PBT: Belt Base

This post is part of a series of tutorials on how to create your own unique crochet pixie pocket belt – too read more about this series visit the Intro page.

Belt Base

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The belt base is where I usually start, using one of the main colors of yarn and essentially creating one long, skinny rectangle by stitching just a few rows onto a long base chain. This belt was started by using my 5.00 mm hook and the double chain technique – regular chaining is fine, I just prefer stitching into the double chain for longer projects.

Make a base chain long enough to wrap around the intended set of hips, and then some. You will most likely lose an inch or two during the process of completing the belt due to the tight slip stitching added later.

Then, add a few rows of stitching to create the belt width. I did a row of double crochet, then turned and did a row of (dc, ch 1, sk next st) repeats to add visual interest. Next, I turned and worked a single crochet in each stitch and chain space (so that I have something solid to slip stitch into at the top of the belt in the later steps).

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I got creative here and decided I wanted the middle of the back of the belt to have a little point to it, so I placed a 3-stitch decrease there in each row.

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Once you have your desired width, prepare to rotate and work into the end/side of the belt.

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I create a pointed triangle shape by working three tall connected stitches across the belt ends. These are trtr (triple treble) stitches, which are equivalent to 6 chain stitches, so I chain 6 (counts as first tr tr), then insert the hook into the middle of the side of the belt. *YO 4 times and draw up a loop from under, then draw through 2 loops on the hook 4 times, leaving the last loop on the hook.

Repeat from * working into the other end of the belt side, then YO and draw through all loops on the hook. For a great explanation on working tall stitches, see this post on Moogly Blog.

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Once you have your pointed end for the ties, you can stitch up a crocheted tie by making some kind of cord (see my guide to crochet cords) or you can leave it and attach a fabric, ribbon, or yarn tie later. Either way, once you are done with this area, slip stitch down the side of the last trtr toward the bottom of the belt. Next we’ll be working into the bottom of the chain foundation.

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For the tattered skirt portion, we’ll need something to attach the fabric strips. You can definitely just put the strips through the stitches themselves if you want, but I like to crochet on a couple layers of loops for attaching the fabric. I’ll start by chaining 7, then skipping about three stitches, then attaching with a single crochet in the next st. I repeat this across the first (almost) half of the belt.

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Around the pointed part, I want there to be more fabric. So I only skip about 1 stitch in between each loop to create this effect later.

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Then, finish up the second half of the belt with regularly spaced loops. Once you reach the other side, create another three-trtr triangle. Here I decided to add a crochet tie, so I chain a length and then slip stitch back down.

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I’m almost out of my ball of plain orange, so I’m going to consider this scrap busted, and with just enough to finish the belt base – mission accomplished!

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Orange scrap, we hardly knew ye. Just kidding, we’ve known ye for about 5 years.

My (semi)-finished belt base here measures about 38-39 inches, unstretched, not including the string tie. As you can see, it curves a little naturally due to the decreases placed at the center.  It’ll follow the curve of the hips a little nicer that way, and the extra loops at the increase point will form a fuller skirt there once I place the strips of fabric – I am aiming for a bustle effect with this one.

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But, I am also going to add a second layer of loops, just so I don’t overload the first layer and make it too bulky. With another scrap, I’ll start by attaching my yarn a ¼ of the way across – I only want this layer to be on the back half of the belt.

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Here I am chaining 7 and slip stitching in each chain loop. When I get to the center, I add an extra loop there to maintain the point by slip stitching in the same loop. Then, 8 more chain 7 loops across the other part of the belt, stopping once I have about ¼ of the way left. Second loop layer added, and another little scrap busted!

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Ta- DA! That’s it for the belt base. This is the piece that you will attach the pockets to later, and can continue to build with color and texture according to your whim.

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The belt base is a great place to start experimenting with different stitch patterns – here are some examples from other belts I’ve done.

 

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“Lavender” uses something like a granny square style stitch.

