This is a step by step for creating a very simple but very cute crochet and fabric bay tank-top using only a fat quarter and a small cotton skein.
There are a few ways to attach crochet to fabric but in this one we will start with sewing the bottom then we will crochet directly onto it instead of creating two seperate pieces. This is a very basic version so can be customized to no end.
- Cotton or other fabric of your choice
- cotton Yarn, gauge 4 worsted
- yarn needle
- 5mm crochet hook
Choosing your fabric
For this project I recommend a woven fabric. A simple quilting cotton works really nice and the patterns are endless. However I have also used a light weight linen for really lovely results.
This pattern uses only a fat quarter, however if you were to make it a bigger size, you would need to increase the fabric size. The sample I’ve made here is a 12-18 month size, a fat quarter is enough for this size and under, however a 2T and up would require two fat quarters which opens up a whole new world of possibilities.
The fabric I am using come from my collection on Spoonflower. I’ve ordered a fat quarter in the Petal Signature cotton.
Choosing your yarn
This pattern uses a bernats 100% cotton gauge 4 worsted, and a size 5mm hook. When making clothes I like to use at least partially natural fibres. Although the flexibility of this pattern means you could use a wide variety of yarn. I suggest not going above a 4 gauge yarn though, a 3 is very nice.
Determining the size
Sewing the skirt part of this tank top couldn’t be any easier. You are sewing a front and back piece together at the sides and hemming the top and the bottom, and that is it.
Since the crochet top is going to be crocheted directly on the size you make the bottom of skirt component will dictate the size of the end project. There are no fasteners in this part and the fabric is woven and therefore does not stretch so it is meant to be loose.
The size I am making here is for a 12-18 month old baby. Although infant sizes are hugely variable so I suggest taking measurements rather than basing it off of age.
Here is how I determined the size I would need. Since I am using a fat quarter the length was determined by the fabric dimensions which are 21″ by 18″.
Daughters Torso measurement – 19″
Length : Fabric cut in half = 9″
Width : Torso circumference + Extra room* = Total circumference
19″ + 5″ = 24″
* I’ve added 5″ to make it large enough to pull on and off, for larger sizes increase this number.
Divide total circumference in half and add in seam allowance, 1/2″ each side = 1″
24″/2 = 12″ 12″ + 1″ = 13″ for width measurement
Final fabric dimensions are 9″x 13″ cut 2.
How to sew the bottom Skirt
- Prewash and dry your fabric, iron
- Determine size requirement (above)
- Cut Two rectangles, one for each side
- Place fabric pieces right sides together
- Sew down the shorter edges of the fabric to make the sides.
- Surge or zigzag stitch the edges to finish the seams and press.
- Hem both the top and bottom of the tube, fold fabric over 1 cm and press then fold over again and press again.
- Stitch the bottom hem to finish.
- Stitch the top hem leaving a small section unstitched. Now it is ready to crochet.
How to crochet onto fabric using a blanket stitch
In-order to crochet directly onto the fabric we need to set up a surface to do so. To do this You will need a needle big enough to put your yarn through like a yarn needle for instance, works well. Thread the needle with your yarn then starting within the small section you left open sew up through the edge. This will bring the knot in the yarn into the seam so it is hidden.
Do a blanket stitch around the entire circumference of the top with approximately 1 cm between each stitch. You want the stitches to be fairly uniform and not too far apart. This is essentially forming your first row of crochet stitches.
How to Blanket stitch the edge is displayed in pictures below.
Once you have Blanket stitched around the entire top edge sew up the small section left open and you are ready to crochet.
Crocheting the top onto fabric
To start the crochet you will be crocheting directly into the blanket stitch on the fabric as if it is your first row of chain stitches.
Find the center of the back of the shirt, since this is where you will start crocheting.
When you begin, leave yourself a slight tail of yarn which will be sewn in later to hold it in place.
Skill level: beginner
Yarn: cotton 4 medium worsted
- Fabric shirt bottom from above
- needle and thread
- yarn needle
- button approx 1 cm in diameter ( small enough to fit through a hdc)
Ch– chain stitch
sl st– slip stitch
sc– single crochet
hdc– half double crochet
Row 1: Starting in the back and crocheting into the blanket stitch, ch 2, hdc into the next blanket stitch, hdc all the way around sl st into first hdc.
Row 2: ch 2, hdc into next stitch, hdc until you reach the side seam of fabric and decrease by 1, hdc to the next seam on the fabric decrease by 1, hdc the rest of the way around sl st into first hdc.
Row 3: Ch 2, hdc into next st, hdc to the side seam and decrease 1, hdc to the next side seam and decrease by 1, hdc the rest of the way around (DO NOT sl st) ch 2 and turn.
Row 4: Repeat row 3
Row 5: ( for larger sizes repeat row 3 to reach desired height) Hdc into next 4 stitches, skip 1, hdc ch hdc into same stitch, skip 1, repeat all the way around, hdc into last 4 stitches, ch 1 and turn
Row 6: sc into the space between hdc(s), sc around the ch between stitches, repeat all the way around.
Make two straps with the edging on the opposite sides.
*You could choose to crochet the straps directly on, however I am creating them separately here then sewing them in place.
Row 1: hdc into 3rd chain, ch 2 and turn
Row 2 to 18 : repeat row 1, increase the number of rows for larger sizes
Turn strap onto side to crochet down the edge
Edge ruffle : hdc 5 together into 2nd st from edge, skip 1 st, sl st into next st, repeat until the end, this should make 5 shells.
Attach the straps and the button
Lay out the shirt with the back opening in the center back. Line up the straps on the front. You can fold it over to make sure they are symmetrical. Sew them onto the front using either a needle and thread or yarn.
Sew the button onto the back to close up the top.
The back of the straps will not be sewn down. Instead they will be held onto the back with the same button used to fasten the back. This way the shirt is completely adjustable so it will be wearable longer. This pattern doesn’t include any intentional button holes but instead relies of the stitches themselves. Whichever button you choose it needs to be just small enough to fit through but not too small or it won’t hold everything together. Doing it this way leaves more flexibility in the sizing and it is simpler.
Ultimately this project is a super simple one but the results are also super cute. This basic pattern can be made into a dress or shirt of any size following the same basic principles. Don’t let the combo of crocheting and sewing intimidate you this is nearly easy as it gets.