The inspiration for this top came from two places: firstly, spooky BBC drama The Living and the Dead and secondly, Proenza Schouler. An unlikely pairing, yes, but while the free world remains at the mercy of a man who is part slowly decomposing tangerine skin and part cautionary tale for the modern world, we’ve got to take creative inspiration from wherever we can, frankly.
The former flash of inspiration came when I spotted a character in said BBC spook-fest wearing her shawl wrapped across her torso and tied at the back. I would include a photo but the only one I can find is of her styling it with a moderately terrifying mask, so if you want to see it you can follow this link. Proenza Schouler then got in the mix with their SS17 collection which came complete with criss cross bandage bodices. The two ideas then percolated throughout my brain for a while until I decided to combine and realise them in the form of, what turned out to be, The Easiest Top Anyone Has Ever Made (Probably)™.
To make it you’ll need:
– Yarn in the colour(s) of your choice. I went for a stretch cotton, but you can go for something chunkier if you prefer
– 5mm hook
– Scissors or snips
– Yarn needle
SC – Single crochet
C – Chain
Sl st – Slip stitch
And now here is the exclusive pattern:
Ch as many as you need to wrap around your shoulders, cross over your bust and meet in the middle of your back. Next, SC absolutely bloody loads. Like, loads and loads. Finally, finish with a Sl st, sew the ends together and you’re done!
I could make it sound more complicated but honestly that’s it. You’re essentially making a scarf but working length ways. The only moderately tricky (but not really tricky at all) part is to ensure that when you sew the two ends together, the loop you create has a twist in it so that it lays flat against your body when you wear it. You might want to add a stripe or throw in a few different stitches but at its most basic, this top is so easy to make that the only way it could get easier would be to not make anything at all.
I won’t lie, it’s not something you’d wear if you need to do a lot of reaching upwards in your day to day life. If, for instance, you’re a yoga teacher, painter and decorator or a background actor tasked with wordlessly capturing the emotions of someone who feels forsaken by their particular deity, you might want to give it a miss but otherwise, it’s super versatile.
It’s a sartorial shortcut for livening up white shirts, turtle necks and other basics, plus it acts as a perfectly serviceable piece of armour when your cat decides to get involved in a photoshoot; deploying her claws as crampons and treating your tender flesh as an icy cliff face.
If you’re not in the market for armour, you might try layering it over a shirt dress, a t-shirt and midi skirt duo or anything with ruffles that you’ve bought over the last 18 months.
It works well on its own, too. I’ve paired it here with a vintage pencil skirt and espadrilles and I’m certain that, if I were ever to venture out past, say 9pm, I’d definitely wear it as a go-to feelgood combo. If you do wear it sans secondary layers, heed my warning that a boob may pop out if you happen to be gesticulating particularly wildly and don’t blame me if/when it happens. You might want to play it safe with a bandeau or a strapless bra. If not, be my guest and take #freethenipple to a very literal conclusion.
There really are no specifics to this pattern, it’s very much open to interpretation but if you’d like some rough guidelines, mine is 16cm wide and 182cm long. As ever, I’d love to know if you give this a go, so tag me on Instagram @SophieBenson if you do.
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