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Lace Up Handmade Knitted Tank Top

August 06, 2021

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About a decade ago, I took my girls to a small yarn shop in our town for a beginner class.

And they learned to knit.

Actually, we all did.

Green yard and knitting needles on a bed

While the girls were in their class, the owner gave me a quick lesson, so I could help them out if they forgot everything once they got home.

Which of course, they did. But once they got rolling it was hard to stop them.

It was a summer full of knitted treasures.

Then fall rolled around and school started and the knitting just kind of stopped.

Until this fall, when my youngest decided to whip up a few pumpkins.

The muscle memory kicked in, along with the joy of creating something other than music, and she was on a roll.

Under our Christmas tree was a scarf for my husband and gorgeous lap blanket for me. Sentimental and handmade. 

Is there anything better?

Well, a few days ago, after perusing Pinterest, she came to me and stated very nonchalantly that she was going to make a knitted shirt. 

She wasn't sure exactly how she was going to make it or what style it was going to be, but she was going to figure it out. 

Then she disappeared into her room. 

Now she can't read a pattern and her knitting skills are rudimentary at best, however, after about an hour she came out and showed me this:

Green yarn ball and green yarn knit onto a knitting needle

She said she had decided to just start knitting a rectangle and she'd figure the rest out as she went. 

Since this is the way I do most of my crafting, I totally understood her process. 

How To Knit A Lace Up Tank Top


Overall what she did was grab a skein of green variegated yarn from my craft closet. The very same yarn I've used to make Easter banners, Thanksgiving and Christmas crafts. 

Seriously, it was nothing fancy.

She used a basic garter stitch and knit a straight line until the needle was very full. That determined her length.

Every now and then she would hold the stitches up to her body to check on the length.

A few Netflix binge sessions later, she had a rectangle. 

Knit Tank Top Green Rectangle

When it was released from the needles, she she wrapped it around herself, but it didn't go all the way. Remember, she didn't measure.

That's ok, it was nothing a little creativity couldn't fix.

She decided to leave the back open as part of the design. Her knitted tank top would have a tie closure.

However, to make it stay up, it would need straps.

Making Straps For Knit Tank Top

So she quickly knit two simple ones, using an old tank top as a guide.

She used the same garter stitch as before and created two chains that were each two stitches wide.

Straps For Knit Tank Top

Then she grabbed a needed and green thread to attach the straps onto the inside of the rectangular shape.

Sewing Straps Onto Knit Top

The last step in this process was to close the back of the tank top in a lace up style.

To do this she simply cut a very long strand of yarn and poked it in between stitches in a zig zag fashion moving from top to bottom.

This way the strings ended up at the base of the shirt. They were pulled tight to give the shirt a custom fit and tied in a bow for a bit of flair.

Girl Modeling Green DIY Lace Up Knitted Tank Top

Super cute from the back and even cuter from the front. The weave was tight and soft, so it wasn't see through at all and didn't need to be lined.

Lace Up Knitted Tank Top Pattern

Isn't it darling?

Tips To Consider: 


Now again, she didn't measure. She just got lucky.

However, if you want to make this, you probably should.

*I would take a measuring tape and wrap it around your chest. Then I would record the inches and make      your knitted rectangle about 3/4 that long, since the back will remain open.

That will give you assurance that your top will fit.

*I would also measure from under your arms to wherever you want the top to end...above or below the        belly button.

Having firm numbers in hand before you begin takes all the guesswork out of this.

*Also, you'll want to leave the strings very long, since the top needs some give to get it on and off.

*For a flirty design alteration, you could make the top go all the way around the chest, for full coverage, and then have it lace tie up the front. The bow could then be at the top and let open the tiniest bit.

*Lastly, we haven't washed the tank top yet, but when it's time, it'll be handwash, cold and lay flat to dry.

In the meantime, she has a sweet handmade original addition to her summer wardrobe.

And a brand new habit.

She's already working on a new knit style for her sister.

Make Your Own Lace Up Knit Tank Top With One Stitch

So stay tuned!

Are you a knitter?


  1. It's so much fun designing on the fly! Nice work!
    (p.s. for the straps, I'd use one of those snaky knitting thingies [ah! they are called knitting spools] with cord in the middle to keep the straps from stretching.)

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    1. Thanks Nancy! I'll pass you kind compliment and your strap tip on to the designer! I'm sure she'll be grateful, as she seems to be deep into this hobby now.

