The Sweet Treat crochet top pattern is now available from my Ravelry or Etsy stores as an individual pattern including, for the first time, a US terminology version in addition to the original UK terminology version. Both include bonus guidelines for long sleeves and other adjustments. See end of post for details of the introductory offers available.
This was inspired by two of my favourite crumbly, pressed sugar sweets: Love Hearts and Edinburgh Rock, and has a striped appearance like boxed sticks of rock, with an eye-catching fringe of heart shapes along the hem.
Like many of my designs, after sketching out how I wanted the design to look (and can you see the first sketch of one of my other patterns there?), I created both a knitted and a crocheted swatch for the body stitch and the motif and I feel like the crochet was an easy win for this one! That was lucky, as I soon saw a call for design ideas from Moorit Magazine and realised this design would be a perfect fit for their sweet shop theme. What do you think though? Was crochet the best choice or should I have published the knit version as an independent pattern? Let me know in the comments at the end.
I was delighted to hear that it was chosen for the Spring Summer 2024 issue, especially as I was such a new designer and still wondering if anyone would trust me to design garments! Crocheting the sample with the lovely soft merino yarn supplied by Bona Yarns, an independent yarn dyer, based quite nearby in south London, who creates amazing colourways on a wonderful range of bases was a real treat! You can read more about creating the pattern and seeing it in the magazine in this blog post.
A special feature of this pattern that makes me really happy is that it has not only ten sizes but also three fit options as standard to suit different body types and preferences:
You can make it with similar bust shaping to the amount you'll usually find on ready made clothes, which is just enough to help keep the waistline level front and back. Have you noticed how tops that are the same length front and back when laid flat tend to look shorter at the front when worn because the front has to travel further over the chest/bust? That also means you can end up with extra bunchy fabric in the small of the back. If this is a problem you've noticed with tops, I hope you'll find this fit option a good solution.
You can also follow the instruction path to make it without bust shaping if you don’t want that extra length over the bust for any reason. This is ideal for someone without a bust or with a small bust or if you just like the shorter in front look (it would be a great maternity and breastfeeding option, I think) and even if you just don't fancy a project with a bit of shaping! It's our hobby; we need to enjoy the project as much as the end result!
Finally there's a version with extra bust shaping that allows for a fuller bust than might get a good fit in readymade clothing and this has both the extra length and a little extra width for the bust with a slight taper toward the waist. This is the one I'd make for me and if you also find yourself frustrated in clothes shops as you choose between a shirt that fits your shoulders, back and waist well but gapes at the bust and one that fits round the bust but gapes at the neckline and has a drop shouldered look with uncomfortable bunchy fabric under the arms and in the small of your back, it could be the one you'd like best too.
Now of course this doesn't take everyone's needs into account, some of us want longer or shorter tops or perhaps we don't like short sleeved woollens and want this as a long sleeve pullover, or want a deeper neckline and I include guidelines for this in the pattern's Make it your own section. I'd love to know what your perfect Sweet Talk would look like.
My use of front and back loop stitches for this design was intended to produce a more drapey fabric than is usual for crochet, so it's perfect for a soft, fluid feeling garment when you don't want a lace look. It also provides a crisp edge to the stripes. The top is crocheted sideways in two pieces, with the hearts worked concurrently with the stripes. Reaching the next heart is a great motivator so be warned: this is definitely a “Just one more row” project! The contrast neck and sleeve edging and overlapping hearts produce a joyous, colourful effect and the slash neckline and sleeve edgings are worked in reverse double crochet, an interesting backwards stitch to finish the project in style!
Do you need to substitute yarns? A merino superwash 4ply/fingering is easy to find in most places but any wool or wool blend yarn of that weight should work, so feel free to select a non-superwash or perhaps a sock yarn. If wool isn't your preference, that's fine. Maybe you'd like to use an acrylic and I think it could work well in cotton if you get quite a dense firm fabric at the right tension/gauge so it won't droop too much.
I am very excited to have the sample back. It's such a pretty colour scheme and I'm looking forward to wearing it next summer, maybe with a white linen skirt and crocheted bag. I keep wondering if I might get time to make the long sleeved version in berry/jewel tones for this winter but I think I've too many projects already underway!
Sweet Talk was originally published in Moorit Magazine Spring Summer 2023 and is now available from my my Ravelry or Etsy stores as an individual pattern including, for the first time, a US terminology version in addition to the original UK terminology version. Both include bonus guidelines for long sleeves and other adjustments. There is a discount of 20% automatically applied at either store until the end of October (midnight UK time) but if you subscribe to my mailing list you'll receive a code to save 50% instead, plus monthly news, updates, behind the scenes info, testing opportunities and exclusive offers just for subscribers.
Do let me know if you make Sweet Talk. I'm always excited when I see that someone has used one of my patterns!