crochet · crochet pattern · free pattern

Sweet Shells Cardigan from Red Heart Yarns!

sweet shells

Hi Crochet Lovelies!

I have a little bit of sweetness to share with you today. And it’s free sweetness, to boot. This dear little sweater pattern is available now as a free PDF download from Red Heart!


The Sweet Shell Cardigan is a baby pattern in 4 sizes: 6 mos (12 mos, 18 mos, 24 mos) made in fewer than 500 yds [458 m] worsted weight yarn, so it will work up in a flash just in time for an upcoming baby shower!

This design uses one of my favorite sweater-making techniques: working flat in joined pieces, from the top down.

Say what?

Here’s a little more explanation from the Pattern Notes.

This sweater is worked flat in a single piece from the top down. The Back is crocheted first, then the Left Front is joined at the shoulder and seamlessly worked down, followed by the Right Front. Both Sleeves are seamlessly joined and worked down. This construction method creates neat seams with just side and sleeve seams remaining to be sewn.

What I love about working in this method is that your shoulder seams are joined evenly and cleanly as you stitch the sweater which eliminates any problems from bulky or sloppy seams at the most visible part of the sweater. It also greatly reduces time spent Finishing the sweater and helps you ensure that the pieces are aligned straight and evenly.

That’s a win!

The side body and underside of the sleeves are seamed in the usual manner. I always prefer to slip-stitch crochet my “traditional”  seams whenever possible rather than using a yarn needle and thread. It’s easier for me to crochet evenly than to sew evenly. And I find my seams feel a little stronger and more durable when I slip-stitch them. I just have to be careful not to work too tightly.

What method or tricks do you like to make seaming easier?

This design was inspired by my little girl, Catherine. In my mind, I called this cardigan the Cream Puff Cardi because of the soft ivory, pillowy texture, and sweet style. Here is my original sample made for her in about the 24 mos. size. She’s been wearing it since around 13 mos, and it still fits! #momwin



3/4 length sleeves help you get longer wear out of garments for little ones, and it’s nice because she often pushes her sleeves up off her wrists anyway (and her pant cuffs up into capris–she’s always hot, but that’s another design problem for another day ;)!

We styled it up with a plaid tutu skirt, tights, boots (be still, my beating heart–boots on a two-year-old), and a handmade yo-yo hair bow I sewed from a scrap of poinsettia fabric. She wore it to our family Christmas Eve a few months ago, and to me, she was the Belle of our very small Ball.


Do you have beloved babies or new babies on the way that you’ll be crocheting for? Leave me a comment or find me on Instagram! I want to hear about them, and what sweet things you’ll be making for them.

Kisses and Stitches,

Sara Kay

2 thoughts on “Sweet Shells Cardigan from Red Heart Yarns!

    1. Wonderful! I’m so glad you like it and will enjoy it. It will be a special gift. 🙂

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