 4A, the difference will be in the rep [to].  If you chose 4, then you will rep [to] once, and if you chose 4A, rep [to] 2 times.

Round 5 : sl-st into the 1st ch-8 sp , sc in the same ch-8 sp ,
*(ch 3, dc 3-tog, ch 3, sc) all in the same ch-8 sp ; [ch 8, sc in the next ch-8 sp] ;
rep [to] 1 or 2 times dep* ;
rep *to* all around and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.

Please note that the dc 3-tog sets may be in a different space after Round 5, but you know that basically we’re just working a round of ch-8 sps, so just go ahead and skip all the dc 3-tog sets, no matter where they fall.

and would you believe that we have completed a pattern repeat ?  This is it ..
Rep Rounds 4 and 5 to increase the width of your collar / wrap / poncho ; ending with Round 5.

So you see what we’ve done.. we’ve made a round of ch-sps and in every alternate round we have this cute dc 3-tog set that makes the pattern.  In every alternate round of dc 3-tog sets, we are “moving” our set one ch-sp such that they are in the middle of the earlier set.  Take a look and you’ll see what I mean.

So you really do not need the pattern anymore.. you can beautifully wing it right in front of the T.V.

Remember that you must try your project on to see that the round neck works for you – else it is going to be a lot of rip rip ripping n frogging back – and no one likes that.. so check now that you like how it fits around the neck!

On the very last round, we’ll do a really tiny border, so once you’re done increasing the width, come back for this last round.

For our last border round, we’ll work a ch – 3 picot stitch, which is (ch 3, sl-st into the 3rd ch from hk).  For a quick “how to” on the picot stitch, check the top of this blog.

For this final row , you can use either a dc or a trc (treble / triple crochet) stitch.  I a going to write this as charted with a trc.

Last Border Round : ch 1, (trc + picot 5 times) all the 1st sc ; 
*ch 1, sc in the next ch-8 sp ; ch 8, sk next dc-3 tog set, sc in the next ch-8 sp ;
ch 1, (trc + picot 5 times) all in the next sc* ;
rep *to* all around and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.

free crochet top pattern

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  1. Thank you. Have been looking for top patterns all summer and had not seen yours. It is beautiful and will try it when I get the cotton. Thank Tyson much.

  2. Thank you Audrey, for your interest and appreciation in my blog and patterns. I wait (impatiently) for your creation. Do remember to share your photos with me - and I'd love to feature them on my Facebook page.