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I used a more open mesh stitch on “Nightshade” and then wove ribbon yarn through.

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Simple, straightforward double crochet works too!

If you have any questions about the tutorial so far or the techniques I’m using, please leave a comment! I love to talk shop. ❤

-MF

 

 

 

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PBT: Gathering Materials

This post is part of a series of tutorials on how to create your own unique crochet pixie pocket belt – too read more about this series visit the Intro page.

Choosing Materials

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These Pixie Belts can use a great variety of materials (great for craft supply hoarders) – here are just a few of the things I like to use:

  • Scrap yarns – It’s a great project for using up the really small bits!
  • Novelty yarns – it’s also a great project for using up those outrageous novelty yarns you bought before you knew better (or if you’re like me, knew better and didn’t care. Sequin yarns FTW!!)
  • Handspun yarn – I may be (slightly) biased as a spinner, but I just don’t think you can beat the look of handspun yarn added to these belts as an accent – it adds a ton of character and texture, and better yet, uses up small amounts of this expensive luxury material but still produces something with a lot of visual impact.
  • Beads & bells – must be big enough to string onto your yarn, or you can use crochet thread to string them on and carry them along on a double thread
  • Scrap fabrics : silks, gauze, velvets, etc – You’ll be cutting or tearing them into strips for the fringed skirt part of the belt, so you’ll want fairly long pieces
  • Buttons for fastening pouches / belt.

You could also incorporate any number of other things including felt shapes, home decor trim, leather scraps, ribbon.. go crazy!

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Other Materials & Tools

3.5 or 3.75 hook & 5.0 mm or 5.5 mm hook
Locking stitch markers
Several sizes of tapestry or yarn needle
Scissors
Tape Measure

Color Scheme & Theme

If you have a lot of materials to choose from, you’ll need to pick out what sort of colors you want to use and the materials that will go with it. As I’ve said before, I like doing a theme. You don’t have to. You don’t even really have to choose anything – you can just grab whatever you like in the moment. FrEeFoRm bAbY!

I love using thrift store silks for the skirting of these belts, for several reasons – they are cheap, they look amazing, they tear easily, and they have a light soft swing that makes them a dream to wear. I also utilize lightweight gauze and sometimes light/medium weight muslin or linen/cotton fabrics if I want the give the skirt a fuller look. Whatever material you use, you should be able to rip into strips if you want the really tattered look.

Stretchy, thick or complicated weave material can be used too, like velveteen or jersey knit, but you’ll have to cut them and not rip them.

Here’s a selection of fabrics that I’m choosing from. I’ve been wanting to use this orange for a long time, so that’s what I’ll be working with now. Time to chop!

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Separate the biggest pieces from whatever seams happen to be in the garment. Doesn’t have to be pretty, you’ll be tearing this up later anyway. Mine has a jersey underlayer I’ll be separating the silk from -I’ll save that for later or maybe use it for this belt too.

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I left a few seams on, which I can cut through when making the strips later.

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Now, time to choose a yarn color scheme! This is my favorite part, possibly. First, I know I need oranges since that’s going to be the dominant color in the scheme. I also pick a few greens to match the green in the silk, then purple to set off the other two colors – orange, green, and purple form a split-complementary color scheme.

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I also want to use some of this awesome handspun yarn that I’ve had forever – it has complex oranges as well as some blues and browns.

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So, I pick a few stray balls of blue to match the handspun accent colors, too. Voila! Colors selected. I probably won’t use every yarn that I chose, I rarely do – but it’s helpful to have a good selection prepared.

So now I have a nice pile of little scraps to use, plus at least one larger ball of one of the dominant colors to use for the main belt base, as well as some handspun yarn to feature in a pocket. I’m also going to add in a yarn I frequently use in the belts – a netted ribbon yarn that is great to use for the ties as it is sturdy and already has openings to fasten onto buttons! More on that later.

