How to Make a DIY Tank Top

Gray Lemon Peel Crochet Tank Top Close-Up
Anna Johanson
Overview
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

Slide into summer in this DIY tank top that you can crochet yourself. The shaping and stitches are simple and easy to crochet for those who have a little experience. Make the tank top with cotton or linen yarn so it's cool for the hot summer month, then layer it when the weather cools down.

The textured front doesn't look like crochet at first glance, which makes it unique. That texture comes from lemon peel stitch, which is as simple as alternating single crochet and double crochet stitch. For a fun surprise (and some extra air), the back features an open grid stitch. Wear it alone or layer a colored tank underneath! 

This pattern, which uses U.S. crochet terms, makes a size medium/large tank top with a circumference of 38 inches. If you want to adjust the size, remember that the main stitch pattern for the tank needs an even number of stitches and the gridded back needs an odd number of stitches. Throughout this pattern, the rows intentionally begin without a turning chain.

Guage

20 stitches and 20 rows to 4-inch in lemon peel stitch (single crochet, double crochet). Always crochet a gauge swatch, especially for garments or when substituting yarn.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • F/4.0mm crochet hook
  • Stitch markers
  • Tapestry needle

Materials

  • 2 skeins Berroco Remix Light (100% recycled fibers, 432 yards/100g) or approx. 864 yards of DK/light worsted yarn

Instructions

  1. Crochet the Front of the Top

    • Chain 91. 
    • Row 1: Starting in the second chain from the hook, [single crochet, double crochet] across the row.
    • Row 2: [single crochet, double crochet] across the row. (90 stitches)
    • Repeat row two until the tank top front measures 13 inches tall.
    • Row 3: Single crochet two together, *single crochet, double crochet, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, single crochet two together. (88 stitches)
    • Row 4: Single crochet two together, *double crochet, single crochet, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, single crochet two together. (86 stitches)
    • Repeat rows three and four seven times. Repeat row three. (60 stitches)
    • Row 5: [Single crochet, double crochet] across the row.
    • Begin the first half of the neck/shoulder.
    • Row 6: [Single crochet, double crochet] 14 times, single crochet two together. (29 stitches). Place a stitch marker and turn. 
    • Row 7: *Double crochet, single crochet, repeat from * to last stitch, double crochet.
    • Row 8: *Single crochet, double crochet, repeat from * to last three stitches, single crochet, double crochet two together (28 stitches).
    • Row 9: [Single crochet, double crochet] across the row. 
    • Row 10: *Single crochet, double crochet, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, single crochet two together (27 stitches).
    • Repeat rows seven to 10 six times (15 stitches).
    • End off yarn.
    • Join yarn to the center point of the tank top where you placed the stitch marker.
    • Row 11: Single crochet two together, [single crochet, double crochet] across the row (29 stitches).
    • Row 12: *Single crochet, double crochet, repeat from * to last stitch, single crochet.
    • Row 13: Single crochet two together, *double crochet, sc, repeat from * to last stitch, double crochet (28 stitches).
    • Row 14: [Single crochet, double crochet] across the row. 
    • Repeat rows 11 to 14 six times. Repeat row 11 (15 stitches).
    • End off yarn.

    Tip

    Place a stitch marker every 10 stitches to help keep count.

    Front of Lemon Peel Crochet Tank Top
    Mollie Johanson
  2. Crochet the Back of the Top

    • Chain 90. 
    • Row 1: *Single crochet, double crochet, rep from * to last stitch, single crochet (89 stitches).
    • Row 2: Chain 4 (counts as first double crochet and chain 1), *skip next stitch, double crochet, chain 1, rep from * to last stitch, double crochet.
    • Row 3: *Single crochet, double crochet in chain space, repeat from * to last stitch, single crochet.
    • Row 4: Chain 4 (counts as first double crochet and ch 1), *skip next stitch, double crochet, chain 1, repeat from * to last stitch, double crochet.
    • Repeat row four until the tank top back measures 13 inches tall.
    • Row 5: Single crochet, double crochet into the first stitch (1 stitch increased), [single crochet, double crochet] across the row (90 stitches).
    • Row 6: Single crochet two together, *single crochet, double crochet, rep from * to last 2 stitches, single crochet two together (88 stitches).
    • Row 7: Single crochet two together, *double crochet, single crochet, rep from * to last 2 stitches, single crochet two together (86 stitches).
    • Repeat rows six and seven seven times. Repeat row six. (60 stitches)
    • Row 8: [Single crochet, double crochet] across the row.
    • Repeat row eight 37 times.
    • End off yarn.

    Tip

    The back will look narrower than the front, but blocking will open up the grid stitches.

    Back of Lemon Peel Crochet Tank Top
    Mollie Johanson
  3. Finish the Tank Top

    Weave in all the yarn ends. Lay out the tank top front to use as a guide for blocking. Wet block the lower grid section of the tank top back. Open up the gridded section so it matches the width and height of the front piece. Use slip stitch to crochet the shoulders and side seams together. Weave in the ends. 

    Crocheting the Seams With Slip Stitch
    Mollie Johanson
  4. Show Off Your Crocheted Tank Top

    Whether you're knitting for warm weather or as a top you can layer under cardigans and button-ups, this DIY tank top is a great basic garment that's easy to crochet. You may even want to make a few in different colors!

    Side-Back View of Lemon Peel Tank Top
    Anna Johanson