Delta Top Tutorial

Today’s offering is a free crochet tutorial for a peek-a-boo top that stars a sleek triangular cutout in the middle of the bust, a perfect silhouette in which to place fun features like crochet shapes or dangling decorations – or just let your natural charms show! I used my favorite glow in the dark yarn to create a glowing alien head for this top.

Bookmark this design for later on the Ravelry project page <3

The free Delta Top Tutorial will be available as a PDF exclusively in my Ko-Fi Shop, and I’m doing an introductory deal for this design – “Pay What You Want”! While the free version is exactly the same as the PDF copy, this design can be purchased as the portable, printable, ad-free PDF securely through my Ko-Fi Shop for whatever price you think is fair (starting at a $1 minimum) <3 Gratuity and gratitude! <3

P.S – I’m adding ALL my halter top/bikini/crop top patterns to my Ko-Fi shop along with the Delta Top!

Delta Top

3.50 mm hook
#4 100% cotton yarn, 1-2 skeins depending on size
#4 accent color yarn (optional), or charm to feature in cutout (optional)
Scissors, tapestry needle

Gauge: Can vary a bit, but you don’t want it too loose! I aim for about 4 stitches and 3 rows = 1″

Cutout Cups

This cup design uses skipped stitches at the end and beginning of the rows on one side only to create half of the triangle cutout shape featured in the middle of the bust. The basis of this cup is the same as for the teal cups made with the written pattern and video tutorial in my free Basic Bikini Cup Tutorial. These are the cups styled with the “HDC, Foundation 10 sts, +2 / (1 hdc, ch 1, 1 hdc) increasesshaping from that post, so if you need more help with the first 3 rows of the cup, refer to the first video of that post!

Foundation Row: Sk first 2 ch sts. 1 hdc in the 3rd ch from the hk and in ea of the next 9 ch sts. – 10 hdc.

Row 1: Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc), turn. 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 9 sts. In the end of the foundation row, working into the side of the 2 chains left over from the foundation, work (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc). Rotate the row so as to work down the opposite side, into the initial foundation chain (working the bottom loops). 1 hdc in ea of the next 10 sts. -24 hdc

Row 2: Ch 1 (does not count), turn. 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 11 hdc. (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) in the next ch-1 space. 1 hdc in ea of the next 12 sts. – 28 hdc

Row 3: Ch 1, turn. 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 13 sts. (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) in the next ch-1 space. 1 hdc in ea of the next 13 sts, leaving the last stitch unworked. – 31 hdc

Row 4: Ch 1, turn. Skip very first stitch. 1 hdc in the next st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 13 sts. (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) in the next ch-1 space. 1 hdc in ea of the next 16 sts. – 34 hdc

Row 5: Ch 1, turn. 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 17 sts. (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) in the next ch-1 space. 1 hdc in ea of the next 15 sts, leaving the last stitch unworked. – 37 hdc

Row 6: Ch 1, turn. Skip first stitch. 1 hdc in the next st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 16 sts. (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) in the next ch-1 space. 1 hdc in ea of the next 20 sts. – 40 hdc

Continue adding rows in this manner until the cups are your preferred size. Cut yarn and tie off, repeat cup pattern for 2nd cup.

Bottom Band

Next, align the two cups and begin working across the bottom of the first cup, placing two hdc in the side of each row. Once you have reached the cutout (the shortened rows), you will make a chain length and skip both cutout parts entirely.

My general formula for how many to chain here is to take the number of rows skipped for the cutout on one cup (in this example it is 7 rows), then multiply times 2 (because hdc are the height of 1-2 stitches depending on gauge). This equals 14 in my example. So if each cup cutout is about 14 stitches long, the total skip length would be about 28 stitches. The length of the actual chain made here will depend on cup size – if you have a larger bust in relation to your underbust, you’ll want to chain fewer stitches, if you have a flatter bust in relation to your underbust, chain more. So since my total skipped number was 28, minus some difference to account for my bust size (B cup), I ended up chaining 22 stitches.

Once you have made your chain length, resume working hdc into the non-shortened row sides on the bottom of the next cup until reaching the end.

Row 2: Ch 2, turn and work a row of hdc across the hdc and the chain stitches worked on the last row. Work 1 stitch in each stitch.

Rows 3 – ??: Ch 2, turn and hdc in each hdc across.

Keep adding hdc rows until the band is as wide as you like.

Side Strap

Without cutting yarn, rotate your top to begin working on the side of the cup. Work your first side strap row going toward the tip of the bikini cup.

Row 1: Chain 2. 2 hdc in each row end, 1 hdc in each stitch, until you have worked about 1/3 of the length of the side. For my tops that’s about 13-16 hdc stitches usually! This is the base of your tapered side strap.

Row 2: Ch 1, turn, skip very first stitch. 1 hdc in the next st and in each stitch across. This ends the row on the bottom edge of the bikini top, which will stay flat and even.

