Falling Leaves plus sized Cardigan

Updated: Jan 25, 2019

Difficulty: Intermediate ✦✦✦✧✧

The plus sized Falling Leaves Cardigan free crochet pattern.

I am so excited to present my first free crochet pattern for a piece of clothing: a plus sized cardigan. I love the way the Falling Leaves Cardigan looks.


I have been wanting to make myself a sweater for some time now. I love cardigans, but most of the ones I own are fairly plain and a little boring. So I set out to make a cardigan that I would be happy to wear. This sweater uses my embedded pineapple motif to give detail to the bottom half while keeping the top relatively simple so it can be worn with just about anything.

    The cardigan is written for sizes large (US size 10/12) and extra large (XL, US size 14/16). Instructions are given to adjust the pattern to make it any larger size as needed. I am a US size 12/14 in the photos, wearing a size Large. Across the chest, the size Large sweater measures 16 inches across but can stretch to 22 inches. At the hips, it measures 21 inches across when buttoned without stretch.

Silhouette showing the detail in the leaf/pineapple motif on the plus sized Falling Leaves Cardigan free crochet pattern.

    I used about 715 meters (780 yards) of Rowan Silk Twist yarn (a size 4 aran or worsted weight yarn) with a 10mm hook. The larger hook size gives the sweater a good stretch and drape, and allows the seater to be stitched up much faster.     You will need six 1.25-2 inch diameter buttons.

    The sweater is made with as few seams as possible. It is stitched with 2 front sections and a back section (which are seamed together at the shoulder), then the body in continuous rows over all 3 parts. The body increases a little bit at the hips to give it a nice shape. A border is added with button holes. The sleeves are attached to the body as your stitch them without needing to sew them on after the fact.


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Special Stitch:

foundation-hdc: yarn over (YO), insert your hook in the bottom of the previous stitch, pull up a loop, pull a loop through all 3 loops on the hook (like a normal hdc).

Moogly explains it better than I can. Please see their tutorial at to learn to do this stitch. It is needed for the button holes.


Gauge:

9 double crochet in 5.5 rows makes 4 inches (10 cm).



Pattern:


Front: (make 2) - All Sizes


Row 1: Ch 10.

Starting from the 2nd ch from the hook: Row 2: Dc 8. Turn. Row 3: Ch 2 (does not count as a stitch, hereafter), dc 8. Turn. (8 sts) Row 4: Ch 2, dc 7, 2 dc in the last st. Turn. (9 sts)

Mark the last stitch to indicate the side that faces the center of the chest.

Row 5: Ch 2, 2 dc in the first st, dc 8. Turn. (10 sts) Row 6: Ch 2, dc 9, 2 dc in the last st. Turn. (11 sts) Row 7: Ch 2, 2 dc in the first st, dc 10. Turn. (12 sts) Row 8: Ch 2, dc 11, 2 dc in the last st. Turn. (13 sts) Row 9: Ch 2, 2 dc in the first st, dc 11, 2 dc in the last st. Turn. (15 sts)

Row 10: Ch 2, dc 14, 2 dc in the last st. Turn. (16 sts)

Row 11: Ch 2, 2 dc in the first st, dc 14, 2 dc in the last st. Turn. (18 sts)

Tie off.


Plus Sizes: Row 11b: Ch 2, 2 dc in the first st, dc 16, 2 dc in the last st. Turn. (20 sts) - size XL. For larger sizes: Repeat Row 11b (ch 2, increase in the first st, dc across, increase in the last st, turn) until this piece reaches from the top of your shoulder to middle of your armpit. It should also reach almost to the middle of your chest.


⁂ Record how many extra rows you need to add to make your size. ⁂

This number is R. You will need it in Row 26 of the body.

⁂ Multiply that number by 2. ⁂

This number is 2R. You will need it in Row 12 of the body.



Back:

Row 1: Ch 34.

Starting from the 2nd ch from the hook: Row 2: Dc 32. Turn. Row 3: Ch 2, dc 32. Turn. Row 4: Ch 2, dc 32. Turn.

