Sea Shell Shell

This is a basic shell styled top, with a slash neck and the sea shell pattern. I know there are tons of patterns out there that use this basic shape.  But I wanted to see what I’d learn by creating my own.

If I’ve done this correctly, then this will be a great place to learn a bit about basic clothing shapes, how to get better fit and to give you a place to start experimenting with garment making.

Remember to read the entire pattern before getting started.

Test Drive: As always I finished, washed and wore this garment.  Using Berroco Modern Cotton DK, this garment needed no blocking.  It washed perfectly and came out of a dryer, dried on low and ready to wear.  It also held it’s shape perfectly. I wore it all day to church and lunch with my in-laws in 95 degree heat and it was exactly the same shape and size it was in the morning.

Yarn: Berroco Modern Cotton DK.  Each hank is 3.5 oz/100 g of 60% Pima Cotton and 40% Modal Rayon. That blend makes it strong, cool and creates a thin fabric that holds it’s shape. Each hank is 335 yards and I used 3 hanks of color way 6657, which is a mossy green color. I was barley into my 3rd hank when I finished and seamed up my sweater. The medium could be done with 3 hanks, however if you want a large, you will need a 4th hank of Modern Cotton DK.

Hook: E/3.5 MM

Size: The directions I am writing are for a size small, for a bust between 34 and 36 inches. I will also place the numbers for 36-38 inch bust and a 38-40 inch bust in the brackets in the pattern below. Please note that if you are using the larger sizes, please be prepared to add at least 1 extra repeat of rows 2-10, so that the garment is the correct length.

Gauge:  The Double Chain section: 1 in has 3 rows and 4 stitches.  If you get gauge on the Double chain section, that you will get gauge on the shell section of this sweater.

Notes:  This shell pattern is created in multiples of 8 plus 1.  If you wish to make this bigger or smaller, just adjust it accordingly. Work will be turned at the end of each row. Beginning chain does count as a stitch.

The front and back of the top are the same so you will make two of the following panels, and will begin by chaining 75 (83,91).  I chose to chain that number because my shoulders measured 16 inches across and my bust is 34 inches.  I got my multiples of 8 (72 stitches), my plus one, and my first DC (the extra 2 chains) and got a starting chain that was 17 inches wide.  

Row 1: Place DC in the 3rd CH from hook. Place one DC in each space until the end of the row. 72 DCs (80, 88)

Row 2: CH up 2. Place DC in the next ST and in each ST across. 72 DC’s (80,88)

Row 3: CH up 2. Place DC in the next ST and in each ST across. 72 DC’s (80,88)

Row 4: CH up 2. Place DC in the next ST and in each ST across. 72 DC’s (80,88)

Row 5:  CH up 1. Place SC in the 1st ST. PL 1 SC in the next 2 ST.  *Chain 5. SK 3. Place 5 SC in the next 5 SC.* Repeat from * to * until you reach the last ST. You will have 9 CH 5 SP (10,11)

Row 6: CH up 1. Place SC in the 1st ST. *Place 11 DC in the CH 5 SP. SK 2 SC. SC, then SK the next 2 SC.* Repeat from * to * until the last ST. You will have 9 Shells (10,11)

Row 7: CH up 6 (this created 1 TR and 2 CH SPs) SK 3 DC. *5 SC in the next 5 DC. CH 5.  SK 6 DC* repeat from * to * until you reach the top of the last shell. CH 2, TR in the last ST.  You will have 8 full arches and 2 1/2 arches (9 full arches with 1/2 arches at the beginning and end or 10 full arches and 1/2 arches at the beginning and end)

Row 8: CH up 2. PL 5 DC in the CH 2 SP.  *SK 2 DC. SC. SK 2 DC. PL 11 DC in the next CH 5 SP.* Repeat until you reach the last 1/2 shell. Place 6 DC in that SP. You will have 8 full shells completed with 1/2 arch at the beginning and end of the row (9 full shells with 1/2 shells at the beginning and end, 10 full shells with 1/2 shells at the beginning and end)

Row 9:  CH up 1. Place SC in the 1st ST. PL 1 SC in the next 2 ST.  *Chain 5. SK 3. Place 5 SC in the next 5 SC.* Repeat from * to * until you reach the last ST. You will have 9 CH 5 SP (10,11)

Row 10: CH up 2. Place 1 DC in each of the next 2 DC. *Place 3 DC in the CH 5 SP. SK 6 DC, place 1 DC in each of the next 5 DC* Repeat from * to * until you reach the last 1/2 shell. Place 3 DC in the CH 5 SP, SK the next 6 DC. Place 1 DC in the next 3 DC.

Repeat Row 2-10 6 times (7 times, 8 times) However, you may want to make this top longer.  As long as you end with 2 rows of DC, your are good!

Last Row. CH 2. Place 1 DC in each DC across to end.

Now here is where fit really comes into play, how this gets sown together.

Make sure that your two panels are laying with the right sides facing each other. The top of the garment will have 4 DC rows.  You are going to want to use SC to seam up the first 16 ST and the last 16 ST. For the sake of finishing up the neck line, place it right side out, and run SC along the inside of the neck line.

Try on your garment.  Play with the placement of the side seams.  Depending on the size of your arms, you may need a bigger or smaller hole.  I placed my side seams at row 16, so I seamed from row 16 down the sides of the sweater.  You picked out the yarn, and created both panels of this top, so to make this fit you perfectly, you do need figure out how many rows down to begin the seam.

Making sure the sweater is facing the wrong side out, using a SC seam up the sides.  Once you are done with the left and right seams, turn the top right side out. Place a row of SC around the arm holes, just to give them a nice finished look.

I added the wavy boarder at the bottom by completing rows 5 and 6 after the garment was seamed up. I completed them in the round. Start the pattern in the seam of the garment, with the right side facing you.  Please use the shells in the previous rows as a guide, just to make sure everything is lining up smoothly.

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