Vest top with crocheted circular straps tutorial

Marie has really inspired me to upcycle clothes. She told me about the great idea of buying the largest teeshirts and skirts possible at jumble sales for the fabric and upcycling potential. So I have a small-ish (!) stash of 10p large Ts and too skimpy beach dresses and seeing a picture of a top with crocheted circular straps I thought maybe I could do that…

circular straps

The crocheted straps (make 2):

Row 1. Foundation chain 81 stitches with htr (or chain 81, join with sl st then dc around.) Sl st into a ring. (Alter the number of stitches if you want the top to sit lower. I’m an 8/10 on top and flat chested!)

Row 2. Ch 2, [miss 2 stiches and tr into next, 1 ch , 1 tr into base of previous tr (makes a V shape)] around. Join with ss.

Row 3. Ch 2, htr around. Join.

Row 4. Repeat row 2

Row 5. Ch 2, dc around. Join.

Sew in ends.

(This is my first crochet pattern post so I do hope it’s ok. Please leave a comment if you hit any problems.)

The Sewing:

I picked out a dress in nice patterned T shirt material and a vest top that fitted me well. Then I cut out the top’s shape, using the front of the vest as a pattern, from the skirt (where there was the most fabric.) I cut the front and back pieces the same, making them a bit longer than the original top as I seem to find all tops a bit short since having kids! (Sorry photo taken after I had cut the fabric – but just to give you the gist.)

circular strap top fabric overlay

I then joined the sides and trimmed the excess away with pinking shears and folded down the top edge of the vest and simply sewed it down. (I did try and do a roll edge and hand sew but it looked terrible so opted for the machine sew with a “raw” edge  as t shirt material doesn’t fray.) I didn’t actually need to sew the underarm at this point as it got chopped off on the fit later.

circular strap seams

Be careful when machining the jersey that you don’t stretch the fabric as it with cause it to stretch and wave as shown below. It recovers after unpicking so just take it slow.

circular strap warp

When you fold the crocheted straps in half you see that they curve slightly so turn one so it curves to the left for the left arm hole and then turn the other so it curves to the right for the right arm hole. I ensured that the join was at the bottom i.e. in line with my side seam and pinned the circular straps to each side and tried it on. I wanted it to hide my bra straps which is a bit of a problem for me so repinned them making sure no bra was visible front or back.

circular strap reposition

Then I cut off the excess and seamed the arm holes before sewing the straps in place. I started at the side seam of the fabric and worked up to the top of the vest with two concentric bands of zig zag stitching, so that any excess material would work up and not cause a tuck.

I’m not a measurer and do most things by eye but I’m happy with it and it got a “did you make that?!” response from my hubby which made me grin.

circular vest finished frontcircular vest finished back

x Vanessa




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