On Wednesdays I like to show off what I’ve been making and this week I’ve been working on the Sleeveless Cabled Cowl Sweater Dress by Affordable Wonders. Note that Affordable Wonders is this month’s blog sponsor (so this is technically a sponsored pattern review and I got the pattern for free) but I haven’t let that color my review.
About the pattern
This is a sleeveless dress pattern for a toddler sized dress. The pattern offers information to make it in a size 2T or a size 4T. It is worked up in worsted weight yarn using a Hook Size J. The pattern is available for sale on Etsy at a very fair price of $4.99.
The pattern as shown by the seller:
You will note that I didn’t make a toddler sized dress. I don’t have any kids in my life right now (sad, but true) so I did the design to fit a 5′ size person like me.
The pattern recommends Caron Simply Soft or Malabrigo Worsted Weight. I did mine in a cheap acrylic because I always like to do the first version of something in a cheap yarn and then re-do it in a nice yarn if I decide that I like it. I think the soft yarn would obviously be the better choice for a child-sized dress and I think it would also drape better on an adult. I like the pattern so I just may do this. I did mention last week that I just discovered Malabrigo Worsted and love it!
Other than sizing and yarn choice the only other variation that I made was in terms of color changes. Instead of doing the entire thing in one color except for the cowl and sleeve edging, I changed color twice. This was based purely on what yarn I had at the time but I was actually happy with the color change idea and might still do three colors like this if I re-do the pattern in the future.
So what do I think of the pattern?
Here are the things that I loved about it:
- The pattern is detailed enough to feel a little bit challenging but there are parts of it that are easy and meditative. What a great combination! The designer actually tells you at the beginning of the pattern which rows have big changes so you know where to highlight if you’re planning to zone out a little when you get into those meditative rows. How thoughtful!
- The dress is crocheted in the round working from the hemline up. This is actually the first time that I have worked a dress from the top up and I think it’s a genius way to do it! I have worked dresses both in the round and front/back separates and I usually like in the round better so this is a nice design choice here.
- Cables! This was my first time crocheting cables even though I have been wanting to do it for awhile. I enjoyed it once I got the hang of it (although I admit I had to frog once before I got it). This is encouraging to me because I think my August personal project is to complete the Pam’s Cables blanket that I bought the pattern for previously. Additionally, I think the cables add a terrific texture to the dress. I will say, however, that in making the adult size in the future I might limit the cables to just the skirt part because it adds a little too much texture to my tummy! But that’s not the designer’s fault and totally wouldn’t be a problem on a 2T child! 🙂
- There are photos showing you different steps along the way. I didn’t actually end up needing to use them because I’m more wordy than visual but I think it’s a really great addition. There were a couple of parts when I thought “am I doing this right?” and I could have totally checked the photos and seen that I was if I wasn’t being too stubborn to avoid the photos and try to figure it out myself.
- The size change for a 4T is set apart from the rest of the instructions (rather than written in side by side) and distinguished in red. Because each instruction row is so detailed I think that this is a really wise choice in terms of pattern writing.
- There are optional features. You are given two different options for your sleeve edging, the choice to add a bottom hem edge and an optional flower design that you can add. I like when a pattern gives several variations like this because it’s as though you’re getting more for your money!
- The designer does allow you to sell your finished items of this pattern. You should let people know that you used her design because it’s the right thing to do!
- The pattern doesn’t actually say where to change to the other yarn color. It’s totally obvious since you’re only using the contrasting color for the sleeve edging and cowl and it’s irrelevant to me since I did my color changes in my own places but thought I’d note it.
- The phrasing on the shoulder strap instructions confused me a little. I think that this might have just been a user problem on my end, though, because looking back at it I can’t think of a better way to phrase it than how it is. And I obviously figured it out so it couldn’t be that bad.