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But wait, there’s more!

Choose some buttons, bells, and beads. Again, it’s unlikely that I’ll use everything I choose, but I like to have my options on hand.

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You can choose only beads/bells with holes big enough to string on the yarn itself, or you can grab some crochet or tatting thread to string through and crochet as a second strand along with your yarn.

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Once you have everything selected, you are ready to roll! I stash my materials in a spare basket to keep them all in one handy place.

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Baskets are bae

Oh, and you’ll want to grab some hooks, of course. I use a 5.0 mm and a 3.5 or 3.75 mm hook for these belts, but you can use whatever you are comfortable with – but do keep a larger one and a smaller one. Here they are, looking demure. But they’re just biding their time..

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Ready for the next phase? Check out the Intro page for a list of all the posts in the series so far, and be sure to follow me here on my blog or on Facebook!

-MF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pixie Belt Tutorial: Intro

In response to many requests, I will be starting a series of tutorial posts for the freeform pixie pocket skirt belts (is that enough words for that?) that I’ve been making for a few years now. These crocheted belts feature utility belt style pockets in whimsical colors and shapes and a tattered fabric fringe skirt – they are great scrapbusters and excellent practice at creating different shapes and textures. And one of my favorite things to make!

The one pictured on me here was the first one I ever made, and I was immediately addicted – mixed media, playing with color, using up spare material, cute AND useful.. sounds good right?

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“Titania”

Once I had made a few more and started posting pictures of them here, I got requests for a pattern. The challenge is that I do these belts differently each time – so figuring out a pattern or a tutorial that doesn’t lock them down into sameness took some thought.

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So I ruminated on it, and finally decided that a series of technique tutorials, based around the creation of an example belt, would be best. I aimed to explain these techniques well enough for even beginners to experiment with these fun shapes and textures, and for everyone to feel confident enough to let loose and have fun with it.

“Mulberry”

This tutorial series will cover material selection, basic shapes needed to create the pockets and the belt, some textural techniques, instructions on attaching the pockets, and how to make the fabric skirt fringe – and anything else I can think of! The links to the post series will appear in order below:

If you want to stay up to date on this series as it is posted, remember to follow my blog or like & follow my Facebook page!

“Kelp”

In the next section, I’m going to go through choosing the materials for the belt. I use a theme for mine, as you may have noticed: plants and trees. I love being inspired by nature, and choosing a theme like this helps guide me when I’m not sure what sort of look I want to add to the piece. More on that later.

For more inspiration, check out the Pixie Belt section on my Pinterest crochet board.

“Hemlock”

“Hickory”

Whether you choose a theme or not, remember this is a freeform project. It’s an exercise in letting go of control, of not being married to an intended outcome. Let it be zen, spontaneous, and fun! I call these belts my “chaos therapy” projects.

“Lavender”

“Shepherd’s Purse”

That’s it for the Intro – I can’t wait to get started on this project and hopefully to see what you all make!

-MF

Feather & Scale Halter Top

I could not be more thrilled to be rolling out my newest design today, brought to you in part by the willingness of my lovely friends to dress up in crazy costumes in the middle of the Indiana summer heat for me 😉

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May I present, for your edification and delight,the Feather & Scale Halter Top pattern? I dreamed up this design back in January, inspired by scale mail festival and costume clothing pieces, and have been diligently plugging away on the details all summer!

The crochet pattern PDF is available for purchase in my Etsy Shop or Ravelry Pattern Store for 5.95 USD (but there’s a big sale still going on right now, so you can get it for cheaper than that if you hurry before August 1st). Read more about this one-of-a-kind pattern below!

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The Feather & Scale Halter Top uses fine variegated cotton blend yarn to create an eye-catching gradient of crocodile stitch scales on the outer top, with a built-in inner cup lining for coverage and support. The cross-back ties keep the weight off of the neck so you can comfortably dance & groove that feathery fringe into motion!

