You asked, we listened. Many of you have wanted to see more ways on how you can up cycle your clothes and add yarn to your clothes. Ashlyn was amazing at coming up with such a great way to adding crochet to your clothes. She brings so many amazing designs and patterns so be sure to check her out over on her page and Instagram. Check out how you can add Yarn Punk to your clothes Here. Give her a Yarn Punk cheer!
Hey! My name is Ashlyn Herring. I’m the maker behind Wool and Flaxen. I live in the Florida Panhandle with my husband and two kids. We spend most of our free time at the beach, our local breweries, and Disney World! I learned to crochet by watching Youtube videos about three years ago. My mom taught me how to hand sew as a kid and let me play around on her sewing machine a little. In the last few months, I’ve been buying up random clearance fabrics and cutting up my old clothes, and playing around with attaching crochet to fabric. Also, I recently started a blog and am working to find time to post my patterns and tutorials. Most evenings, you’ll find me with yarn, a glass of sweat tea (or wine if I’m trying to get a post done), and some Muse or a True Crime podcast playing in the background.
You can find me at
Crochet Neck Pullover
I’ve been really into up-cycling lately. Cleaning out my closet, I pulled out so many random shirts and dresses with little holes, snags, and missing buttons that I had been holding on to in case I magically learned to mend things one day. Once, I made my daughter a dress out of an old dress and had used some other pieces to practice sewing crochet to different fabrics, but I wanted to make something for myself!
To make something like this you’ll need a few things, but the most important thing you’ll need is an open mind. I’d love for you to use something out of your closet or thrift, so I’ve tried to explain things so that you can mimic this on most shirts or sweaters with similar construction. Also, there are no rules, the worst that can happen is you mess up, I know that sewing things can seem a little more permanent than crocheting but it’s still possible to rip out the stitches and pretend it never happened.
I had a few of these old crew neck shirts that I thought would be fun to play with. I started by cutting out the neck and crocheting a new neck. Then I attached and sewed the pieces together using my sewing machine.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Crew neck shirt or pullover
- Yarn (I’m using a 5-weight acrylic, but it works up more like a 4)
- Appropriate size hook (I’m using a 5mm)
- Tape measure
- Chalk or something to mark with
- Sewing machine (I haven’t tried it but I’m sure you could sew this by hand as well)
- Straight pins
- My instructions require some math, but you could totally wing this without any math it you have patience and a basic understanding of crochet construction.
- Use any size shirt you like, I want mine to be a little over-sized so I’m using a size large shirt when I typically would wear a small, also because this is what I had in my closet!
- My Puff Stitches are yarn over pull up a loop, 4 times, so you’ll have 9 loops on your hook before you yarn over and pull through all 3. For puff stitch decreases you will have 17 loops on the hook and pull through all of them at the same time.
- You’ll also be working in the round after row 2, weave in the ends to sew up the small gap created by the chain and row 1. (You can work in the round the entire time this just helps me not get the piece twisted.)
First try on your shirt, make sure you like how it fits, make note of where the shoulder seams sit, I’ll be using this as a reference point a lot. On my shirt the seam that connects the shirt to the sleeves sat just past the cap of my shoulder. I decided that I wanted my crochet to go to the cap of my shoulder so I marked about where that would fall. (Tip: I use a piece of chalk to mark on my fabric so that if I decided to change the placement it’s not permanent.)
Lay out the shirt and measure how far from the shoulder seam you marked while wearing, for me this was about ½ inch, then measure and mark the same on the other shoulder.
Then measure and mark from the inside of the opening of the shirt, for me this was about 3 ½ inches, using your chalk measure around the neck and mark different points 3 ½ inches down, flip the shirt and do this on the back as well. The marks can now act as a guide to show where to cut the neck. The front and back wont line up perfectly so make sure to cut them out one at a time.
You should end up with something like this, a neck and a shirt with no neck. Now onto the crocheting. You’re welcome to skip the math and do trial and error, but this is a pretty simple way to make your own unique pattern.
Create a gauge. I recommend:
- Ch 20 + 2
- Row1: Starting in 3rd chain from hook, 20 HDC, Ch 2, Turn
- Row2: In 1st stitch, 1 puff stitch, Ch. 1 skip 1, repeat until the end of the row, in last stitch 1 HDC, Ch. 2 turn
- Row3-5: 1 puff stitch in 1st Ch. space, Ch. 1 skip 1, repeat until end, Ch. 2 turn
- Row6: 20 HDC Fasten off
Measure the rows top to bottom in a few places across the swatch to see how tall it is. Mine was about 3 ½ inches, make note of the measurement.
Then measure that length across the width of the swatch and count how many stitches make up that measurement in a few places. The number should be pretty consistent, for me this was 11 stitches.
That told me that my gauge was
- 3 1/2 Inches = 2 rows HDC = 5 rows of puff stitches
- 3 ½ inches = 11 stitches
Now measure the neck of the shirt.
Grab the cut out piece you created and measure along the big opening, (Tip: You can use a piece of yarn like a tape measure, hold the end of the yarn at one seam, then trace the yarn along the edge you’re measuring until you get to the next shoulder, then hold the two shoulders in place, flip the shirt over and tract the yarn along the back until you reach the tip of the yarn you started with. Mark the place where the yarn meets, it should be a circle, open up the yarn holding the two points and hold up to a ruler or tape measure.) This measurement is how big the start of the crochet will need to be. My opening was 36 ¾ inches wide. Input your own measurements into this formula to find out how many chains you need to start with.
Neck width / gauge width = how many times gauge will fit into neck * how many stitches make up the gauge
Mine worked out like this:
36.75 / 3.5= 10.5
10.5* 11 = 115.5
I rounded down to come up with 115. This is how many stitches I need to make to be equal to the opening of my neck. Then I worked to come up with a plan, you can also measure the top opening to plan how small you want it to get but I just winged this part by trying it on.
So, my plan pattern looked something like this:
Ch 115 + 2
Row1: 115 HDC Slip stitch to beginning to join, Ch 2
Row2: 1 puff stitch, chain 1 skip 1, repeat until end of row, slip stitch to join, Ch. 2
Row3-5: repeat puff stitch pattern, work two puff stitches together ever 5th puff
Row6: 85 HDC
Fasten off and weave ends
Try on as you go until you’re happy with the look and it seems to fit the shirt well
Now for sewing!
Grab the pins and lay the shirt and crochet neck on a flat surface. Starting with one shoulder, Pin the edge of the crochet to the shirt. I kept the crochet on top of the shirt. Then stretch and do the other shoulder. Work the crochet piece to fit around the shirt and secure with pins to hold place, I found that putting it on a hanger helped me to see any places that were bunching together.
Get your sewing machine ready with a thread similar in color to the yarn. You’ll sew the shirt on bottom and keep the crochet on top. In sewing terms, the right ride of the shirt touching the wrong side of the crochet. You will have to help move the piece. The machine won’t pull it through like usual because it is so thick. Work slowly around. I used my yarn needle to help push down stitches as they were coming up to the needle. You’ll have to keep readjusting the placement of the shirt so just work slowly. Keep one hand on the shirt making sure there aren’t any wrinkles. The other hand keep on the crochet stretching the stitches slightly as they are sewn over.
And there you have it!
Please do not claim this pattern as your own. If you wish to share this pattern, you may link to this pattern but please do not reprint it on your site. You may keep a copy for your own personal use but please DO NOT sell the pattern or distribute it.