Shell yea is a collection of two perfectly matching summer patterns designed by Chelsea of KnittingTipsy.
No, I didn’t forget the “h” in yeah. Before we get into the ins and outs of today’s blog post. Have you ever crocheted a bikini?
I know it’s a popular make for many people but I’d honestly never been drawn to making one. I might blame some teenage insecurities and lack of wanting to draw attention to myself but that would be a cocktail conversation and it’s not even noon here.
So yeah, in my 11 years of crocheting I had never approached a bikini pattern and thought “yeah, I want that in my life.” Until about 2 months ago when Chelsea was getting ready to have the Shell Yea Tankini Set tested.
If you are subscribed to my Newsletter, ya know I signed up to be one of the testers. Thus, I’ve now crocheted a bikini. ALthough with the amount of times I frogged this baby trying to find the perfect fit and comfort level for me, I could have made at least 2.
What is the Shell Yea Collection?
This is a collection of 3 summerish patterns designed by the lovely Chelsea of Knittingtipsy. The patterns are:
- Shell Yea Tankini which consists of the top and bottoms for this beach wear set.
- Shell Yea Skirt – a body glove fit type of skirt with the same beautiful lace stitch details as the tankini.
Although I didn’t test the skirt I think that it would look so great with the tankini top! A perfect summer outfit for us gals and pals in the warmer climes. If you like summer garments be sure to check out Fallalery oh and keep an eye out for the Flower Duster Makeover!
Not only is this warmer climate friendly, but it’s a very liberating pattern. The Shell Yea collection is based entirely on your measurements. Don’t be intimidated, seriously, instead be liberated and approach this project as Leonardo approached the Mona Lisa.
Free yourself from the belief that your body isn’t for this or that! With the Shell Yea collection you get to decide your fit.
My Shell yea size
All bodies are different, say it with me ALL BODIES ARE DIFFERENT. With that being said my body spans 3 different size ranges and I was able to make a bikini/tankini that I can’t wait to wear.
- 33” bust
- 28.5 to 29” waist
- 39.5 – 41 hips
While I don’t look like your average pear shape. I’m a bite sized pear.
I used Regia Cotton Color (72/18/10 – cotton/nylon/polyester) (*aff amazon link). I got mine from laughin hens but you can purchase some of the colors from amazon.
This is advertised as a self striping sock yarn but it worked perfectly to make my bikini. Now, I haven’t tested it out in the water yet but the Dry land fit is great!
As with any first time make, there are some things I would like to adjust. Thus, I made sure to purchase 200g of the kiwi color from Laughing Hens, which very kindly delivers yarn to the US.
Following the pattern as written yields a lovely tankini set. My problem was my own confidence in deciding what measurements to follow for myself. I mean, yeah I measure my bust, waist and hips, but I was making an item that required negative ease.
My tankini band measures 18.5”, which works great. However, I made the straps way too long for my body which compromises my bust support. In order to give myself this support without frogging the straps, I threaded thin elastic on the second row below the cups. I also added some elastic to the front straps.
I guess here is where I confess to preferring “pant” like bottoms in my bathing suits… Which of course meant that I had no clue as to how much cheek I wanted in my bottoms. Chelsea’s tips are a great help here. Which reminds me, read the pattern, especially the notes. So much useful information.
For the shell yea bottoms I followed the instructions and went with 4” of negative ease on the band, right on the money for the widest part of my hips but my waist was 10” too big. Yes, the pattern has you add elastic to the bottoms, which you should do! But even with this row of elastic I felt that the waist was too big for me
- Crochet the waistband separate from the front and back panels so that I can cast on with less stitches
- Crochet a round of decreases before adding the elastic
- Cast on more negative ease than that suggested and work some increases until I get to the 4” of negative ease to work with the REgia Yarn.
Overall, I loved this pattern, it’s clear, had video support for the tricky sections and there are pictures on how to tie which is very very helpful! I want to make at least one more. Congratulations Chelsea on such a beautiful pattern set.