White Thread Tank
I've bought a few used books and received another couple as gifts, but this was the first new crochet pattern booklet I specifically had to have: Patton's Heatwave pamphlet @crochet-knit.com. There're are a few other patterns in the booklet that I might get around to trying one of these days, but really, it was all about the cover. I didn't realize when I bought it that I'd ordered from a company in Canada; during the interminable wait for it to arrive by mail I found a similar free pattern and made a black top. Still I don't regret buying the pattern, it wasn't very expensive and I think it was valuable to see a slightly different way to accomplish very similar results. Next time I make one of these, I can pick and choose techniques from either one...
As usual, I wasn't prepared to kill myself trying to achieve a good gauge using a different kind of yarn (the recommended paton's grace is still on my list to try, but I went with the cheaper standard fashion cotton) so I ended up just fiddling till I got a width to the bottom piece that looked like it would fit. I'd gotten the bottom double shell edging done and a couple more inches of the main pattern when I could no longer ignore the fact that it was getting wider and wider as I went up. I wasn't adding stitches, it was just somehow getting fatter. The only thing I can think of is that something about the difference between the stiff crochet cotton and the softer paton's grace was causing 8 DCs to be too many to squeeze next to each other. So frogged all the way back to the border and started again, this time with only 6 DCs. I also decreased a bit at either end up to the waist line to get it to go in a bit, and then increased back out again to the width of the border above the waist and went straight up. I'm not sure if that was really necessary, the fabric ended up having more stretch than I thought it was going to. It really looked nice all flat and rectangular, I think it would be a great pattern for a table runner or tablecloth.
I had to guess as to how many stitches to skip on either end of the base piece to start the top, using the difference between the actual gauge and my guage as a guideline. I'm not sure if I was terribly off, but my cups ended up being a lot broader and shorter than the picture shows, though I used the same decreasing strategies. I'm not exactly buxom, but even I need a little more coverage than that, so I added several border rows, going around first with SCs, then DCs, then HDCs, and then finally 3 CHs anchored in every other stitch in the preceding row with slip stitches.
I really thought I was done. Everything looked very pretty, I put in the lining, took pictures, was very happy and self-congratulatory. And then I wore it around the house for a couple of hours and realized, yeah sure, it looks great when I'm standing straight up, shoulders square. But as soon as I cross my arms, or in anyway deviate from 'square', suddenly there's a lot more airflow. "hey look at me, I'm naked under here!" kind of airflow. Sigh. Had to struggle with it a few days, because it was so thoroughly done and pretty, the idea of frogging it was bordering on tragic. But finally had to admit that I wasn't going to wear something like that out of the house, and I don't really need another item of clothing fit only for wearing in private. So I took a deep breath. And frogged.
Which turned out to be technically difficult as well as emotionally difficult, as I'd tied off on all the different parts of the different rows of edging, and not always in logical places. It took over an hour to pick out all the well woven ends and deravel everything, and when I was done, I had 7 or so little balls of thread to deal with.
But I'd come this far, there was nothing to do but continue onwards. I redid the top, starting at the same points along the base, but this time instead of DCing along the outer edge, I substituted HDCs along the bottom part of the armpit sides, pulling tightly so that the side would be shorter than the middle, hence forming more of a cup shape. I also reduced the amount of decrease along the center sides of the cups so that they wouldn't end up so far apart. I still went back and added the same border sequence of rows, just because I thought it was pretty. And lo and behold, it worked. No more airflow! Well, not unless I'm *really* working at putting on a show. Under normal circumstances, my modesty should remain intact.
I lined it with interlock in a similar color (it's really more ivory than white. "bridal white" says the packaging). I'm considering making a removeable panel for the midriff section that would allow me to wear it in situations were I don't want a see-through midriff, but I imagine I'll probably get lazy about that and let it slide until I come up with a situation where I'm desperate to wear it, but can't show that much skin.