Row 5: Ch 2, 2 dc in the first st, dc 30, 2 dc in the last st. Turn. (34 sts)

Row 6: Ch 2, dc 34. Turn. Row 7: Ch 2, 2 dc in the first st, dc 32, 2 dc in the last st. Turn. (36 sts)

Row 8: Ch 2, 2 dc in the first st, dc 34, 2 dc in the last st. Turn. (38 sts)

Row 9: Ch 2, 2 dc in the first st, dc 36, 2 dc in the last st. Turn. (40 sts)

Row 10: Ch 2,2 dc in the first st, dc 38, 2 dc in the last st. Turn. (42 sts)

Row 11: Ch 2,2 dc in the first st, dc 40, 2 dc in the last st. Turn. (44 sts)


Plus Sizes: Row11b:Ch2,2 dc in the first st, dc 42, 2 dc in the last st. Turn. (46sts)-sizeXL. For larger sizes: Repeat Row 11b (ch 2, increase in the first st, dc across, increase in the last st, turn) until this piece reaches from the top of your shoulder in back to middle of your armpit.


Tie off.



Body:


Sew the top pieces to either end of the back with the marked side toward the middle of the back (so it slopes toward the middle of your chest.

Try this on. It should roughly fit around your shoulders without much stretching.


Join in the same stitch where you tied off one of the front pieces.


Plus Sizes:

The pattern is written for Size L with Size XL stitches are given in parentheses (# XL). For larger sizes, add the recorded number from above (# XL + 2R) to the size XL number of stitches.

For instance, if you needed 2 extra rows, then 2R = 2x2 = 4 stitches. So then in the beginning of Row 12, you would stitch dc 23 instead of dc 19 as written for size XL below


All Sizes:

Row 12: Ch 2, dc 17(19) along the first front piece, invisible decrease between the last st of the 1st front and the first st of the back piece, dc 42(44) along the back piece, invisible decrease between the last st of the back and the first st of the 2nd front piece, dc 17(19) along the second front (ending with the last stitch where you tied off the second front piece. Turn. (78(84) sts)


Row 13: Ch 2, 2 dc in the first st, dc 76(82), 2 dc in the last st. Turn. (80(86) sts)

Row 14: Ch 2, dc 80(86). Turn. Row 15: Ch 2, 2 dc in the first st, dc 78(84), 2 dc in the last st. Turn. (82(88) sts)


Row 16: Ch 2, dc 82(88). Turn.

Row 17: Ch 2, dc 82(88). Turn.

Row 18: Ch 2, dc 82(88). Turn.

Row 19: Ch 2, dc 82(88). Turn.

Row 20: Ch 2, dc 82(88). Turn.


Row 21: Ch 2, dc 5, [dc 2, (dc, ch, dc, ch, dc) in the next st, dc 19(21)] repeat 3 times, dc 2, (dc, ch, dc) in the next st, dc 8. Turn.


Row 22: Ch 2, dc 5, [dc2tog, dc, ch 2, skip the ch, dc, ch 2, skip the ch, dc, dc2tog, dc 17(19)] repeat 3 times, dc2tog, dc, ch 2, skip the ch, dc, ch 2, skip the ch, dc, dc2tog, dc 4. Turn.

Row 23: Ch 2, dc 3, [dc3tog, ch 2, skip the chs, 5 dc in the next st, ch 2, skip the chs, dc3tog, dc 15(17)] repeat 3 times, dc3tog, ch 2, skip the chs, 5 dc in the next st, ch 2, skip the chs, dc3tog, dc 4. Turn.


Row 24: Ch 2, dc, [dc3tog, ch, skip the chs, (dc, ch) 5 times, skip the chs, dc3tog, dc 11(13)] repeat 3 times, dc3tog, ch, skip the chs, (dc, ch) 5 times, skip the chs, dc3tog, dc 2. Turn.


