Free Crochet Tutorial – Reverse Shell Stitch

Aug 27, 2021

I’m so excited to share with you this free crochet tutorial for the reverse shell stitch! This is such a beautiful and flexible stitch. Depending on the number of stitches worked it can be flat and flowing or highly textured and curving. A change in stitch height can take the reverse shell stitch from subtle to dramatic. It’s such a fun stitch you’re going to want to add it to all your projects!


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Tutorial Details

For this tutorial I’m using Brava Worsted Weight yarn in the colorway Silver. This is a great yarn for practicing stitches. It is sturdy enough to show great stitch definition, but soft and flexible enough to glide easily through the hook. I’ve saved this skein just for practicing stitches and it has held up super well to lots of frogging! 


Whenever I’m practicing a new stitch I like to use a hook that’s super comfortable in my hand. No sense fighting the hook while you’re perfecting your stitches. I love wooden hooks and the Furls Streamline hooks are my favorite. For this tutorial, I used a US H-8 (5.0mm) hook.


Please keep in mind that this tutorial is meant to help you practice this stitch pattern. The reverse shell stitch, while done using the same technique, can be made with several different variations of stitches and numbers of chains and stitches. Read all pattern directions carefully when you’re working this stitch as part of a pattern.


Reverse Shell Stitch

The reverse shell stitch is made up of three parts. The first part is a base stitch. This can be any basic stitch and is worked as the first part of the reverse shell stitch. After the base stitch, you will work chains, the number of chains can vary so read your pattern carefully. These chains will connect back to either your first bass stitch or the previous reverse shell. Finally, you’ll work stitches in the chain space to create the shell. 


Photo Tutorial

For this tutorial I am working with a base stitch of 3 single crochets, 4 chains and 9 double crochets in the chain space. Please check your pattern carefully for variations on these numbers and stitches.


Work a couple rows of any stitch in multiples of three stitches then follow the tutorial below.



Video Tutorial



The reverse shell stitch makes a beautiful border. Add it to shawls, napkins, wall hangings, blankets, there are so many possibilities! 





Reverse Shell Coaster

This pattern is a fun home decor project that allows you to practice the reverse shell stitch again and again. Make them in lots of colors. They’re perfect for selling at craft markets or giving as gifts!



Marin Earrings

Take the reverse shell stitch tiny for these beautiful earrings. In this pattern the reverse shell stitch mimics the motion of waves, making it the perfect summer earring!



Marin Shawl

This gorgeous shawl combines working in the 3rd loop with a stunning reverse shell border that really shows off your crochet skills. This beautiful shawl is perfect for fall into winter and right through spring!

All of the links above will take you to my Ravelry shop. If you’d like to shop my patterns on Etsy, shop here!

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