I’m excited to post a book review of the crochet book that includes my all-time favorite baby sweater pattern so far. The book is called Dressing Up Baby: 5 Crochet Sets. Darla Sims is the author. The book includes crochet patterns for making five different baby layette sets, each of which includes a sweater, baby hat, baby booties and baby blanket. Whether you’re crocheting for your own baby, a beloved grandchild / niece / nephew, for charity or for baby shower gifts, you’ll find a delightful variety of patterns to consider in this book.
Publisher: Leisure Arts
Copyright Date: 2010
ISBN 13: 978-1-60140-983-6
ISBN 10: 1-60140-983-4
Book Format: This book is available in the following formats:
Number of Pages: 44
Cover Price: $10.95 US dollars
Skill Level: 3 of the baby layette sets in this book are rated as being “Easy+” crochet patterns. 2 of the baby layette sets in the book are rated as being “intermediate” level crochet patterns.
Crochet Baby Patterns Included in This Book:
“My Little Posy” Crochet Baby Clothes and Accessories Set — This easy crochet baby layette set features an unusual and delightful chevron stitch baby blanket accented with popcorn stitch flowers that resemble sweet rosebuds. The coordinating sweater and hat also include matching floral details. Cute, feminine baby booties complete the set.
This is definitely a baby layette set you’d want to make for baby girls; the design isn’t well-suited for baby boys.
I made this sweater and hat for my baby daughter prior to her birth. It would be an understatement to say she got a lot of use out of the sweater. She wore it almost every day during the fall, winter and early spring of her first year, and there were even times when she wore it to bed at night.
She didn’t get as much wear out of the hat because I accidentally made it too small for her (it was my error, not the fault of the pattern.)
The set, especially the sweater, has accumulated bunches of compliments from both friends and strangers. People did also find the hat remarkable; it’s an unusual design that’s cute, pretty and feminine without being overly “froofy”.
When I crocheted this pattern, I found the instructions clear and easy to work from. The instructions include a helpful stitch guide that I referred to often while working these crochet baby clothes. I think the easy+ skill level rating assigned to the pattern is accurate.
Overall, I’m really pleased with these baby crochet patterns, and I’ll be making more of these cute little baby hats and sweaters in the future when I need baby shower gifts.
“Bundle of Joy” Crochet Baby Clothes and Accessories Set — This is the baby layette set pictured on the front cover of the book. It’s a unisex layette set that would be equally appropriate for baby boys or baby girls.
The baby sweater included in this set is a button-down cardigan style sweater featuring classic cables worked using crochet post stitches. The blanket is also accented with eye-catching cables, and it looks like an interesting crochet project. The baby hat featured in this set is a beret with a pompom on top. There are coordinating booties to complete the set. This entire set is worked in one color of yarn.
“Hugs and Kisses” Crochet Baby Clothes and Accessories Set — This is a two-color baby layette set featuring interesting textured crochet stitches including long double crochets, crossed stitches and more. The baby hat included in this set has earflaps to keep your little one’s ears warm. The crochet baby patterns in this set are all rated as being “Easy+.” This layette looks to me like it could be made for either baby boys or girls, depending on the yarns and colors you use for crocheting it. The sample set is crocheted in sea green color with what looks like accents of navy blue. My husband was really drawn to this set, and I think it’s nice too.
“You Are My Sunshine” Crochet Baby Clothes and Accessories Set — This lacy ruffled layette set would be a fantastic project to make for a baby girl. It includes what looks like maybe a bonnet-style hat that ties onto the head; it’s hard to tell exactly from the pictures, since the hat is shown lying on a blanket in the nursery rather than on a baby’s head. The stitch pattern is gorgeous and delightfully appropriate for a girl’s crochet baby blanket. While it’s a lacy design, the stitch pattern isn’t so open as to be impractical.
“Sweet Pea” Crochet Baby Clothes and Accessories Set — Hexagons are super trendy right now in everything from crochet projects to home decorating. If you want to get in on this trend when you decorate your little one’s nursery, you’ll want to check out the crochet baby blanket pattern included in this set. It’s made using an intriguing stitch pattern that resembles a hexagonal striped tile pattern.
The project sample pictured in the book is made in girl-friendly colors of yarn, but I think you could re-color this design and make the blanket for baby boys as well. However, the sweater in this set is not a particularly boy-friendly design. The hat is a puffy two-color beret.
The Best Things About This Book
The styling in the book is done well, and the projects are all presented in attractive settings that the average crafter would likely find appealing.
I think it’s fantastic that this book includes both crochet projects for baby girls and boys. While the boy-friendly projects are in the minority in this book, the boys aren’t left out all together, as they are in some competing crochet baby pattern books.
I think this book is a particularly worthwhile investment for crafters who want to crochet baby girls’ clothes and accessories, but it could also be an outstanding purchase for those who want to crochet baby boys’ clothes and accessories as well.
There’s a lovely variety of styles and crochet techniques included in the book. You could make each layette set from this book, and they’re all different enough from each other that you probably wouldn’t find the experience boring.
The baby clothing styles included in the book are practical and wearable. As I mentioned above, my daughter got an almost unheard-of amount of wear out of the sweater I made her from this book. It was easy to put on her and take off of her, and easy to care for. I made her sweater using a superwash merino wool by Knitpicks (Swish in the “Bare”, undyed color), and it made a delightfully soft, warm sweater for her.
The crochet baby blankets included in this book are also practical designs.
It’s easy to finish these projects, with the most challenging things apparently being the buttons to sew on in one layette set, fringe to make in another layette, and some pompoms to make in yet another set. You won’t need to sew any zippers or linings to complete these baby sweaters. (Of course, maybe this is more of a “minus” if you wanted to make warmer projects that would result from including details like zippers and linings…and you could always improvise those details if you want them.)
The color choices presented in this book are appealing, and all of them are usable as-is — although you may need to do some color changes depending on the gender of the baby you’re crocheting for.
I appreciate having skill level ratings included for each pattern in the book.
Things to Be Aware of Before You Buy This Book
Most crafters will likely agree that the photography in this book is lovely, and the styling is superb. However, with the exception of the baby layette shown on the cover, the book only includes one picture of each set. While there are two photos of the “Bundle of Joy” set, they’re close to identical.
I think the photos are adequate to give you a good overall picture of the crochet baby projects you’ll be making. However, I found it a bit disappointing to not be able to see at least a few close-ups here and there of all the interesting details included these baby layette sets.
All the layette sets in this book are crocheted using medium weight yarn. On one hand, this makes for relatively quick projects. On the other hand, it means that some crocheters may find the baby clothes are thicker than they’d like.
The size range is limited. You get two sizes for each set: 3-6 months, and 12 months. There is no “newborn” or “preemie” size, therefore I would not recommend this book for charity crocheters who focus on crocheting for premature babies (unless of course you know how to grade patterns and are willing to take the time to do the required work for that.)
Schematics for the garments are not included in the book, which in my experience would make it a challenge to do the pattern grading even if you are willing and able.
Overall, I think this book is an outstanding buy for anyone who wants to crochet baby projects. I’ve included Dressing Up Baby on our list of best crochet baby pattern books. It’s well worth its cover price. I think that any crochet enthusiast would easily get her (or his) money’s worth out of this book, although it will be of most value to intermediate-level crafters who are crocheting for baby girls. The book is also a good buy for beginning crocheters who want easy projects, and / or for crafters who are crocheting for babies of either gender.