Week of Finishing Part 1: From Boring Black Skirt to Fun Skull Shirt

I’ve decided that this will be a week of finishing. Yes I know it’s Friday (wait, actually Saturday) so it’s not technically the beginning of a week. But really a week is kind of like a circle: it can start anywhere, just pick a point and go around from there.
As I may have mentioned before I’m more of a starter than a finisher. Because of this I get a backlog of WIPs. I think this is not uncommon in the crocheting/yarn crafting world…or maybe the crafting world in general. But every so often I get a burst of motivation to just finish some of those damn almost complete pieces. With the kiddos returning to school and my little guy starting all-day preschool I suddenly have more free time than I’ve had in my adult life…or maybe ever. Hence the week of finishing.


First on my finishing list is this shirt inset thingy. I made it a while ago (maybe a month or two…maybe more). It is the first pattern repeat of this crochet skull shawl.

I’ve seen this shawl before. Fellow WordPress blogger Captain Erratic recently used this pattern to make a skull scarf. Skulls are one of my favorite things and I’ve been seeing (and admiring) a lot of  shirts with crochet pieces in them lately. Usually they’re manufactured but how much better would a handmade one be?

So I pulled out a skein of Paton’s mercerized cotton yarn that was sitting in my stash and followed the directions for the first complete skull of the shawl ,which works from the bottom up. I stopped before the two skulls in the second pattern repeat row became recognizable as skulls; it looked about the right size for the top of a shirt back. Then I did a row of granny square stitches across the top and built the straps from there also eyeballing the size. At this point I knew I wanted to put this on the back of a shirt but didn’t have much of a plan as to how that was going to work. So I made this fun little piece and set it aside. And it sat….and sat…and sat.

Until yesterday.

Instead of making the rest of this shirt from scratch I planned to use part of a long black stretchy skirt for the body. I happened to have two to choose from. One had buttons down the front though so I went with the other one (the one on the right).


For sizing I used the oh-so-accurate hold it up to yourself, mark it, and cut it method. Luckily I cut a few inches lower than the line I marked. Somehow things always end up shorter than I think they will when I use this method.

Next I attached the crochet piece to the back using a wide zig-zag stitch.


Then I tried on what I had so far and measured for straps. This involved twisting around like a pretzel to pin the top of the crochet strap to the shirt I was wearing so I could measure the distance to the top of the shirt I was making. I needed 9×2 inches for each strap and the side slit of this skirt happened to be 18 inches long. Perfect, one less hem to stitch. A quick fold under on the unfinished edge of each strap and they were ready to be attached to my crochet shirt back.


At this point I had a wide rectangle attached to my crochet skull piece with two straps…. What now?

When in doubt try it on. I did this a few times and pinned a couple different ways of manipulating the rectangle into something that fitted and resembled a shirt. A large front pleat on the bust seemed to do the trick. I did have to take in the sides of the shirt a little too (although in the pictures below they’re just pinned).


And…. Viola!

A finished shirt with a crochet skull inset.


Maybe tomorrow I’ll snap some pics of the front too. I like how this turned out and now have a fun new skull shirt to wear.

About nights7

A metamorphosis in progress...always.

2 thoughts on “Week of Finishing Part 1: From Boring Black Skirt to Fun Skull Shirt

  1. Captain Erratic says:

    Great job and great idea. Doing the pretzel twist is always fun 😛


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