Crochet this stunning design inspired by the Beadnet Dress. The Lapis Lazuli crochet top features a v-neck front and back as well as a collar.
Inspiration & Design
I’m on a roll with my historically inspired projects. First the Crochet Flower Duster, inspired by kimono constructions and motifs. And most recently, the crochet shift dress, inspired by the series I dream of Jeannie. As if these weren’t historical enough, my mind has taken flight to Ancient Egypt.
Even though these pieces were inspired by a historical era, I feel that the Lapis Lazuli crochet top is the most historically bounding. The Lapis Lazuli crochet top is heavily influenced by the Beadnet Dress. A dress uncovered in 1927 by a team from Harvard University.
While I did not incorporate any beads in my design, it was a fun challenge creating a crochet equivalent. To imitate the bead placement, the Lapis Lazuly top is crocheted with crossed dc stitches. I’m honestly finding it very interesting to see historical pieces and turn them to crochet.
While the idea bubbled, I read articles, books and studied paintings all revolving around Ancient Egypt.
Needless to say, fashion in Ancient Egypt was not as fast paced as today’s. In fact, the styles were relatively consistent until the Ptolomeys. The dresses and tunics were made out of linen, the more sheer, the higher the quality.
The designs were also pretty standard. Women wore long tunics that were v-neck in shape or that left the breasts bare. As an aside, the iconic collars associated with Ancient Egyptian dress were worn by nobles.
While brushing up on my Ancient Egyptian fashion and mythology the colors spoke to me. A shade of blue to represent the life of Egypt, the Nile.
Because of my research on Ancient Egyptian fashion, I had two requirements for the yarn. First and most important, the yarn had to be fingering weight. Fingering weight yarn allows for a lightweight fabric and the element of sheer-ness. Second, the yarn blend had to be linen, or contain a percentage of linen.
As luck would have it, Premier Universal Lina fit the Bill to a T. Universal Lina yarn is a soft blend of 68% linen and 32% cotton. Not only is the yarn a pleasure to work with, but for a linen blend it is very reasonably priced. Moreover, the fabric the yarn creates is oh so comfortable. The one downside to this yarn is the limited colors. However, I do feel that the colors they chose provide for interesting combinations.
Can I make this Lapis Lazuli Crochet Top?
Even though the top is classified as an intermediate level pattern, you shouldn’t be intimidated.
In order to get the best possible fit, measure yourself and alter the pattern to fit your body. Don’t worry about the stitch pattern, it’s very simple. All you need to know are sc and dc stitches (us terms)
The Lapis Lazuli crochet top is my interpretation of the Beadnet Dress. The aforementioned dress can be found in Boston’s MFA Collection. Like the dress, the top has a v-shaped front, and collar.
Even though I’m not as comfortable wearing v-necks, it’s a piece that I loved creating. It was a fun challenge to create a crochet item based on a picture of a dress.
Lapis Lazuli Crochet Top Instructions:
2(2,3,4) hanks of Premier Universal Lina in Main Color – 32% Cotton, 68% Linen / 252 yards in 100g (Mineral)
1(1,1,1) hank Universal Lina in contrasting color(Oyster)
5, 4.5, and 4mm hook
1 – 30” Bust 30” Waist 17” in length
2- 32” Bust 33” waist 17” length
3 – 36” Bust 36” waist 17.5” length
4 – 40” Bust 40” waist 17.5” length
16 sc x 15 rows done in pattern with a 4mm hook. The pattern is 2 rows of sc followed by a row of crossed dc stitches.
Skill Level: Intermediate
mc – main color
sl st – slip stitch
sc – single crochet
cdc – crossed double crochet
scdec – single crochet decrease
crochet long tail cast on – leave a long enough tail to make your stitches. I do little pinches of yarn. Make a sl st. Your tail should be facing you and your working yarn should be facing away from you. Loop your tail front to back on the hook. Then loop your working yarn back to front and pull through both loops on the hook.
cdc – Skip 1 stitch then work a dc. Yarn over and insert your hook into the missed stitch and complete a dc.
Although the pattern includes the cast on stitches, the v-neck line is more risqué than “normal”. Because of this, I highly encourage you to try the top on and adjust to accommodate your body.
The colors I use are as follows:
- Main Color – Mineral (toned down blue)
- Color B – Oyster (oatmeal grey)
I am wearing size xsmall. I am 5’7 my bust measures 32.5” and my waist 29”
Lapis Lazuli Crochet Top Pattern:
Using a 5mm hook and your mc, crochet long tail cast on – 123(131,139,151) and ch1. Because we are working our crossed dc pattern in the round, we want to make sure we have an odd number of stitches.
