How to make a macramé top

How to make a macrame top

Pink and ombré are two of our favourite things, and when you chuck in our current craft crush, macramé, it’s a combination we can’t resist. This top makes a fab beach cover-up and looks great teamed with cut-off denim shorts and sandals.

Try different colourways – yellow, tropical green and bright blue would all look amazing. Dyeing fabric is a really fun social craft, so this would make a great hen party or girls’ crafternoon activity.

You will need

  • Plain white cotton T-shirt (long is better than short)
  • Dylon Pink Flamingo Dye
  • Salt
  • Bucket
  • Spoons/stick for stirring
  • Small container for mixing dye
  • Rubber gloves
  • Hanger

How to create the macramé top

Step one

Mix the dye as per the manufacturer’s instructions and thoroughly wet the T-shirt. We used half a packet of dye, as we were only dyeing a couple of T-shirts. Choose a 100% cotton garment or one with as high a cotton percentage mix as possible, as man-made fibres such as polyester or viscose won’t absorb the dye.

How to make a macramé top

Step two

Put your T-shirt on a hanger (it’s the easiest way to control the dyeing process) and dip it into the dye bath, approximately two thirds of the way up the shirt, for 30 seconds. This first dip needs to be really quick.

How to make a macramé top

Step three

For the second dip, put the T-shirt back into the dye bath two thirds up the dyed section. This time leave for a minute or two. Keep an eye on the colour – once you’re happy with the ombré effect that’s starting to appear, take the T-shirt out of the bath and rinse the dyed section with warm water. Be careful not to get any pink dye on the white section.

How to make a macramé top

Step four

Add another tablespoon of dye to the bath and mix thoroughly. Put only the lower third of your T-shirt back in for three or four minutes. Check the ombré effect – if you think the base needs to be darker, leave in the bath for a few more minutes. Once happy, rinse the dyed part until the water runs clear and leave to dry.

How to make a macramé top

Step five

Give the T-shirt a good press as you need it to be flat for the next steps. Run a line of pins where you want the top of the macramé section to start – ours began 26cm (10¼”) up from the hem.

How to make a macramé top

Step six

Remove the seams up to where you’ve pinned by cutting very closely to the edge of the stitching. This gives a neat finish.

How to make a macramé top

Step seven

Measure the T-shirt’s width and divide by two – this will give you the number of strips you need to cut. If the number is odd, then round down to the nearest even number (you need an equal number of strips and it’s better if they’re thicker rather than thinner). Cut the strips up to the pinned line.

How to make a macramé top

Step eight

Take the first two strips on the outside edge (we worked left to right) and tie together in a double knot. You want the tension to be firm but not over-pulled. Continue knotting in pairs along the whole of the T-shirt front and back.

How to make a macramé top

Step nine

For the next row, take two strips from the next-door knots and knot together 2.5cm (1″) below the first row. Continue front and back. You should start to see a triangular shape forming.

How to make a macramé top

Step ten

Repeat the above step to create another row of knots. This time a diamond shape will have formed. If you’re working with a really long T-shirt then you could add a few more rows of knots – we liked the cropped effect we created, so have kept to just three.

How to make a macramé top

Step 11

To finish, cut off the overlocked hem from the bottom of each strip so they curl up neatly. Now all you need is a sunny day to show it off.

About Charlotte Smith

Charlotte SmithCharlotte lives by the sea in the south east with her husband, baby and naughty cat. She has dedicated her life to the pursuit of collecting treasure and turning the unloved into something beautiful. Able to sniff out a bead shop anywhere in the world, she shares her passion for making the everyday beautiful on her blog, Lotts and Lots.