Category Archives: Project Notes

Project Notes: Shell Stitch Cropped Top With Embroidered Details

I started making this top MONTHS ago. I don’t usually have a project that I’ll work on in little bits here and there, either between more prominent projects or when I need a break from those projects, but that’s what this top started out as. In the last few months, I started to get more excited about this top for a few reasons – I was really excited about the simple shape, and I had decided to add embroidered details – and I worked fervently to finish it.

The top is worked in two pieces, front and back. Most of the embroidery was done before the front and back were seamed together. Shoulders and sides were then seamed, right sides facing, in single crochet. Once seamed, I turned the top right side out and added some simple single crochet stitching to the armholes, neckline, and bottom hem to finish and round out the edges.

Working in small amounts on the front piece over several months meant that I didn’t see the piece work up as fast as usual, so the front wound up being much too wide. Instead of frogging and redoing the whole thing, I simply made note of the adjusted measurements on my pattern draft to correct it for future makes, and made the back piece much smaller to account for the front piece being too big. This meant the seam would be further back on each side instead of directly under the arms, but given the color, texture, and simple design of the top, I wasn’t too worried about this.

I have been experimenting with different types of embroidery on different crochet stitches lately, and at some point, decided I wanted to add a little embroidery to this top. You can see that the stems and shoots are made with simple long stitches, as that worked best over the shell stitching. Crochet always has at least a little stretch, and this garment has a good bit because of not only the shell stitches, but the yarn itself, which is an acrylic/nylon blend. I tried to stay aware of this while embroidering and kept a looser tension for the stems and shoots than I would have if working into regular fabric. The leaves are single chain stitches with a bit of fill, and the small buds are French knots. All was done using DMC cotton embroidery thread.

The majority of the embroidery was done before the front and back were joined together, since it was easier to weave the back ends in as I went. After trying on the top once it was seamed together, I went and filled out the embroidery where I felt the top needed it. Although I’m still not 100% about it and feel like maybe I could have done better/added a bit more. Though now I know how the top looks when worn, I could maybe figure out better placing and amount of the embroidery if I do something similar in the future.

I love how these green and blue shades pop a bit from, yet compliment the grey.

In the above picture, you can see how the side seam is further back than normal. Also, this is a bit nitpicky, but as the designer critiquing a first draft, I’d rather the back neckline for this piece be a bit higher and flatter than this. But again, it’s not a big deal, and looks okay.

I finished this piece just as the weather was warming up around here, and the material is just too hot to wear right now, but I’m excited to wear it next fall/winter.

For some behind-the-scenes and in-progress shots, go peruse my instagram: @waterswares

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