Crochet Baby Sweater Free Pattern

Beginner's Baby Cardigan Sweater

Erica Jackofsky

Overview
  • Skill Level: Beginner

This free crochet baby sweater pattern was designed with absolute beginners in mind. It uses single crochet stitches, simple shapes, and detailed instructions to make it simple for you to crochet a baby's first cardigan. There are only the barest of abbreviations to know, and the stitching is easy. This baby cardigan pattern will have even the newest crocheters making baby clothes in no time. 

Sizing / Finished Measurements

The pattern directions are given for the smallest size, with changes for the larger sizes given in parentheses. Note that ages in sizing are given as a reference only and are based on yarn industry standards. Every child will grow at a different rate. Select size based on actual chest measurements whenever possible. When in doubt go up a size for baby garments.

Sizes: Newborn (1–3 months, 3–6 months, 6–9 months, 9–12 months)

Chest Circumference: 16 (18, 20, 21, 22) inches

Gauge

13 sts = 4 inches in single crochet

Adjust hook size if necessary to achieve listed gauge.

Abbreviations

  • ch = chain
  • ch # = chain # stitches, where # is the specified number of stitches
  • rep = repeat
  • sc = single crochet
  • sl = slip
  • sp = space
  • st(s) = stitch(es)

Notes

The pattern directions are given for the smallest size, with changes for the larger sizes given in parentheses. When only one instruction appears, it applies to all sizes. You may wish to highlight the instructions for your size before you begin crocheting. Review common crochet abbreviations, chain stitch, and single crochet as needed.

You will need 335 (335, 335, 670, 670) yds heavy worsted weight yarn, preferably washable. The sample was made with an 80% acrylic / 20% nylon blend.

The garment consists of five rectangles: two sleeves, two fronts, and a back.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • US I/9 (5.5 mm) crochet hook
  • Yarn or tapestry needle
  • Coilless safety pins or lock ring markers

Materials

  • 335 to 670 yard heavy worsted (aran) weight yarn
  • 4 1/2 inch (13 mm) buttons

Instructions

  1. Back

    Chain 27 (31, 33, 35, 37) sts.

    Foundation Row: sc in 2nd chain from your hook, sc in each chain st to end—26 (30, 32, 34, 36) sts; turn work.

    Next Row: ch 1, sc in each st to end—26 (30, 32, 34, 36) sts; turn work.

    Rep last row until piece measures 8 (9, 10, 10-1/2, 11) inches. Fasten off.

  2. Fronts (Make 2)

    Chain 14 (16, 17, 18, 19) sts.

    Foundation Row: sc in 2nd chain from your hook, sc in each chain st to end—13 (15, 16, 17, 18) sts; turn work.

    Next Row: ch 1, sc in each st to end—13 (15, 16, 17, 18) sts; turn work.

    Rep last row until piece measures 8 (9, 10, 10-1/2, 11) inches. Fasten off.

  3. Sleeves (Make 2)

    Chain 22 (23, 27, 29, 30).

    Foundation Row: sc in 2nd chain from your hook, sc in each chain st to end—20 (22, 26, 28, 29) sts; turn work.

    Next Row: ch 1, sc in each st to end—20 (22, 26, 28, 29) sts; turn work.

    Rep last row until piece measures 6-3/4 (7-1/2, 8-1/2, 9, 9-1/2) inches. Fasten off.

  4. Assembly Overview

    To assemble the pieces, you will sew the front and back shoulder seams together, sew the upper arms in place across the shoulder seam, then sew up the sides of the garment from underarm to wrist. Single crochet stitches have no obvious wrong or right side; choose whichever sides you like best as the "right side," the public side, of the pieces.

  5. Seam Shoulders

    The pieces of the fronts and back were worked from hem to shoulder, so your chain edge is the bottom hem of all pieces. Lay the cardigan back and one of the fronts out on a hard surface, with right sides together and matching shoulders.

    With a yarn or tapestry needle threaded with about 10 inches of yarn, beginning at the sleeve end of one shoulder, and using whip stitch or your own favorite seaming technique, sew across 1 (1-1/4, 1-1/4, 1-1/4, 1-1/2) inches to start of neck opening.

    Repeat with other front.

  6. Attach Sleeves

    The sleeves were worked from cuff to shoulder, so your chain edge is at the cuff and where you fastened off is the shoulder. Fold sleeve in half lengthwise so the wrong side faces out. Match the center of the fold at the top of the sleeve to the left or right shoulder seam of the garment; half of the sleeve top will be sewn to the back and the other half to the front. Pin pieces together with coilless safety pins or lock ring markers.

    Cut a length of yarn 15-20 inches long and thread on yarn or tapestry needle. Using whip stitch or your favorite seaming technique, sew top of sleeve to body pieces. Repeat for sleeve on other side.

  7. Seam Body and Sleeve Sides

    The long seam from hem to armhole and armhole to wrist remains to be worked; the inside ("wrong side") of all pieces should still be facing out.

    Cut a length of yarn 20-25 inches long and thread on yarn or tapestry needle. Using whip stitch or your favorite seaming technique, sew the side of the cardigan from hem to armpit, continuing down the sleeve toward the wrist edge.

    Tip

    The yarn used for seaming can fray under the stress of sewing long seams. Consider cutting shorter lengths and sewing seams separately, down from underarm to hem on body, then down from underarm to cuff on sleeve.

    Repeat on the other side. Turn the garment right-side out.

  8. Finishing

    To keep the collar laying flat, fold as shown in the photo and sew in place.

    If you worked your crochet stitches at the gauge called for then you should find the buttons slip right through the stitches, eliminating the need for a button band.

    Evenly space your buttons down one of the cardigan fronts and sew into place on one side of the fronts.

    Tip

    For a smooth finished look, work single crochet stitches evenly spaced around the entire edge of the sweater. Space stitches out at approximately 3 stitches per inch.