Making your own clothing is an amazing, scary thing. This free crochet sweater pattern has the "scared to try a sweater" crocheters in mind. Every little detail you need to know to succeed is explained. The bell sleeve design adds a trendy flair to a classic sweater.

Making your own clothing is an amazing, scary thing. If this is your first time making a garment, yay! I’m so glad you’re taking the leap. There’s something rewarding about wearing a piece you made with your own two hands.

But the idea of turning those skeins of yarn into a sweater is overwhelming.

free sweater crochet pattern for women. Plus sizes included in the free crochet pattern.

I grew up surrounded by horses, cows, and miles of rolling hills.

My horse, Stick, was gentle-tempered and well behaved, for my dad. As soon as my dad would ride off over a hill and I was left alone with Stick, he changed into a bronco-busting horse. I found myself dusting off my jeans and climbing back into the saddle, only to have him buck me off again.

Maybe Stick was just acting out because he had such an awful name. But back around my dad, Stick turned into the well-behaved horse. What was the difference?

Confidence.

I wasn’t the best rider. My dad, on the other hand, could step onto any horse and ride away. Stick could tell when I was nervous and took advantage of that.

A confidence boost could have saved me a sore butt.

Starting something new, like making your own clothes or riding a horse, can be intimidating. Being confident in yourself is all it takes to change your outlook.

The best confidence booster is to learn as much as you can before you start something new. When I designed the Bell Crop Crochet Sweater Pattern I had the “scared to try a sweater” crocheters in mind.

learn how to crochet your first sweater with this easy beginner crochet pattern. All the details you need to know are included.

Not too long ago that was me. I followed a crochet sweater pattern and found myself spending more time googling “how to…” than crocheting. The pattern was well written for an experienced sweater maker, a beginner? Not so much.

I wrote down everything that I learned and added it to The Bell Crop Crochet Sweater Pattern.

To get your free printable PDF copy of The Bell Crop Sweater Crochet Pattern, click the pink button below. The PDF pattern has all the sizes, toddler-adult, in one place.

This is the pattern for the women’s size crochet sweater pattern. You can find the free crochet patterns for the other sizes below.

A cozy modern crochet sweater pattern for toddlers, girls, and women. I can't wait to see your first crochet sweaters

Pin the crochet pattern for later.

Save the free sweater pattern to your Ravelry Library.

What You Need For This Crochet Sweater Pattern

women crochet sweater pattern for beginners.

How Much Yarn Do You Need?

Womens Small 5 skeins/1025 yards

Womens Medium 5 skeins/1200 yards

Womens Large 6 skeins/1300 yards

Womens 1X 6 skeins/1400 yards

Womens 2X 7 skeins/1500 yards

Womens 3X 8 skeins/1600 yards

The # 1 Thing You Must Do In Sweater Making

I could’ve titled this section “Gauge” but I know you would’ve skimmed over it, just like I used to do when I was a beginner crocheter. (and sometimes still, shhh) Taking the extra time to make a gauge swatch is painful. You just want to dive into the project. I get it!

But please, make the swatch. It will save you the headache of a sweater that’s fit for a giant or too small to go over your head.

I recently picked up a wooden gauge measuring tool. It’s makes checking crochet gauge tolerable.

Gauge

12 sts and 11 rows = 4” square

Pattern for gauge swatch
ch 19
Row 1: 1 hdc in 2nd ch from hook, 1 hdc in each ch across, turn. (18sts)
Rows 2-17: ch 1, 1 hdc in the first st, 1 hdc in each st across, turn. (18sts)

After completing the swatch lay it on a hard, flat surface. Use a ruler or gauge measuring device to measure the number of stitches.

Place the ruler horizontally across the center of the swatch. Count the number of stitches that fit into 4”. This is your stitch gauge. It should equal 12 stitches.

Place the ruler vertically along the swatch and count the number of rows that fit into 4”. This number is your row gauge. It should equal 11 rows.

If you want to learn more, here’s a detailed crochet gauge tutorial. 

Helpful Tips

  1. The swatch should be larger than the 4” you need to measure.
  2. You’ll only measure the interior stitches, not the stitches or rows along the edges of the swatch.
  3. Remember half stitches count too.
  4. If you matched gauge on your first try you can start your project!

If you have more stitches and rows than the gauge pattern your finished sweater would be too small. Use a larger hook and swatch again.

If you have fewer stitches and rows than the gauge pattern your finished sweater will be too big. Use a smaller hook and swatch again.

Abbreviations (US Crochet Terminology)

hdc = half double crochet
ch(s) = chain(s)
st(s) = stitch(es)
” = inches

Sizing

Choose the size that matches the closest to your bust measurements. Here’s a helpful chart that shows you how to take your measurements. Craft Yarn Council Measuring Chart

Actual Body Measurements

Womens Small Bust 32″-34″ Sleeve 17″

Womens Medium Bust 36″-38″ Sleeve 17″

Womens Large Bust 40″-42″ Sleeve 17.5″

Womens 1X Bust 44″-46″ Sleeve 17.5″

Womens 2X Bust 48″-50″ Sleeve 18″

Womens 3X Bust 52″-54″ Sleeve 18″

Pattern Notes

You’ll begin each row with a chain 1, doesn’t count as a stitch, and your first half double crochet will be worked into the very first stitch. The last half double crochet in each row will be worked in the final stitch, not the turning chain.

