" I love how you explained EVERYTHING" was the most common response from the pattern testers. A modern looking easy crochet sweater pattern was my goal with the Bell Crop Sweater. I spill all the details I've learned in my beginner crochet sweater pattern.

a free toddler crochet sweater pattern that ease your fears about making that first sweater .

” I love how you explained EVERYTHING” was the most common response from the pattern testers.

A modern looking easy crochet sweater pattern was my goal with the Bell Crop Sweater.

Not long ago I was crocheting my 1st sweater. Gunshy to start a big project, I took the leap into garment making. I started small with a sweater for my little girl. It was far from perfect, but what I learned was valuable.

I took notes along the way, all the places I got stuck, and added the details to this easy crochet sweater pattern. I had the “scared to try a sweater” crocheters in mind.

Pin the beginner-friendly crochet pattern for later.

Save the sweater pattern to your Ravelry Library.

Are you convinced to try this? Let’s dive into the details of this easy 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.

Childrens easy crochet sweater pattern that's free. Learn all the details to make your 1st crochet sweater.

What You Need For This Easy Crochet Sweater Pattern

This free crochet pattern is for the girl’s sizes 8-16. You can see the other sizes below.

How Much Yarn Do You Need?

Size 8 3 skeins/ 600 yards

Size 10 3 skeins/ 675 yards

Size 12 4 skeins/ 775 yards

Size 14 4 skeins/ 850yards

Size 16 4 skeins/ 875 yards

The # 1 Thing You Need To Know

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.

Crochet 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.

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.

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

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

Size 8 Bust- 26.5″ Sleeve Length 12.5″

Size 10 Bust 28″ Sleeve Length 13.5″

Size 12 Bust 30″ Sleeve Length 15″

Size 14 Bust 31.5″ Sleeve Length 16″

Size 16 Bust 32.5″ Sleeve Length 16.5″

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.

Girls Crochet Sweater Size 8,10,12,14,16

The pattern is written for size 8 with the directions for other sizes in parentheses as follows 8(10,12,14,16)

Front and Back Panels
The finished size of 1 panel
Girls 8: 16.25” wide x 13.5” long
Girls 10: 17” wide x 15” long
Girls 12: 18” wide x 16” long
Girls 14: 18.75” wide x 16.5” long
Girls 16: 19.25” wide x 17” long

Ch 50(52,55,57,59)
Row 1: 1 hdc in 2nd ch from the hook, 1 hdc in each ch across, turn. 49(51,54,56,58)sts
Rows 2-37(41,44,45,47): ch 1, 1 hdc in the first st, 1 hdc in each st across, turn. 49(51,54,56,58)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
Girls 8: 12” long x 10.5” wide at the narrowest end x 16.5” wide at the widest end.
Girls 10: 13” long x 10.5” wide at the narrowest end x 16.5” wide at the widest end.
Girls 12: 14.5” long x 11” wide at the narrowest end x 17” wide at the widest end.
Girls 14: 15.5” long x 11.25” wide at the narrowest end x 17.25” wide at the widest end.
Girls 16: 16” long x 11.5” wide at the narrowest end x 17.5” wide at the widest end.

Ch 33(33,34,35,36)
Row 1: 1 hdc in 2nd ch from the hook, 1 hdc in each ch across, turn. 32(32,33,34,35)sts
Rows 2-15(18,22,25,26): ch 1, 1 hdc in the first st, 1 hdc in each st across, turn. 32(32,33,34,35)sts
Row 16(19,23,26,27): 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. 34(34,35,36,37)sts
Row 17 (20,24,27,28): ch 1, 1 hdc in the first st, 1 hdc in each st across, turn. 34(34,35,36,37)sts
Rows 18-33(21-36,25-40,28-43,29-44): Alternate between repeating row 16(19,23,26,27) and row 17(20,24,27,28) The final stitch count will be 50(50,51,52,53)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 done!
I recommend blocking each piece separately, before you seam it all together, 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 6”(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.

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