If you don’t already follow Melanie of The Knit Stitch on Instagram, you are missing out. She is a really talented knitter, photographer, and pattern designer. It also helps that she’s a lovely person to talk with! The Leaf Top was her first design and it’s already become a bit of a classic. It’s a cami with a pretty lace leaf stitch motif throughout, which makes it a beautiful addition to any summer wardrobe.
This is a pattern for a knitted lace cami featuring Melanie’s signature leaf stitch all over. It is made in three pieces (the back and two front pieces) and it buttons up at the front. The resulting top is a really cute, boho-y piece that looks really pretty in a wide array of colours.
You only need a couple of balls of cotton yarn to make this top, although I have seen people using silk and other fibres, too. You also need some 5mm needles, some buttons, and a sewing needle.
This is an advanced pattern because of the lace work and shaping, I think. But once you’ve got the hang of this stitch, it really isn’t too bad. You need to know to work leaning increases and decreases, but the stitch is actually deceptively simple. You kind of get into the rhythm of it and it becomes incredibly satisfying to work through. Helpfully, Melanie has a free guide to working the stitch on her website.
The pattern comes in two sizes: S/M or L. I made mine in S/M, but I added a border of four knitted stitches on the edges of the pattern. I’ll come back to this later on in my review, but I needn’t have done this as it would have fit just fine without them there.
The pattern is available from The Knit Stitch website here for €5.99/£5.50ish.
What yarn did I use? If not the one recommended in the pattern, why?
I used We Are Knitters’ Pima Cotton in the shade Natural to make this top. It’s the yarn that Melanie recommends and it happens to be one of my all-time favourites, so I was more than happy to use it. You can read my review of the yarn here.
I really like how this yarn looks in the Leaf Top. It’s thin enough that you can show off the lace detailing and stitch texture but it’s also super easy to care for and comfortable to wear. I also really like it in the white shade; it feels like a good fit to me.
How clear was it to follow?
The instructions in this pattern are brilliant. This is true of all of Melanie’s patterns, but she really does go the extra mile to make her patterns clear.
In addition to her guide to knitting the leaf stitch on her website, she also writes the pattern out for you and provides a knitting chart. I really like how she offers alternative formats like this. It’s more accessible and it’s also very helpful whilst you’re knitting.
When you’re first learning the stitch, I think it’s good to have it written out for you, step-by-step. But when you’re in the middle of knitting the top but think you have made a mistake or want to check your place, it’s really nice to be able to refer back to the chart and be able to see where you are.
Overall impression of the finished garment
I really love this top! It looks really nice in a range of outfits and is really easy to wear. I have to wear it with a vest underneath (thanks, boobs!) but it’s still a really nice option to have when it’s hot.
As I indicated above, I with I hadn’t added the knitted border to mine. For me, it isn’t necessary. Because I am on the bustier side relative to my overall size, I was a bit conscious of making a top that buttons up. The fit would have been fine without the border, though.
I actually really like having a button-up top in my wardrobe. It’s something that makes the Leaf Top really distinctive and cute. I feel like you would be able to find a garment like this in a lot of high street shops. Obviously, though, it wouldn’t be as good as something hand-knitted!
I do find I have to be a little bit careful not to stretch the lace out too much when I’m drying the top… But I think this speaks more to my inability to dry things neatly more than anything else 🙈
Would I make it again?
Absolutely! I’m actually planning on making this again using WAK’s Pima Cotton in the shade Dark Copper. I recently made The Knit Stitch’s Seasons Change Top (review here) in this colour-way and love how it looks. I think it will be a nice addition to my late summer wardrobe.
It’s a fun and quick knit that you could make over the course of a weekend – assuming you’re a speedy knitter, of course.
If you’re looking to learn how to work a more complicated project, I think this would be an ideal place to start. It’s not so big that it’s overwhelming and you get a very wearable garment at the end of it. Equally, if you’re a more confident knitted, you’ll find this to be a pleasant challenge.