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Ruffle (or not) Top

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The Ruffle (or not) Top is an everyday ‘tank’ top style garment which of course everyone needs in multiple variations to compliment a vast array of styles. This classic tank can be dressed up or down depending on what you pair with it. It is easily adapted through colour/yarn choices and by either adding or omitting the ruffle strap.

This pattern is just the right amount of ‘mindless stockinette’ mixed with a super interesting and unusual construction. The armholes are knit first and then joined to one another with the creation of the front and back panels which are knit from a provisional cast-on and shaped using German Short Rows.

This pattern would best suit an intermediate+ skill level. Creating the folded strap/armhole at beginning of the pattern may be fiddly due to joining the provisional stitches on a small circumference and with only a few rows of fabric to work with. Manoeuvring of stitches around the needles is also required when changing needle sizes. A 'supporting instructions' document is provided with the pattern to aid in the more complex parts. Please see the video on my website to aid in the visualisation of the construction of this top.


2yrs (4yrs, 6yrs) (8yrs, 10yrs, 12yrs).

Ages are provided as a guide only. Due to deviations in children’s body shapes, choose a size based on the actual chest measurement. This camisole is designed to be relatively close fitting, so approximately 1” (2.5cm) positive ease is recommended. Therefore, choose a size which is approximately 1” (2.5cm) larger than the child’s actual chest measurement.

Chest Circumference (actual size)

22 (24, 26) (27.5, 29, 31) inches


56 (61, 66) (70, 73.5, 78.5) centimetres

Yarn Requirements

The sample seen in the construction video is a 4yrs size and was knit in Truly Hooked Standard Sock in the colourway Café Del Mar. This is a light fingering base of 75% Superwash Merino and 25% Nylon, 425m (465yds) per 100g. 

The sample modelled by my daughter, Pippa, is an age 6yrs. The yarn is LottieKnits Queen Bee in the colourway ‘There’s a party in my head’. This is a 4ply yarn of 55% Blue Faced Leicester, 45% Silk, 400m (437yds) per 100g. Although Lottie is no longer dying this base, it is still readily available from many indie dyers.

Most yarns with a similar specification should work. Just remember that if you are substituting, yarns vary greatly so please swatch to not only check gauge but also that you are happy with the fabric properties.

Required meterage (yardage)*

2yrs (4yrs, 6yrs) (8yrs, 10yrs, 12yrs).

360 (415, 440) (510, 555, 620)m / 394 (454, 481) (558, 607, 678)yds. 

This equates to 1 (1, 2) (2, 2, 2) skeins of 75% Merino and 25% Nylon, 425m (465yds) per 100g.

*The stated meterage (yardage) is the estimated quantity needed to create both the garment and swatch using the yarns specified. The figures should be used as a guide only.

Needles and Notions

One 2.75mm (US size 2) and one 3.25mm (US size 3) circular needles OR size needed to obtain gauge. 16” (40cm) in length recommended for both. 

Two 9-12” (23-30cm) circular needles in the smaller needle size for knitting the armholes also recommended. A long circular needle for Magic loop OR double pointed needles may be used but might make the joining of stitches more difficult to work when the provisional cast-on is unpicked.

Crochet hook of a similar size for the provisional cast-on (the gauge is set by the needle not by the crochet hook).

Contrasting waste yarn for the provisional cast-on and to mark later hem stitch pickups. 

6 locking stitch markers.

3 stitch holders (or waste yarn, if preferred).

Darning needle.

Required Techniques

Provisional cast-on such as the crochet method. 

Knitting in the round.

3 needle bind-off.

3 needle join.

German Short Rows.

A ‘frilled’ cast-off, if working the ruffle strap.

Video demonstrations are available on my website for the provisional cast-on, 3 needle join and bind-off, German Short Rows and frilled cast-off techniques.

You will get the following files:
  • PDF (2MB)
  • PDF (1MB)