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  2. OMG what a cute tank and to do it without instruction is amazing. Your daughters are so adorable. I love that they are letting their creative selves soar. Knitting and crocheting is a dying craft so it is good that younger peeps are liking this craft and finding cute ways to create. Super cute. Happy Weekend. xoxo

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    1. Thanks Kris! She's an on the fly kind of crafter...I guess it's in the genes. I'm also glad they're taking an interest in these arts. My older daughter taught herself to crochet and she made a blanket! I was so impressed!! Enjoy the weekend! xoxo

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  3. Boy, the apple didn't fall far from the tree..creative Mom creative Daughter! I tried knitting once the intended scarf got so tight on the needles it wouldn't even fit a snake..lol

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    1. Haha! Yes, I agree, very creative daughters...way more talented than mom, though. My knitting projects tend to turn out more like yours!!

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  4. That turned out so cute! I am a basic knitter. I have made scarves and afghans.

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    1. You’re ahead of me, Penny! I’ve never attempted an afghan!! And thanks!!

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  5. Oh my goodness how cute is this! She's also adorable.

    She's not intimidated and that's great.

    I love the back open. Oh to be young and wear this.

    Bravo!

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    1. Thanks Cindy!! ❤️ I was thinking the same thing when she showed it to me…ah, to be young enough to wear this!

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  6. Talented girl. Just like her Mom! I learned to knit and crochet in 4-H when I was a little girl. I keep threatening to give it another try.....maybe this winter!

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    1. Oh 4-H! I think I learned one or two stitches in Brownies. I loved the class the girls took, it was fun to learn with them, and help them along in the process, but clearly the student has become the master in this scenario!

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  7. How cute is that? She is creative like her mom! And she's a beauty as well!

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    1. Thank you, Mari! That's very sweet of you. ๐Ÿฅฐ

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  8. I am not a knitter. My mom tried to teach me when I was young, and I used to know the basics. I just love your daughter's top, and she looks adorable in it! But mostly, I love that she just went for it!

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    1. I love that, too, Amy! She was on a mission. And thanks for all the kind words.

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  9. How cute! I don’t knit….you have mad skills, my friend! Your daughter is beautiful. She looks like you!

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    1. Thanks so much, Ricki! I'll take that as a high compliment!

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  10. Kim I absolutely love that someone your daughter’s age can relish such a traditional and yet rare skill!
    She is absolutely luminous . I love that the apple did not fall far from the tree.

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    1. Thank you, Susan! She has a lot of respect for the classics. She loves baking and crafting and old books and vintage shops. As a matter of fact, we're watching an old black and white movie right now. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  11. That is so cute and your daughter is not only adorable, but takes after her mama. I always regretted never learning to knit. xo Laura

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    1. Thank you for your very kind words, Laura. And there's still time to learn! I learned the basics in one afternoon. If I can, anyone can!! xo

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  12. Kim, she is so talented and just darling. That is too cute and her hair is beautiful. You did good!!xxoJudy

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    1. You just made her day, Judy!! And mine, too. Thanks!! xoxo

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  13. I am not a knitter either. I tried it a while back, but decided it wasn't for me. What a cute knit top though! Sounds like she's falling in love with knitting.

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    1. I think she is falling in love with the process and the projects she's making...and I agree, this one is cute! Thanks!

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  14. Such a lovely girl! And a very cute top she created! I'm a crocheter, not a knitter, but my third daughter is! Take care, Kimmy-Poo!

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    1. You are so sweet! Thank you and I will pass your kind words on to her. I can eek out a few knit stitches, but my eldest is a crocheter. Maybe she'll teach me...and you take care, too, Kimmy-Poo! ☺️

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  15. I like it! I love how she pressed on to create something so cute!!

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    1. Thanks Carla! I have to say I'm impressed with her perseverance, as well! She was determined to make it work!

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  16. I've shared the pattern with my daughter and she absolutely loves it. She only has basic knitting skills too and she's slowly teaching herself how to use her sewing machine, which makes me soooo proud, especially since she's buying second hand cloths and altering them to fit her wacky, off beat style.

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    1. I hope she tries it! It's a super simple one to make and sounds like she has all the skills she needs for it. I think it's awesome that our girls are teaching themselves some of the old world skills and embracing their own style!

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  17. I love this knit top your daughter made Kim. She was so creative and it looks beautiful on her! ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿงถ

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    1. Thanks Julie! I’m glad someone around here is getting use out of those knitting needles!!

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