Womens Size S-3X

The pattern is written for size small with the directions for other sizes in parentheses as follows S(M,L,1X,2X,3X)

Front and Back Panels
The finished size of 1 panel
Womens S: 20” wide x 20” long
Womens M: 22” wide x 20.25” long
Womens L: 24” wide x 20.75” long
Womens 1X: 26” wide x 21” long
Womens 2X: 28” wide x 21” long
Womens 3X: 30” wide x 21” long

Ch 61(67,73,79,85,91)
Row 1: 1 hdc in 2nd ch from the hook, 1 hdc in each ch across, turn. 60(66,72,78,84,90)sts
Rows 2-55(56,57,58,58,58): ch 1, 1 hdc in the first st, 1 hdc in each st across, turn. 60(66,72,78,84,90)sts
To make a longer sweater continue crocheting rows. Make sure you crochet the same number of rows for both the front and back panels.

  • Cut the yarn and sew in the ends.
  • Repeat these steps above to make the 2nd panel.

Sleeves
The finished size of 1 sleeve
Womens S: 16.25” long x 12.25” wide at the narrowest end x 18.25” wide at the widest end.
Womens M: 16.25” long x 13” wide at the narrowest end x 19” wide at the widest end.
Womens L: 17” long x 14” wide at the narrowest end x 20” wide at the widest end.
Womens 1X: 17” long x 15.5” wide at the narrowest end x 21.5” wide at the widest end.
Womens 2X: 17.5” long x 17.5” wide at the narrowest end x 23.5” wide at the widest end.
Womens 3X: 17.5” long x 19” wide at the narrowest end x 25” wide at the widest end.

Ch 38(40,43,48,54,58)
Row 1: 1 hdc in 2nd ch from the hook, 1 hdc in each ch across, turn. 37(39,42,47,53,57)sts
Rows 2-27(27,29,29,30,30): ch 1, 1 hdc in the first st, 1 hdc in each st across, turn. 37(39,42,47,53,57)sts
Row 28(28,30,30,31,31): ch 1, 2 hdc in the first st, 1 hdc in each st across until the final st, 2 hdc in the final st, turn. 39(41,44,49,55,59)sts
Row 29(29,31,31,32,32): ch 1, 1 hdc in the first st, 1 hdc in each st across, turn. 39(41,44,49,55,59)sts
Rows 30-45(30-45,32-47,32-47,33-48,33-48): Alternate between repeating row 28(28,30,30,31,31) and row 29(29,31,31,32,32) The final stitch count will be 55(57,60,65,71,75)sts

  • Cut the yarn and sew in the ends.
  • Repeat these steps above to make the 2nd sleeve.

Sewing It All Together

You’re almost to the finish line!
Before you seam the pieces together I recommend blocking each piece separately to the final measurements given in the pattern.

After blocking you can start seaming the front and back panels together. Both sides are interchangeable. Place the front panel on top of the back panel. The panels were crocheted from the bottom to the top. Make sure the bottom, where your starting chain is, of each panel is together.

how to sew the shoulder seam of a crochet sweater pattern

Shoulder Seams

  1. Attach your yarn to the top, outside edge of one panel.
  2. Using a mattress stitch, sew the front and back panels together until your seam measures 7”(along the white dotted line in the picture above).
  3. Cut the yarn and sew in the end.
  4. Repeat these steps along the other shoulder seam. You will have an open space in the center for your neck. Make sure the hole is large enough to slip over your head.

how to sew sleeves onto a crocheted sweater

Sleeves

  1. Open the front and back panels and lay them flat. It will be a long rectangle.
  2. Fold your sleeve in half lengthwise, like a hotdog bun.
  3. Find the middle stitch along the narrow end of the sleeve.
  4. Match the middle stitch up to the edge of the shoulder seam (by the star in the photo above). Use a stitch marker or pin to hold it in place. Lay the sleeve panel flat.
  5. Using the mattress stitch, sew the narrow edge of the sleeve on to the edge of the front and back panels (along the dotted line in the photo above).
  6. Cut the yarn and sew in the ends.
  7. Repeat these steps above to attach the other sleeve.

Side Seams

  1. Pick up the sweater by the shoulder seams. Fold the garment in half, so it looks like the finished sweater. The front panel will be on top of the back panel. The sleeve panels will be folded in half. Line up all the corners.
  2. Using the mattress stitch, sew together the side seams and the underside of each sleeve (along the dotted line in the photo below).
  3. Cut the yarn and sew in the ends.
  4. Repeat these steps above along the other side.

Now you get to wear your new sweater with pride and you have a new found confidence to try your next crochet sweater pattern.

I can’t wait to see your finished sweater. Tag me on Instagram @sweeteverlyb