DIY Clothing Alterations – Crochet Edging

Since I had somehow managed to misplace the original in progress pictures I’d taken of adding

I like how it turned out. It’s all flippy
when I walk, and I can take full strides!

crochet edging to the skirt, I used scrap fabric to demonstrate how I did it.

You can use this method for adding crochet edging to anything made out of woven fabric. This includes shirts, skirts, washcloths, towels, and tablecloths. Basically, if it has an edge, and it’s made out of fabric, you can probably use this method on it.

Before you get started, you’ll need the following items:

  • Scissors
  • Seam ripper (optional)
  • Crochet hook (I used size 8, or 5.0 mm, but feel free to experiment with other sizes)
  • Yarn, preferably in a complimentary color.
  • Ruler
  • Chalk or tailor’s pencil (optional)
Now that I see this picture, I used a different color yarn as an example. I’m not sure why I’d changed my mind.

Step One: Poke Holes
You can either mark off half inch intervals with your chalk or pencil, or cut small holes in the fabric while holding the ruler in place. It’s a good idea to keep the holes under an inch from the bottom-most part of the hem.

If you’re marking where you’ll be putting your holes, turn the garment inside out to do so.

For the actual skirt, I used a seam ripper to cut small, regular holes, but this time, I just used the scissors I had on hand. As a result, the holes were a bit sloppier, but they did their job for this purpose.

Step Two: Starter Stitch
Once the holes are poked, slip your crochet hook into the first one, from the right side (outside) of the garment. Then, loop your yarn over the hook, leaving a tail of an inch or two long, and pull the first loop through.

Step Three: Start Stitching
Draw the yarn from the wrong side (inside) of the garment, yarn over, and pull it through the first loop. This will be half of your first stitch.

Step Four: Stitching
Keeping the yarn stable by holding the tail against the back of the garment, insert the hook into the next hole, yarn over, and crochet as usual.

This is what the first true stitch will look like.

Although you can use various stitching techniques, I’ve found that using a simple single stitch to start is easiest. Once you’ve created as much fabric as you’d like to add, just finish it as you would any other crochet project – by weaving in any ends, and, if necessary, blocking.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with gauge, various stitches and increasing your number of stitches to varying degrees.

For my Crochet Basics series, which includes tips on how to do various stitches, and a key to common abbreviations, check out the master page here. For more on clothing alternations and upcycling, click here.

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