How to Knit a Bra Top Video Knitting Tutorial and Free Pattern

By Lauren

how to knit a bra top video tutorialHey awesome knitter!  Today I am super excited to share with you a brand new Girly Knits design, which is a free pattern (woohoo!) that comes with a step-by-step video tutorial (double woohoo!).  In the video that you’ll find below I walk you through each step in the pattern, so even if you are a beginner knitter, you will be able to make this bra top!

The pattern uses worsted weight yarn and is knit in the round as one piece, so it will knit up quickly with minimal finishing. This design is quite simple and straight forward as well, so if you want to add a stitch pattern, do a different type of ribbing, do something fun with the straps, etc., I encourage you to do so and make this bra top uniquely your own!  And in case you are wondering what a bra top is, it could be a bralette (if you don’t require a lot of support!) or it could be a cropped tank top – either way you wear it, it’s super cute and comfy!

I like wearing my knitted bra tops with a bra underneath, and think it’s perfect for lounging around in (shown below with my “Cables and Curves” skirt pattern), as a crop top with a skater skirt for going out in (how I’m wearing it in teal below and in the video paired with a cardigan), or as PJs! (shown below paired with my “Gorgeous Shorties” pattern).

girly knits knitted bra top optionsThe bottom ribbing portion of the bra top is totally customizable to suite your desired length of the top, and your choice of worsted weight yarn is up to you.  To give you an idea of some options, the 1st top has 3″ of 1×1 ribbing and is made with Knit Picks Chroma Worsted in Avalon, the 2nd top has 5″ of 2×2 ribbing and is made with Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Marine Heather, and the 3rd top (which I make in the video) has 7″ of 1×1 ribbing and is made with Naturally Caron Country in Deep Purple (stash yarn, unfortunately this yarn has been discontinued!)  I have a 35″ bust and made the size Small for all of the tops pictured above.

I hope you enjoy this pattern, and when you finish it, please be sure to post pictures of your bra top on Ravelry!  You can find the pattern page here.  I’m also hosting a knit-a-long for this bra top where you can share your progress, connect with other knitters, and ask questions in the Girly Knits Fan Club forum page here.

Alright, here we go!  You will find the video, materials needed, and pattern below :)

Materials:

200-300 yards of worsted weight yarn

My favorite yarn for this project was Knit Picks Swish Worsted (shown in Teal).  I used 2 balls (approx 220 yards) for the Small Size with 5″ of ribbing.

US 5 (3.75 mm) 24” circular needle

US 7 (4.5 mm) 24” circular needle and set of 2 double pointed needles

Gauge: 19 sts and 27 rows = 4″ in Stockinette Stitch using larger needle

Make sure to check your gauge!  The size 5 needle is only used for the ribbing.  If you need to change needle sizes from the size 7 to get the Stockinette Stitch gauge, use a needle 2 sizes down for the ribbing.

Notions: Stitch markers, tapestry needle

Sizes: Women’s XS (S, M, L, XL, 2XL) to fit a 32 (34, 36, 38, 40, 42)” bust.  If you are between sizes I would recommend going a size down.

Finished measurements: 27 (28.75, 31.25, 32.75, 34.5, 37)” circumference at underarms.

Abbreviations:

k: knit

p: purl

rnd: round

st(s): stitch(es)

M1L: make 1 by picking up bar between sts through front and knit through back loop

M1R: make 1 by picking up bar between sts through back and knit

dec: decrease

ssk: (slip 1 knitwise) twice, insert LH needle into slipped sts and k2tog through back loop

ssp: (slip 1 knitwise) twice, slip sts back onto LH needle and p2tog through back loop

k2tog: knit 2 sts together

p2tog: purl 2 sts together

RH: right hand

LH: left hand

RS: right side

WS: wrong side

Directions:

Bottom Band:

With smaller needle [CO 58 (62, 68, 72, 76, 82) sts, place marker] twice – 116 (124, 136, 144, 152, 164) sts. Join, taking care not to twist sts. (video: 1:48)

Work in 1×1 (k1, p1) or 2×2 (k2, p2) rib for desired length. See info below picture showing all 3 tops for how long I made the ribbing for each top. (video: 3:37)

Bust:

Change to larger needle and knit 5 rnds, working to last st before start marker on the 5th rnd: (video: 5:59)

Inc Rnd: M1R, k1, slip marker, k1, M1L, k to 1 st before side marker, M1R, k1, slip marker, k1, M1L, k to end – 120 (128, 140, 148, 156, 168) sts. (video: 8:02)

Rep Inc Rnd every 6th rnd 2 more times, starting Inc Rnd 1 st before the start marker as before – 128 (136, 148, 156, 164, 176) sts after all inc rnds.