Row 25: Ch 2, dc 3, [ch 2, (skip the ch, sc, ch 3) 4 times, sc, ch 2, skip the ch, dc 13(15)] repeat 3 times, ch 2, (skip the ch, sc, ch 3) 4 times, sc, ch 2, skip the ch, dc 2. Turn.


Row 26: Ch 2, 2 dc in the first st, dc, [ch 2, (skip the chs, sc in the ch-3 sp, ch 3) repeat 3 times, sc in the last ch-3 sp, ch 2, skip the chs, dc, 2 dc in the next st, dc 4(5), (dc, ch, dc, ch, dc) in the next st, dc 4(5), 2 dc in the next st, dc] repeat 3 times, ch 2, (skip the chs, sc in the ch-3 sp, ch 3) repeat 3 times, sc in the last ch-3 sp, ch 2, skip the chs, dc, 2 dc in the next st, dc. Turn.


Note: for plus sizes, only add 1 stitch per row added (R) to each size XL stitch adjustment from Row 26 (shown in bold above) to Row 35.


Row 27: Ch 2, dc 2, [2 dc in the next st, dc, ch 2, skip the chs, (sc in the ch-3 sp, ch 3) repeat twice, sc in the last ch-3 sp, ch 2, skip the chs, dc, 2 dc in the next st, dc 3(4), dc2tog, dc, ch 2, skip the ch, dc, ch 2, skip the ch, dc, dc2tog, dc 3(4)] repeat 3 times, 2 dc in the next st, dc, ch 2, skip the chs, (sc in the ch-3 sp, ch 3) repeat twice, sc in the last ch-3 sp, ch 2, skip the chs, dc, 2 dc in the next st, dc. Turn.


Row 28: Ch 2, dc 2, [2 dc in the next st, dc, ch 2, skip the chs, sc in the first ch-3 sp, ch 3, sc in the last ch-3 sp, ch 2, skip the chs, dc, 2 dc in the next st, dc 3(4), dc3tog, ch 2, skip the ch, 5 dc in the next st, ch 2, skip the ch, dc3tog, dc 3(4)] repeat 3 times, 2 dc in the next st, dc, ch 2, skip the chs, sc in the first ch-3 sp, ch 3, sc in the last ch-3 sp, ch 2, skip the chs, dc, 2 dc in the next st, dc 3. Turn.


Row 29: Ch 2, dc 4, [2 dc in the next st, dc, ch 2, skip the chs, sc in the ch-3 loop, ch 2, skip the chs, dc, 2 dc in the next st, dc 2(3), dc2tog, ch, skip the chs, (dc, ch) repeat 5 times, skip the chs, dc2tog, dc 2(3)] repeat 3 times, 2 dc in the next st, dc, ch 2, skip the chs, sc in the ch- 3 loop, ch 2, skip the chs, dc, 2 dc in the next st, dc 3. Turn.


Row 30: Ch 2, dc 4, [2 dc in the next st, dc, ch, skip the next (ch 2, sc, ch 2), dc, 2 dc in the next st, dc 4(5), ch 2, skip the chs, (sc in the next st, ch 3, skip the ch) repeat 4 times, sc in the next st, ch 2, skip the ch, dc 4(5)] repeat 3 times, 2 dc in the next st, dc, ch, skip the next (ch 2, sc, ch 2), dc, 2 dc in the next st, dc 5. Turn.


Row 31: Ch 2, dc 6, [dc 2, (dc, ch, dc, ch, dc) in the ch-space, dc 5(6), 2 dc in the next st, dc, ch 2, skip the chs, (sc in the ch-3 sp, ch 3) repeat 3 times, sc in the last ch-3 sp, ch 2, skip the chs, dc, 2 dc in the next st, dc 3(4)] repeat 3 times, dc 2, (dc, ch, dc) in the next st, dc 7. Turn.


