Needlecrafts - Knitting the Basic Top

Needlecrafts - Knit the Basics, Sleeveless Top
Image | Phildar 16
Having a library of adaptable, basic garment patterns is something I've always believed to be useful.
The first of these basic garments is the cap sleeve top.
This pattern can be made in cotton or cashmere, take you from winter to summer and is ideal for layering.
The pattern itself is very simple and if you read further, I've rendered four different possibilities for this style.
Basically you are knitting the body in one piece. Presto, a top! You can't get any easier than that.
Knitting short or long sleeves makes it different. Choose different colours for the front and back breaking the colours at the shoulder. You now have a colour blocked top.
Choosing different stitch patterns also differentiates the garment parts. Stocking stitch bottom, garter yoke. Garter sides, moss stitch middle panel.
The possibilities are endless.

Read further for pattern, style and finishing tips and helpful sites.
The schematics or drawing of the garment's shape gives you the dimensions you are to work to. The pattern itself is minimal as it is very simple.
The actual numbers you are working with are based on a standard knitting worsted weight, a weight ideal for a beginner and a good weight across the board for all seasons.
For those more familiar with knitting, the numbers are easy to adapt to double knitting, chunky or bulky weights.
As long as you are getting the dimensions as specified in the drawing, you will achieve the desired results.
For beginners, it is always best to make what is recommended in the pattern first, then experiment with different yarns weights and guages.
Basic patterns are great to have in your library for a number of reasons.
Styles are usually classic and can be changed easily to suit your mood or the look of the season.
Above are four possibilities for this one pattern. But you can adapt this even further making the back longer as they are showing in some styles.
Adding pockets, making the garment oversized and narrower sleeves are just a few more ideas where you can adapt this pattern.
Have fun in thinking up new ways to make this garment your design.
Knowing how to properly finish a garment makes all the difference between a garment looking "homemade" and not "handmade".
The effort of learning how to skillfully seam and block a garment will definitely make the end result a pleasure to wear and build confidence in your knitting skills.
Blocking is well explained and straightforward in Part1 and Part2 in the HowTo section of Knitting Daily
Seaming or sewing a garment together properly enhances a garment's fit, with seams that lie flat and don't pull.
Simple drawings and explanations are provided in KnitSimple Online Magazine
Sites you may find useful for tips on finishing:
How To Tutorials | Knit Simple Magazine .
Helpful Tutorials | Knitting Daily

Happy Knitting!


  1. How much wool do I need for a size M (without sleeves)?

    1. Hi...the amount of yarn is really dependant upon the kind of yarn you are using, that is the yardage differs in different weights and types. But I would say that 6 balls of worsted weight would be safe.
      Glad to hear from you and please send a pic when you're finished...Happy knittiing!

    2. Hi to rockin' Mum...I forgot to add that's 50g balls..Good Luck

    3. Hi Daria. Your patterns and variations with them are fantastic. I am going to start knitting the cap sleeved top. Please can you tell me which yarn and size needles you used so I can achieve the same in the picture. Many thanks for your patterns and I look forward to making more you have posted.

      Kind Regards
      Lin xx

    4. Hi Linda,
      I'm very happy that you have decided to try knitting the basic top. The needle sizes and gauge are 18 sts=10cm(4in) on 5mm needles.
      Yarn amounts are always tricky because there are so many different ones available.
      To be safe I would buy 6 50g balls worsted weight. A reputable yarn store or craft chain usually takes back any unused yarn within a period of time.
      Good Luck !... would love to see the finished garment

  2. where can I find this free pattern since I can't read the directions posted. They are too small and garbled.

    1. Dear Anonymous
      I regret any difficulties you encountered reading the pattern, however, the pattern you see is the free pattern.
      Kindly send an email and I will forward a larger copy of this pattern page

  3. I also am unable to read the 'Free' pattern.

    1. Hi Sharon,
      I've revamped the pattern layout and enlarged and darkened the type...hope that helps and all the best with your project,

  4. Hi. I really love your basic pattern however I am an XL wanting to venture into my first sweater. Would it be possible to get the number variance to make this larger?

    1. Hi,
      The pattern is as is, I do not make additions for either smaller or larger sizes as it usually involves quite a bit of rewrite. I would suggest going to a reputable yarn store and getting help with any adjustments.
      All the best,

  5. Hi I can't read the pattern for the cap sleeve top
    What size would I be if I am a 10
    Excited to try it Thankyou

  6. I love the look of your basic sweater.... However, not sure of the pattern stitch you used... Is it garter stitch??? I want to keep it simple as this is my first sweater.... Also can you tell me the yarn that you used... Thank you. Rochelle

    1. Hi Rochelle,
      The pattern was rewritten from a Phildar pattern,
      using the same measurements but for a universal worsted weight and in garter stitch which is ideal for beginners.
      I would recommend going to a craft or reputable yarn store as they give you ample time for returns of any unused yarn. As far as sizing, how loose or tight you like garment should be considered. Look to the finished measurement for guidance.
      Hope that helps-all the best,