For the 38”, 40”, and 42” bust, or if you have a D+ bust (or if you want more coverage!), work 3 more rnds, or desired length of back. (video: 11:21)

BO Back:

K4, BO with a firm tension until there are 3 sts left before the side marker – 72 (76, 82, 86, 90, 96) sts left on needle. Cont the row as follows (you will already have 1 st on your RH needle): (video: 11:52)

Ssk, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1 – 70 (74, 80, 84, 88, 94) sts. (video: 13:11)

Next Row: Purl.

Dec Row: K1, ssk, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1 – 68 (72, 78, 82, 86, 92) sts.

Repeat last 2 rows two more times, removing markers as needed – 64, (68, 74, 78, 82, 88) sts.

Next row: P32 (34, 37, 39, 41, 44) sts, place marker to mark center, p to end. (video: 14:57)

Wearer’s Left Cup:

The Wearer’s Left Cup and strap will be worked first, then you will work the Wearer’s Right Cup and strap.  If you want to work the cups simultaneously, you can join a 2nd ball of yarn at the center to work the other cup at the same time, referring to the instructions for Wearer’s Right Cup.  The basic formula for the decreases is that you will decrease at the underarm every RS row, and at the neckline every row.

Row 1: K1, ssk, k to 3 sts before center marker, k2tog, k1 – 30 (32, 35, 37, 39, 42) sts. (video: 15:42)

Row 2: Turn work and P1, p2tog, p to end – 29 (31, 34, 36, 38, 41) sts. (video: 17:10)

Repeat last 2 rows until 6 sts remain.  If you end after working a WS row, k across.  If you end after working a RS row don’t do anything.  If you end with 7 sts after a working a WS row, k4, k2tog, k1.

Straps:

Work in i-cord for desired strap length. (video: 18:13)  I made my straps about 11” long – I would recommend checking the strap length of a tank top that is adjusted to fit you, then do a little extra.  It’s easier to take out length if they are too long then to add it after cutting your yarn!  BO and leave a 5″ tail for sewing straps to top. (video: 21:27)

Wearer’s Right Cup:

Join yarn at center of Bra Top (the first row will be on the RS of your knitting) and work as follows: (video: 22:10)

Row 1: K1, ssk, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1 – 30 (32, 35, 37, 39, 42) sts.

Row 2: P to last 3 sts, ssp, p1 – 29 (31, 34, 36, 38, 41) sts.

Repeat last 2 rows until 6 sts remain.  If you end after working a WS row, k across.  If you end after working a RS row don’t do anything.  If you end with 7 sts after a WS row, k1, ssk, k to end.

Work strap same as other strap.

Finishing:

Pin straps to back edge of bra top.  Try on and adjust strap placement and length as needed. Using a tapestry needle, sew straps to back edge of bra top. (video: 24:27)

Weave in ends and enjoy!  If you liked this pattern, make sure to check out more of my patterns at girlyknits.com/patterns!

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8 Comments on How to Knit a Bra Top Video Knitting Tutorial and Free Pattern

  1. mac
    March 18, 2015 at 3:53 pm (2 years ago)

    Great tutorial. I have 2 grandkids, one teen, the other pre-teen, and I’m always looking for projects that fit their “girly” attitudes! As a relatively new knitter, this one seems gloriously doable. I’ll let you know when I’ve finished it & will follow you on ravelry.

    Reply
    • Lauren
      April 12, 2015 at 6:20 pm (2 years ago)

      Awesome!! Can’t wait to see what you make! :)

      Reply
  2. Shirley Murdock
    June 17, 2015 at 10:04 pm (2 years ago)

    I love your designs, and I plan on making at least one but probably several of your bra tops. I’m thinking of investing in a good set of interchangeable knitting needles and I liked the ones you were using in your video “How to Knit a Bra Top”. Do you have/remember what brand they were? I would appreciate it very much if you would get back to me with any information. Oh, and thank you so very much for sharing your patterns with us and making your tutorials. Your time and talent is greatly aprreciated. Thanks, Shirley Murdock

    Reply
  3. cathy
    July 4, 2015 at 5:52 pm (2 years ago)

    Can I make this on straight needles? I cannot master circular or double pointed needles?

    Reply
    • Lauren
      September 21, 2015 at 3:06 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi Cathy! Unfortunately I don’t have a straight needle pattern – it would require a bit of work to modify it. What problems are you having with using a circular needle? Maybe I can help!

      Reply
  4. Bianca
    February 25, 2016 at 6:49 pm (12 months ago)

    Hi Lauren,

    I absolutely love the bra top. I plan on starting one tomorrow. I have a pretty color yarn however it is 100% cotton. I noticed the one you use is wool. Do you think it will make a difference in the pattern? Do i have to cast on more sticthes?

    Reply
    • Lauren
      March 21, 2016 at 11:22 am (11 months ago)

      Hey Bianca! Sorry for the late reply! You can definitely use cotton yarn, just make sure you are getting the gauge, and note that it does tend to stretch out more so it might be a bit baggy after wearing it, but will return to it’s original shape after washing. Thanks! Lauren

      Reply

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