My Full Body Trio of any-gauge, versatile garment patterns is now complete! Tionne the pullover sweater and Lopes the convertible short-sleeved cardigan / skirt were joined by Chilli the buttoning tank top. (ravelry link)
Like the other two patterns, it’s custom fit to your measurements in any yarn weight; this one is meant to be made in a warm-weather yarn for a summery top, but it could be made as a vest too. This one is by far the easiest and fastest knit of the three trio patterns!
The pockets are optional, and you can choose to use one color or multiple colors on your top – the pockets would be much more subtle if made in the same color as the body.
It’s not quite as versatile as the first two designs with how it can be worn (see how the other two can be worn on their blog posts: Tionne and Lopes), but it can be buttoned in different ways to make different styles:
My pocketed sample is in Nettle Grove by Plymouth Yarn, a sport weight made of cotton, linen, silk, and nettle fiber – it’s perfect for a summery top, very cool! It was great to work with, it’s fully machine washable and dryable, and it softens up a ton once washed, making a super comfy fabric.
My solid color, pocketless sample was made with triple-stranded Louet MerLin sport weight, making a bulky weight, which was knit somewhat loosely on size US 11 needles. Even though it’s a fat gauge, it’s still a totally wearable warm-weather top, as the linen blend breaths well and doesn’t feel too heavy.
I started with a prototype in some recycled cotton, and I ended up changing the top part completely, so it’s not a sample of the whole thing, but it works to show you pockets made in the same color as the body, and sewn on at a rounded angle instead of a straight line:
For another glimpse at my design process, here’s a sketch I made while planning it out, with my original color choices plugged in; I later decided on the light green instead for a more summery look. But colors like this, with lower contrast, would be a nice, more subtle look. This sketch doesn’t show the cabled neckline how it ended up, that part came later in the design process.
And here’s a closeup of how that neckline turned out, working to shape the neck by pulling the fabric down, without any change to the stitch count:
The garter stitch top part is worked flat, sideways, modularly with stitches left along the bottom edge for later, and then the body is worked down to the bottom, in the round in stockinette, and it’s finished with some ribbing at the bottom. The pockets are added last, so you can wait to decide at the last minute whether you want them or not, or whether to make them in a contrasting color or not.
There is very little finishing: sew down the pockets if you made them, sew on the buttons, and you’re done! Techniques used are pretty simple: cabling without a cable needle is easy with the basic cables used, the buttonholes are made like crochet chains (but not using a crochet hook), and a cable cast-on and cable bind-off are used so the edges around the armholes match.
I know it’s getting a bit late in the season to start a summer top, but depending on where you live (and what gauge you choose) you may be able to finish one in time to get some wear out of it this year still! Or take your time and have it ready to wear by next spring ;) You can get the whole trio mini-collection (the price makes it the same as buy 2 patterns get 1 free!) and make one of the warmer sweaters first, then cast this one on next year. (ravelry link) Anyway, I’m so happy with this trio, but don’t expect me to be designing any more garments anytime soon, I plan to stick with accessories for the foreseeable future! Glad to have dipped my toes into garments a bit though, and I love all three of these designs!