After your Long Tail cast on is complete, switch to a 4.5mm hook.
R1 – sc in each stitch. Join with a sl st to the first sc to join in the round. Ch 1
R2 – sc in each stitch. Ch1.
R3 – dc, cdc (crossed dc) until the end of the round. Ch 1.
Once you complete these first 3 rows, switch to a 4mm hook. Now we will complete rows (1-3) 7 more times, your work will measure approximately 7.25”.
Next, change to color B – and work 1 full repeat and 2 sc rows. Then, cut color B and join your mc of yarn.
Now, work round 3 and 2 rounds of sc. Cut your yarn.
Front V-Neck shaping
After these 3 rows we will divide our top in half. Place a stitch marker in the middle stitches of the top (front and back)
We have just divided out top in left and right. **At the back of our top, attach your mc to the left of the marker. Work cdc and stop when you reach the front marker. Do not work into the marker. Ch1 and turn.
2 – sc, scdec, sc until 3 stitches remain. scdec, sc. Ch1 and turn. (2 stitches decreased)
3- repeat row 2
4 – dc in first stitch, cdc until the end of the row. Ch1 and turn
5 and 6 – repeat row 2
7 – dc in first stitch, cdc until the end of the row.
8 and 9 – repeat row 2
10 – dc in first stitch, cdc until the end of the row.
Align your front and back v-sections and place a stitch marker in the middle stitch of the left hand corner. This will mark the middle of our sleeve opening.
11 – sc, scdec, sc until you are 4 stitches from the marker. scdec, sc. Ch1 and turn.
12 – sc, scdec, sc to 3 stitches before the end of the row, scdec, sc. Ch1 and turn.
13 – dc, cdc. Ch1 and turn
14 and 15 – repeat row 12
16 – sk the first stitch. cdc in each stitch.
17 – sc, scdec, sc. Stop 2 stitches before you complete the row, scdec over these last stitches.
18 – sc, scdec, sc until you are 3 stitches from the end of the row, scdec, sc. Ch1 and turn.
19 – dc in the first stitch, cdc until you have 1 stitch remaining. Dc on this stitch. Cut your yarn.
For size medium and Large only
Row 20 – repeat row 18
Back Decrease Section
With right side facing you, attach yarn 2 stitches away from the sleeve marker ( we want to make sure we have an odd number of stitches so double check your stitch count)
1 – sc, scdec, stop 3 stitches away from the end of the row. scdec, sc. ch1 and turn
2 – Repeat row 12 of the Front V-neck shaping
Rows 3 – 9 repeat rows 13 -19 of the Front V-neck shaping. Cut your yarn. **
Repeat from ** to ** for the remaining side. On row 1 of the front v, we will work our last cdc over the marked stitch.
For the collar, the number of stitches depends on how many stitches you need to sew the collar to the top. I needed a total of 40 stitches (4 sections of 10 stitches) to attach my collar. I wanted to sew the shirt pieces equidistant. So I worked out that I needed at least 120 stitches.
With a 4.5mm hook and your mc, use the the long tail to cast on 82(82,86,86) stitches. Ch1 and turn.
Switch to your 4mm hook
R1 – sc in each stitch
R2 – 10sc, sc2inc, *5sc,sc2inc* repeat until you are 10 stitches away from the end of the row. 10sc. ch1 and turn.
R3 – dc. cdc across.
For size 1 and 2
Repeat rows 1 – 3, twice more.
For size 3 and 4
R4 – sc in each stitch
R5 – 10 sc, sc inc. *5sc, scinc* until 10 stitches remain. sc in these 10 stitches. ch1 and turn
R6 – dc, cdc across. Ch1 and turn
7 – 10sc, inc, *4sc, sc-inc* until 10 stitches remain, sc in these 10 stitches. Ch 1 and turn
R8 – sc in each stitch. Ch1 and turn.
R9 – dc, cdc.
Optional – change to color b for rows 3,4,8 and 9.
Sew the collar shut and attach it to shirt at the 4 shoulder tabs. Once you have attached the collar, attach color b and the top of the v. Work sc down the v until you reach the middle stitch, work 1dc. Then continue working sc until you reach the first stitch. Sl tl to join. Cut your yarn and repeat border for the back v. work.
Afterwards, weave in all ends and steam block to finish.
Am I alone in thinking that this would make a great tunic for an Ancient Egyptian inspired costume?