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Size pictured: X-Small in Schachenmayr Tahiti

With the dramatic triangle shaping to accent the body’s curves, this halter is both figure flattering and fun to wear – and the pattern is written for FIVE sizes, X-Small – X-Large (corresponding to AA/A – DD cup sizes ).

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Size Pictured: Medium in Schachenmayr Tahiti

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Size pictured: X-Large in Red Heart It’s a Wrap Rainbow

The pattern is well stocked with all of the details on the techniques needed to create this unique piece, including extensive instructions on creating the crocodile stitch used for the main part of the halter – as well as precise step-by-step written instructions that correspond with nearly 100 tutorial photos! Additionally, I’ve begun to dig into developing some tutorial video skills with this one – be gentle, I’m still very much learning!

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Materials:
3.75 mm hk
Schachenmayr Tahiti, 2 (2, 2, 3, 3) skeins – (#1 weight, 1.75 oz / 50 g per 306 yds, 99% cotton / 1% polyester)
OR
Red Heart It’s a Wrap Rainbow, 1 (1, 1, 2, 2) skeins – (#1 weight, 5.29 oz /150 g per 623 yds, 55% acrylic 45% cotton)
Scissors
Tapestry needle
6” Length of cardboard, book, or fringe maker

Sizes & Finished Measurements:
X-Small (XS): Underbust length – 15”, Cup height – 6”, Cup Size – AA/A
Small (SM): Underbust length – 17”, Cup height – 7”, Cup Size – A/B
Medium (MD): Underbust length – 19”, Cup height – 8”, Cup Size – C
Large (LG): Underbust length – 21”, Cup height – 9”, Cup Size – D
X-Large (XL): Underbust length – 23”, Cup height – 11”, Cup Size – DD

Extra Credits!: The horns worn by my green dragon top model are from Dark Pony Art, the wire wrap necklace worn by my Rainbow XL top model is from Twisted Forrest Jewelry – please check them out and support small business art!

Models: Daisey Denson, Arika Harris, Katy Sanders ❤

You have reached the portion of the pattern post where there’s just a buttload of photos! Enjoy 🙂

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I think this one is my favorite, but it’s actually impossible to choose.

I hope you like this new design! I have done some fantasy-inspired pieces in the past, but I really cranked the staging up to 11 with this one – expect more of that in the future ❤

-MF

Ch-ch-ch-changes

You may have noticed it’s been a touch quiet on the blog lately, at least for the summer time when I am normally busy crocheting my heart out during the break from school. Well, I’m still crocheting my heart out, but due to some recent changes I haven’t had as much time as I’d like to create and photograph and post.

I seem to have acquired an actual day job, like a responsible adult type person, at the local co-op grocery (which I am loving). Also, I moved again! And we all know how much fun that is, what with the throwing of the possessions into garbage bags (is there a better way to do that?).

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What I really do.

I do still have many awesome things planned both as far as paid crochet patterns and free tutorials and projects, but the work pace on those has slowed down a bit. More info on what’s coming up after the first big announcement:

Paid Pattern Price Change

Beginning in August, all of my paid digital PDF crochet patterns will change from 5.50 USD to 5.95 USD. This is something I have been waffling about for a few months now, but a recent announcement by Etsy that they are raising their percentage fees from shop sales (from 3% to 5%) made the decision for me.

However, I do intend to help mitigate this price change by hosting a HUGE SALE! From now until my price change goes into effect August 1, I will be offering ALL of my paid patterns for 37% off (a little over $2 off) through my Ravelry Pattern Store and 30% off ($1.65 off) through my Etsy Shop. No coupon code necessary – snap them all up while they are at this awesome price!

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There are also two older patterns I will be offering soon for free on the blog (so you don’t have to bother buying them if you don’t want the PDF version). The Rhiannon Hooded Cowl and the Mini Mandala Slouchy Tam will be making an appearance, with upgraded photos, gratis – keep an eye out for these freebies here in the future 🙂 And subscribe to the blog and follow me on Facebook for all the latest updates!