Row 32: Ch 2, dc 4, [dc2tog, dc, ch 2, skip the ch, dc, ch 2, skip the ch, dc, dc2tog, dc 4(5), 2 dc in the next st, dc, ch 2, skip the chs, (sc in the ch-3 sp, ch 3) repeat 2 times, sc in the last ch-3 sp, ch 2, skip the chs, dc, 2 dc in the next st, dc 4(5)] repeat 3 times, dc2tog, dc, ch 2, skip the ch, dc, ch 2, skip the ch, dc, dc2tog, dc 5. Turn.


Row 33: Ch 2, dc 4, [dc3tog, ch 2, skip the chs, 5 dc in the next st, ch 2, skip the chs, dc3tog, dc 4(5), 2 dc in the next st, dc, ch 2, skip the chs, sc in the ch-3 sp, ch 3, sc in the last ch-3 sp, ch 2, skip the chs, dc, 2 dc in the next st, dc 4(5)] repeat 3 times, dc3tog, ch 2, skip the chs, 5 dc in the next st, ch 2, skip the chs, dc3tog, dc 3. Turn.


Row 34: Ch 2, dc, [dc3tog, ch, skip the chs, (dc, ch) repeat 5 times, skip the chs, dc3tog, dc 3(4), 2 dc in the next st, dc, ch 2, skip the chs, sc in the ch-3 loop, ch 2, skip the chs, dc, 2 dc in the next st, dc 3(4)] repeat 3 times, dc3tog, ch, skip the chs, (dc, ch) repeat 5 times, skip the chs, dc3tog, dc 2. Turn.


Row 35: Ch 2, dc 3, [(dc in the ch, dc in the next st) repeat 6 times, dc 6(7), dc then dc2tog between the same st and the next st, dc in the same st as the second leg of the dc2tog, dc 6(7)] repeat 3 times, (dc in the ch, dc in the next st) repeat 6 times, dc.


Embedded pineapples in the plus sized Falling Leaves Cardigan free crochet pattern.

Continue without cutting the yarn for the border:

Here you will see 2 optional stitch counts when making the button holes, foundation-hdc (2,3). The first number is for a 1.25-1.5 inch button. The second is for a 2 inch button. These are marked in bold.


Plus sizes: add 2R to the size XL stitches below.

Border:

(2 dc, 2 hdc) in the same st as the last dc of the previous row to turn the corner, 2 hdc around the side of each dc (place one hdc around the top of the st, and the other around the bottom of the st after the bar) along the first/right side, hdc2tog between the last st of the first side and the first st of the back piece/neck, hdc along each st of the back piece to the last st, hdc2tog between the last st of the back piece and the first st of the second/left side, stitch 18(size XL: 20) hdc down the left side (placing 2 hdc around each dc as instructed above), [foundation hdc (1,2), skip (½,1) dc, foundation hdc but pull the last loop (the one that goes through all 3 loops on the hook) around the top of the next dc on the side before pulling through 3 loops on the hook, hdc (7,6)] repeat 5 times, foundation hdc (1,2), skip (½,1) dc, foundation hdc but pull the last loop around the top of the next dc on the side before pulling through 3 loops on the hook, if using smaller buttons hdc 1, (2 hdc, 2 dc) in the same st (last st of the side), sl st with the first dc of the previous row.

Tie off.

Weave ends in.



Sleeves:

- make 2

Counting from the top shoulder seam, slip stitch in the top of the 2nd dc to the right of the seam. (See image.)


Row 1: 2 dc around the top of the first dc to the right of the seam, 2 dc around the bottom of the same dc, dc in the end of the shoulder seam, 2 dc around the bottom of the 1st dc to the left of the seam, 2 dc around the top of the same seam. With the last dc, stitch it like normal until there are 2 loops left on the hook, then pull a loop through the top of the 2nd dc to the left of the seam and pull that same loop through the two loops on the hook. (This joins the row to the body of the sweater without sewing.) Turn. (9 sts)

Row 2: Ch, sl st in the top of the next dc of the body, 2 dc in the first st, dc 7 (all plus sizes: dc 3, 2 dc in the next st, dc 3), 2 dc in the last st pulling the last loop through the top of the 3rd dc on the sweater body before pulling through the 2 loops on the hook. Turn. (11(12) sts)


Plus Sizes: continue to increase (2 dc in the next st) in the approximate center dc of the "dc across" part of each of the following rows (one increase per row) until you have stitched R number of extra increases.