Row 3: Ch 2, turn. 1 hdc in each stitch across until the last stitch. Skip this final stitch. This ends the row on the inner part of the side strap, which will taper by skipping the last stitch and the first stitch of the next row on this side only, as we did with the cups.

Row 4: Ch 1, turn, skip very first stitch. 1 hdc in every other stitch across.

Repeat these last two rows until you have only 2-3 stitches remaining. Cut yarn and tie off, then attach yarn at the other side and repeat for 2nd side strap. After 2nd side strap is complete, you can leave the yarn attached until you’ve decided how to compose your back & neck ties.

Ties and Trim

I’ve experimented with a pretty large variety of ways to tie crocheted halter and bikini tops, ever seeking to discover the most comfortable method so that my pieces are wearable! I’ve done criss-cross ties, lacing, racerback and T-shaped backs, wide straps and small. It seems that which ties work depends heavily on the age and body and preference of the individual – so I’ll keep coming up with more! 🙂

The Glow-Alien Delta Top featured on my friend Daisey combined tie straps in the torso with a t-shaped back closely modeled off of my Acanthus Top back design, but I didn’t have nearly enough pattern development to outline that style here in the tutorial so we’ll be doing something simpler – but I did want to include the different references in case you feel like freestyling.

The Alien Delta top in green (above) featured wider straps that meet and connect at the back, much like the Acanthus Top, with the side strap ties to thread through. The Acanthus Top (below) uses a longer, smaller criss-cross weave to connect the sides and straps.

My Valkyrie Halter features criss-cross ties at the shoulders that lace into loops on the sides, for a very adjustable fit that doesn’t put too much pressure on the back of the neck. The Kismet Halter Top, another totally free crochet pattern on my blog, features a thick side band with criss-cross lacing.

Yet another option, outlined in my Sol Halter Top customization tutorial, is to create several chain loops toward the end of the side strap, then weave the fastening cord back and forth (the Valkryie, above left, does this too). Instead of single crocheting across the entire side, I create a series of loops (about ch 15-20 sized) intermittently. I normally do 2-3 loops, about 3-4 single crochets apart.

However, despite all these options the instructions I’ll be using here are for the most simple ties. So since I am already at the end of my side strap I will proceed to chain 75-125 (depending on size), then slip stitch back down that chain length.

Once back at the beginning, sc on the row edges of the side strap working toward the tip of the cup. Since each hdc is approximately 2 stitches tall, work 2 stitches into each row side, then proceed to sc into the stitches of the cup itself, working toward the increase tip of the bikini at the top of the bust.

When reaching the ch-1 space at the tip of the cup, 1 sc into the ch-1 space. Ch 75 -100 (depending on size), slip stitch back down chain. Continue to sc on the other side of the cup, working toward the center of the bust. Once reaching the tapered edge of the cup where the cutout begins, move to the second cup and work a sc into the first stitch at the edge of the cutout at the other side. Continue working the sc edging into the cup, making a matching tie at the tip of the second cup as you did for the first.

(I actually don’t have my second side strap yet in this picture but you will so ignore that 😉 )

Work down the last side of the cup and the row sides of the tapered side strap, then work a final tie of 75-150 (depending on size) for the second side tie. Cut yarn and tie off, weave in all ends.

Alien Head

When I decided this top needed a nice celestial visitor made of my favorite glow-in-the-dark yarn, I tried to think of what sort of shape would be easiest to create for the right silhouette and size of the triangle cutout. Then it hit me – the easiest shape is the one that I already have written out and video recorded! 😉

I used my little Avocado Face Scrubby tutorial to create the alien head using the same sized hook and my glow-in-the-dark yarn held doubled up to make it more similar to worsted weight. I used the same color for all rows, then added one more round of single crochets after the tutorial ends (skipping the loop at the top, of course). Easy! Well, it saved ME a lot of work anyway 😉

After completing my alien (or pig snout?) I added little black slashes for eyes and sewed it into the triangular cutout of my Delta top using scrap yarn and yarn needle. Once I was finished, I weaved in all the ends and my top was ready for takeoff!
It really does GLOW! Sadly, this yarn appears to have been discontinued.

Of course, I had to make a few more versions with different fun additions to the peek-a-boo cutout – my next variation is Legend of Zelda inspired, using triangles to create a Triforce (of sorts):

Next time I’ll vary my stitch height to take away some of the roundedness of those triangles, as they didn’t translate as Triforce-y as I wanted them to. Still pretty though!

Next I tried a dangling charm, having had this rad piratey looking medallion sitting in my findings pile and awaiting the perfect frame…

Of course, it’s really cute just as a cutout top that shows off your natural charms! In the plain Delta Top below, I used a slip stitch around the edge of the cutout triangle to give it a smoother, more finished edge once the top was complete.

I hope this tutorial inspired you to try some of my halter top and bikini tutorials – crochet bikinis and halters have been some of my favorite projects since I started learning to crochet my own clothing, and I’ve learned a lot through experimentation which is easy since these projects don’t take too much time! If you liked the Delta Top, be sure to check out my other crochet halter top tutorials and patterns 🙂 Thanks for visiting!


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