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I’d love to take this chance to thank the wonderful customers that have bought my patterns, especially those that have taken time from their day to leave reviews:

“Almost finished with this sweater and I am so happy with the outcome!! The pattern is so easy to follow. This is maybe my second or third purchase from moralefiber and her patterns are just so clear and neat. Not to mention how cute and practical the designs are. Thank you!! <3”
-Kristin H. (Spiral Sweater)

“It is easy to understand and comes with a great amount of pictures as well as written instructions. I am using the yarn suggested in the pattern (white cotton/acrylic blend) and it works up real fast. I love it! 💖 Can’t wait to finish it! Thanks for making this pattern!”
-Diana (Lotus Duster)

“What a lovely shop owner! Very patient with my questions. Super cute pattern!! <3”
-Robin (Krampus Hat)

“Pattern is clearly written, hence easy to follow. Love this design, so versatile. Highly recommended; Thanks very much ;-)”
-Alexandra H. (Flower Child Pullover)

Also, thank you so much to all the wonderful people that have commented and messaged me directly about my work. There have seriously been days when your amazing and kind words have truly brightened my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you! ❤

New PROJECTS and TUTORIALS:

Needless to say, with the addition of a day job, some of the things I had planned for this summer got re-arranged in priority. Here’s what’s definitely on the line right now!

New Halter Top Pattern:

I am so excited about this new design, which I have been fiddling with since January. I have made several of these beauties so far and am nearing the final stages of photographing and writing, and can’t wait to show you the final product! This design uses a fine gradient yarn and croc stitches to create a gorgeous scale top that is flattering on every figure, and includes FIVE sizes XS-XL, equivalent to cup sizes A-DD!

I just can’t resist a sneak peak featuring some of my lovely friends test-fitting some of the completed pieces:

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Daisey, wearing size XS

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Katy modeling size XL

P.S – the lovely pendant in the previous photo is the wire wrapping art of my friend Isaac from Twisted Forrest Jewelry – check out his page and give him a like!

Pixie  Belt Tutorial:

In response to many requests, I have begun working on creating a tutorial for my freeform ragtag crochet pixie belts! I hope to include a basic tutorial for the different shapes you can utilize, plus pictures on how I normally form the base belt, as well as inspiration on choosing colors and themes… It should be interesting – of course, these will be most fun if you cut loose and customize to your heart’s content, and my goal is to create a good guideline to springboard from!

Now, warning on this: it might take some time! So I’ve decided to come out with the tutorials in bits and pieces, beginning with the basics and working up from there.

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Lotus Duster Video Tutorial:

Yes, this is definitely in the works. I have wanted to do this for a long time, so I intend to jump in and do it! The Video tutorial will be free on my blog, probably presented in episodes, and I’ll try to include as many of my tips and tricks as I can! Forgive me in advance for what I know will be amateurish video editing skills, but I’m gonna try 😉

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I’ve got even more in the works, but I’m running out of time today 🙂 Back later, with more crochet goodness.<3

-MF

 

Basic Bralette Tutorial

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When dreaming up this little design, I had some specific requirements in mind: that it be a simple “base” pattern from which many variations could be made, as well as being easily customized for many sizes, and last but not least – comfortable! After a few experiments, the pattern for the Basic Bralette was born.

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I went with in-the-round triangle style cups for both the way they look and the ease of adjusting their size, plus a band through which the cross-back ties thread so that there is no pressure being put on the neck as with traditional bikini-style strap ties.

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Cross back ties are totally my jam now – check out the recently released Plus Size Mehndi Halter for more proof! In addition, I added a bit of strappy flair along the inner cups, because TRENDY. Say hello to your next cute and comfy summer crochet project!