Row 3: Ch, sl st in the top of the next dc of the body, 2 dc in the first st, dc 9(10), 2 dc in the last st pulling the last loop through the top of the next dc on the sweater body before pulling through the 2 loops on the hook. Turn. (13(14) sts)


Row 4: Ch, sl st in the top of the next dc of the body, 2 dc in the first st, dc 11(12), 2 dc in the last st pulling the last loop through the top of the next dc on the sweater body before pulling through the 2 loops on the hook. Turn. (15(16) sts)


Row 5: Ch, sl st in the top of the next dc of the body, dc 15(16), pulling the last loop through the top of the next dc on the sweater body before pulling through the 2 loops on the hook. Turn. (15(16) sts)


Plus sizes: Repeat the last row until you have stitched R number of extra increases with 1 increase per row (up to R increases) starting in Row 3.

Beginning in Row 6 below, stitch (size XL + R) number of stitches where indicated.


Row 6: Ch, sl st in the top of the next dc of the body, dc 15(16), pulling the last loop through the top of the next dc on the sweater body before pulling through the 2 loops on the hook. (15(16) sts)

Tie off.


Join with a slip stitch in the bottom of the arm hole.

(This moves the seam to the bottom of the sleeve.)


Row 7: Ch 2, 2 dc around the end of each row of the body (including the top of the dc’s that the previous row joined to on the body) and 1 dc in each st of the sleeve around. Sl st to join. (30(31) sts)


Row 8: Ch 2, dc in each st around. Sl st to join. (30(31) sts)

Row 9: Ch 2, dc in each st around. Sl st to join. (30(31) sts)

Row 10: Ch 2, dc 28(29), dc2tog. Sl st to join. (29(30) sts)

Row 11: Ch 2, dc in each st around. Sl st to join. (29(30) sts)

Row 12: Ch 2, dc2tog, dc 27(28). Sl st to join. (28(29) sts)

Row 13: Ch 2, dc 26(27), dc2tog. Sl st to join. (27(28) sts)

Row 14: Ch 2, dc2tog, dc 25(26). Sl st to join. (26(27) sts)

Row 15: Ch 2, dc 24(25), dc2tog. Sl st to join. (25(24) sts)

Row 16: Ch 2, dc2tog, dc 23(24). Sl st to join. (24(25) sts)

Row 17: Ch 2, dc in each st around. Sl st to join. (24(25) sts)

Row 18: Ch 2, dc in each st around. Sl st to join. (24(25) sts)

Row 19: Ch 2, dc in each st around. Sl st to join. (24(25) sts)

Row 20: Ch 2, dc 22(23), dc2tog. Sl st to join. (23(24) sts)

Row 21: Ch 2, dc in each st around. (23(24) sts)

Row 22: Ch 2, dc2tog, dc 21(22). Sl st to join. (22(23) sts)

Row 23: Ch 2, dc in each st around. (22(23) sts) Row 24: Ch 2, dc 20(21), dc2tog. Sl st to join. (21(22) sts)

Row 25: Ch 2, dc in each st around. (21(22) sts)

Row 26: Ch 2, dc2tog, dc 19(20). Sl st to join. (20(21) sts)

Row 27: Ch 2, dc in each st around. (20(21) sts) Row 28: Ch 2, dc in each st around. (20(21) sts)

Continue repeating the last row until the sleeve is the length you need.

Row 29: Ch 2, hdc in each st around. (20(21) sts)

Tie off.

Weave ends in.



Using some of the same yarn, sew on the buttons.



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Suvi's Crochet!

I'm Suvi, a crochet designer, biology teacher, and mother to an adorable little boy.  If I'm not stitching, you can find me in the garden or the kitchen.

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