Monday, October 15, 2012

How to Piece Together an Easy Crocheted Sweater

 This is the first sweater I've ever made, and I've got to say, it was waaaay easier than my imagination worked it up to be. Like a lot of crochet and sewing projects, it's just a matter of putting shapes together, and in this case it's rectangles. Rectangles are super easy to work with in crochet, so if you know the most basic of stitches you can make this!

I drew a little diagram to show you the 5 rectangles you need to make your child a sweater. The dimensions I'm giving are for a size 18 months, but using measurements from a shirt that fits your recipient will let you make this in any size you want.

Sleeves (Make 2) = 10"x10"
Front panels (Make 2) = 6"x12" (measurement excludes contrast colored trim. If you are not adding any trim, make these 7"x12" so you can button it)
Back Panel (Make 1) = 12"x12"

The front and back panels are attached at the shoulders by sewing them together 3" in from each side (the red in the diagram). Leave the middle open for a neckhole! After this, you can attach the sleeves, which at this point are just squares, by centering them on the shoulder seam and sewing them on (the green in the diagram). Now you can fold the entire thing in half (the blue in the diagram).
Once the sweater is folded, it will start to actually look like a sweater! At this point you need to sew the sides together from the end of the sleeve to the bottom of the side on both sides. After this you are free to add contrasting trim. I added about 1" to the inside edges of my front panels so that they would overlap nicely for buttons (so the finished size for these 2 pieces was 7"x12" up to where I wanted my collar to start).  

I folded down the top inside corners of the front panels to make a collar and tacked those down. The trim color goes clear around the neckhole and the bottom of the sweater. I also trimmed the bottom of the sleeves. If you don't want to add any trim, make your front panels have an inch or so overlap when you put them on top of the back so that you can button it.

Crochet these rectangles, using any stitch or hook size you want. I used a size I hook, and several different stitches. The sleeves are done with the "silt stitch." The front and back panels are mostly double crocheted with some crossed doubles and a variation of shell stitches. I just had fun with it!

I'm really happy with how it turned out considering it was my first sweater!