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Now, there’s a teeny bit of math involved, fair warning. However, if you are confused about gauge and measurements, I’m here to help – or just wing it, and use the old “hold it up against yourself periodically while you work” method. 🙂

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By the way, that awesome macrame necklace I am wearing is from Selinofos Art on Etsy – you should check them out!

This design is also listed on Ravelry, so if you like it, throw a girl a favorite on the project page!

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Basic Bralette Tutorial Pattern

3.50 mm hook
#4 weight cotton yarn (although you can make it with any weight yarn / hook size combo as long as you know your gauge!) 1-3 skeins depending on size made
Stitch markers
Scissors & Tapestry Needle
Measuring Tape

Measurements
Band Size (measured around the rib cage just under the bust): For example, my measurement would be 32”
Measurement A : (Band size “ / 4) – 2” = Length of each side of completed triangle cup ( My example would be [32 / 4] – 2 = 6”). Therefore, my Measurement A = 6″
Measurement B:  (Measurement A) / 2 = My Measurement B would be 3”

Note that the sample in the pictures doesn’t use the same measurements as my example math above.

Gauge:

You can have differing gauges for this project, as long as you know what your gauge is in order to achieve the right measurements.

My gauge with the given hook and yarn is:
9 sts & 4 rows = 2” in dc

To find your gauge, crochet a square of double crochet stitches about 15-20 sts long and about 6 rows tall.

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Use a measuring tape to find out how many dc sts per inch/es in your gauge swatch.

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Measure vertically to find out how many rows per inch/es in your gauge swatch. My swatch has 9 sts in every 2 inches (measured by 2 inches because we don’t want to have 4.5 sts per inch because it’s not a whole number) and 4 rows for every 2 inches, so my gauge is 9 sts and 4 rows = 2″ in dc.

Instructions:

Triangle Cups (Make 2)

Make Magic Ring to begin.

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Rnd 1: Ch 2 (does not count as first st), (3 dc into the ring, ch 2) 3 times. Join with a sl st to the first dc. – 9 dc

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Rnd 2: Ch 2, 1 dc into the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 2 dc. In the next space, work 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc. (1 dc in ea of the next 3 dc. In the next sp work 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) repeat within parentheses twice. Join with a sl st to the first dc. – 21 dc

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Rnd 3: Ch 2, 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 4 dc. In the next space, work 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc. (1 dc in ea of the next 7 dc. In the next sp work 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) rpt within parentheses twice. 1 dc in ea of the next 2 dc. Join with a sl st to the first dc. – 33 dc

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Rnd 4: Ch 2, 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 6 dc. In the next space, work 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc. (1 dc in ea of the next 11 dc. In the next sp work 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) rpt within parentheses twice. 1 dc in ea of the next 4 dc. Join with a sl st to the first dc. – 45 dc

Continue working in pattern until the sides of your triangle each match your Measurement A. Remember that this piece will stretch, so you may want your sides to be just a little under this measurement to account for that. 

It’s also a good idea to grab the 3 corners of your triangle and stretch them out evenly as you are working, so you get a better idea of how your length is progressing!

I made this sample piece around 8”, and so wrote out the following rounds I used to get that measurement in my gauge – but you can work as many or as few rounds in pattern as you need.

Rnd 5: Ch 2, 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 8 dc. In the next space, work 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc. (1 dc in ea of the next 15 dc. In the next sp work 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) rpt within parentheses twice. 1 dc in ea of the next 6 dc. Join with a sl st to the first dc. – 57 dc

Rnd 6: Ch 2, 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 10 dc. In the next space, work 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc. (1 dc in ea of the next 19 dc. In the next sp work 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) rpt within parentheses twice. 1 dc in ea of the next 8 dc. Join with a sl st to the first dc. – 69 dc

After finishing the first triangle, cut yarn and tie off. Complete a second triangle, but  leave yarn attached when finished.

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Arrange the two triangles (which we will now refer to as cups) with RS facing, your hook positioned on top, so that the two flat sides with the joins are facing “up”. Take a locking stitch marker and run it through each chain st on the corner where the two cups meet.

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These two ch sts will be worked together as one stitch, now referred to as the middle point. Now, count the number of dc stitches between where your hook is positioned to the middle point, counting neither the joined stitch nor the middle point stitch – I have 12 in the sample.

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Take a second marker, count out the same number of stitches on the opposite cup away from the middle point, then mark the next st (so you have a section between the middle point and the marked stitch equal to the section on the other side).

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From the point where your hook is positioned, you will work 1/3 the amount of stitches (between your hook and the middle point) in sc, 1/3 in hdc, 1/3 dc for the first section – in the example this is 4 sc, 4 hdc, 4 dc. If 1/3rd of your number is not a whole number, round down and add the extra stitches into the dc total. So, if you have 14 stitches in this section, you’d do 4 sc, 4 hdc, 6 dc (4 dc + 2 extra = 6).

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Next, 1 dc into the middle stitch, working your stitch through both ch stitches at once. In the next section, work the same quantities of stitches, except mirrored – in the example this is 4 dc, 4 hdc, 4 sc. Sl st in the next stitch (with the marker). Cut yarn and tie off. Remove all markers.

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Band:

For the band, we will add the length of stitches equal to Measurement B on either side. The Measurement B for this sample is 4”, so since my gauge is 9 sts = 2”, I will need to add 18 stitches to either side of the cups.

Row 1: Ch length of stitches needed to equal Measurement B (18 here). Dc in the 2nd ch in the corner of the cup, RS facing. Dc in ea st across to the next ch st on opposite corner, ch number same number of stitches as beginning.

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Row 2: Ch 2, turn and work 1 dc in the 4th ch from the hook (first 3 ch sts count as first dc). 1 dc in ea st across.

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Row 3: Ch 3, turn (counts as first dc). 1 dc in ea st across.

Rpt Row 3 until the band is the width that you’d like, and totals an even number of rows.  (I did 6 total rows of dc). Do not tie off.

The next part works around the entire top to create eyelets in the back and add the straps. 

Round 4:  Rotate the piece so that you are ready to work into the row ends of the band. Ch 4 (counts as first dc + ch1). (Dc, ch 1) in the side of each dc at the row ends, across the side of the band. In the last row, work 1 dc into the very edge of the stitch, skip the chain 1.

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Rotate the piece,  beginning to work across the top of the band. Ch 1, hdc in the side of the dc of the eyelet row. 1 hdc in ea stitch across, stopping one st before the Row 1 dc at the bottom of the cups. Skip this stitch, the dc, and the chain space at the corner of the cup, 1 hdc in the next dc on the side of the cup (For larger cups or for tighter coverage, you may want to skip a few extra stitches to keep the cup edges tight – I skipped about 5 total stitches on mine). 1 hdc in ea dc toward the top of the cup. 1 hdc, 1 dc in the next chain space.

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Skipping one st before the corner, the chain stitch on the corner, and one stitch after.

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Skipping 2 sts before the corner, the chain stitch corner, and two sts after.

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Strap: Ch 200 – 300 (depending on bust size – each strap will go over the shoulder, cross the back, and then criss-cross back and forth. You may want to cross more or less, like a certain level of tightness, etc – so there is no solid rule about how many to chain here. My default is to chain more than I need, then undo part of the chain later once I’ve tried the top on and know how long I need the chain to actually be). Cut yarn and tie off.

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Rejoin yarn 6 chain stitches away from the top of the cup. Slip stitch in ea of the next 4 sts toward the top of the cup, stopping before the last ch st. Ch 1. 1 dc, 1 hdc in the chain space. 1 hdc in the next dc.

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Chain a number of stitches until you have just enough length to get the end of the chain to the middle of the two cups – typically equal to the amount of stitches you are about to skip (depending on gauge). Skip working the rest of the cup and sc in the stitch in the middle.

Note that the chain length pictured in the image directly below is too loose! I made it longer so that it would be more visible in the photograph. It should sit tightly along the edge of the cup once secured at the middle point, as pictured in the second image below.

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Repeat length of chain, skip side of next cup, 1 hdc in the dc right before the chain space. You will want your chains here to be fairly tight, to avoid floppy straps. Now is a good time to practice the “holding it up to yourself as you work” method, since each bust is different.

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1 hdc in the next ch space, 1 dc in the same space. Work a second chain strap equal in length to the first. Cut yarn, tie off, and rejoin 6 sts away from the last dc. Slip stitch in the next 4 sts, ch 1, 1 dc in the same ch space, 1 hdc in the same space.

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1 hdc in ea dc down the side of the cup. Sk next chain corner, dc, and first st at the top of the band (or as many as you skipped on the opposite side). 1 hdc in ea st across to the corner.

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Rotate piece, ch 4 (counts as first dc + ch-1). (Dc, ch 1) in ea dc at the ends of the rows of the band. In the last st, 1 dc at the very edge, sk chain.

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Rotate piece to begin working across the bottom of the band again. Ch 1, 1 hdc in the side of the last dc worked for eyelet row. 1 hdc in ea st across the bottom of the band, stopping at the ch-3 that counts as the first dc for the eyelet row. 1 sc in the next st, sl st in the next 2 sts. Cut yarn and tie off.

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Weave in all ends, except for the ends of the chain straps.

Now, put on the top and cross the chain straps at the back as shown. You can criss-cross string the straps through all the eyelets, or just some of them – though the more criss-crossing you do, the harder it is to adjust the straps to the right tightness of fit by yourself. So, I normally only cross them a couple times (see the images of the red bralette below)  🙂  Whichever way you decide, you can then see how much strap length you actually need.

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Pick out the tie-off you made, and rip out the extra chain stitches until your straps are the length that you need. Tie off again and cut off the extra yarn.

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I used my extra yarn to make little tassels, which is both cute and helps hide the yarn tail at the end of the chain so that I don’t have to weave it in 🙂 Voila! Your Basic Bralette is born.

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I plan on doing some variations on this design in the future! Armed with a ton of colorful cotton yarn, this quick and easy project should be fun to mess around with some more – and I’ll try to share what I come up with of course ❤

-MF

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Plus Size Mehndi Halter Top

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Though it’s been two years since I first published the Mehndi Halter Top design, I’ve never stopped wanting to create the plus size version – like I did with the Sol Halter and the Plus Size Sol – but for some reason it just took me a while 🙂 Everything in its own time, amiright? At any rate, the pattern is finally ready and available in my Ravelry Pattern Store and my Etsy Shop for 5.50 USD!

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The Mehndi Halter Top pattern draws inspiration from the thick lotus petal motifs, linework, and dot borders in traditional henna design. Made in bright #4 weight cotton yarn, this pom-pom fringed top makes a unique addition to dance costumes, festival wear, or your next beach adventure!

The Plus Size version is designed for bigger busts, utilizing a cross-back tie for adjustability and comfort. The band size is 26” at the bottom of the halter with a height of 10″ from top of cups to bottom of the halter (not including the trim). The cross-back ties are 55″ and thread through loops at the side, taking the weight off of the back of the neck as with traditional halter tops.

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As usual, detailed instructions and stitch counts are included in the written pattern, as well was lots of detailed step-by-step photos!

Materials needed:

Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton (#4, 3.5 oz/180 yds) – 2 skeins Color A, plus 1 coordinating color
3.50 mm hook
Stitch Marker
Scissors
Tapestry Needle

All instructions written in English and in US terminology.

I really hope you love making & wearing this one! My goal was to put it out by the end of May, and I’m squeaking it in right under the line 😉 Because I love you! 🙂

-MF