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Overalls by Darling Derriere Designs, Crochet Pattern Review

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Overalls by Darling Derriere Designs, Crochet Pattern Review

Standard Crochet Pattern Elements

  1. Is the name of the pattern and a photo prominently displayed at the top of the pattern?  Yes, both the name and a photo is prominently displayed at the top.
  2. Does the designer assign a difficulty rating to their pattern?  No, not in the pattern.
  3. Is a gauge given and if so, what type of gauge (horizontal/vertical swatch, chain only, sized by a certain number of rounds, swatch of a portion of the pattern)? Yes, chain gauge.
  4. Is there an abbreviation key?  Yes.
  5. Are measurements or a size chart included? No measurements but designer lists sizes by age and weight.
  6. Is a hook size given either by letter, number, or both? Yes, by letter.
  7. Is a recommended yarn listed either by weight, brand, or fiber? Yes.
  8. Is there information on how to contact the designer? Yes.
  9. Is there a materials list (i.e. ribbon, buttons, etc.) if pattern includes extras? Yes.
  10. Is there a photo or written tutorial on special or difficult stitches or techniques? Not applicable to this pattern.
  11. Are there stitch counts at the end of every row or round? Yes.
  12. Does the designer signify if the turning chain is counted in your row count? No.

Subjective Crochet Pattern Elements

  1. Is the pattern uncluttered, orderly, nicely laid out?  Does the designer give directions on where to find the next step if there is a break between sizes or there are pieces to crochet and sew on?  I found the pattern to be uncluttered, easy to follow, and nicely laid out.  Each size has its own section and the main portion of the pattern, in this case the overalls minus the pockets and suspenders, has its own section.  The designer does not tell you at the end of each size where to go to find the information to add the suspenders or pockets but it will be obvious that you must scroll down.  There is an entire section on finishing details at the end of the pattern.
  2. Is the font easy to read?  Are stitch counts that are laid out in parenthesis to signify different sizes highlighted in different colors or placed so that they are easy to follow?  I found the font easy to read, there is good spacing between the sections, and stitch counts are given in parenthesis at the end of every row.
  3. Does the pattern writer have a ‘friendly’ writing style?  Do they add a personal flair?  Does their tone encourage you to seek assistance should you run into a problem?  The designer’s writing style is quite user friendly and is clear and concise.  Her tone is also friendly and she invites you to contact her with questions and encourages you to share your photos of your finished product with her. 
  4. Does my finished item look the same or similar to the designer’s photo?  Yes, the shape of my overalls came out almost exactly the same as hers.  I ended up making two sets and photos can be found further down in this blog post.
  5. Are there adequate, too many or too few photos showing special stitches, parts placements, etc. and are these photos clear?  Are they labeled with an explanation?  There is an adequate number of clear photos that are labeled with explanations as to pocket placement, finishing the suspenders, etc.
  6. Are special instructions such as “do not turn” or “slip stitch into second stitch of your turning chain” included and are they used consistently?  There are no special stitches or techniques required to complete this pattern.
  7. Is the pattern clear and concise, free of run on sentences and unnecessary information?  I found all instructions to be complete and clear with no run on sentences or unnecessary information.

Verifiable Elements

  • Using and matching the gauge (not the hook size) the designer gave, did the finished piece measure the same or very similar to measurements given?  I ended up making two of these sets of overalls because I was making them for a client to give as a baby shower gift.  The client requested a 3 to 6 month size set so using the chain gauge given and the hook size given, I made the first set using the 3 to 6 month sized pattern.  I used Lily Sugar ‘n Cream worsted weight cotton yarn in a denim color.  The first attempt gave me a set of overalls that would fit a newborn instead of a 3 to 6 month old.  I made the second set with a hook size that was one size larger than the recommended size (which originally matched her gauge) and I used the 6 to 9 month pattern and this gave me a set of overalls that were more comparable to a 3 to 6 month pattern.  Since this pattern is crocheted flat and then the side seams are sewn together, I would have had an easier time if the designer had provided me with a full horizontal and vertical swatch gauge rather than just a chain gauge.  When working on a flat piece, your vertical tension can differ quite a bit from someone else’s tension and interestingly enough, I recently learned through a pattern testing group that sometimes even the brand of hook that is used can affect the vertical gauge.  I use Susan Bates hooks but testers of a different diaper cover consistently found that their gauge was easier to match the designer’s gauge when using a Boye hook.  It was also difficult to tell exactly how large the overalls were supposed to be since there were no measurements listed on the pattern but I knew from experience and from taking my own measurements that the overalls were not correct in their sizing.  The pattern is still very, very good and I believe that an email to the designer requesting her to do a swatch for gauge would probably get you the information you need or you can measure as you go along if you know how large a diaper cover should be for the size you are making.  You can find standard measurements for non-crocheted diaper covers online by doing a Google search.
  • Were typos or misspellings found in the course of working the pattern?  How many?  I did not find any typos or misspellings.
  • Does the designer allow sales of items made from the pattern?  Are there any restrictions?  You may sell your finished items without restrictions.  Designer does request that if you sell your finished product that you sell it for at least the amount that she sells her finished item for.  At the time of this writing, hers are listed at $24.99 plus shipping.

Pre-Purchase Information

  • Where was pattern purchased (Ravelry, designer’s personal website, Etsy, etc.)?  I purchased this pattern through Etsy and received it along with a couple of other patterns within 24 hours. 
  • In the sales description, does the designer give enough information to help you make an informed buying decision?  (Do they list the sizes they include in the pattern, the hook size, yarn recommendation, difficulty level, etc.?)   The designer lists difficulty as easy, gives you a list of sizes included, hook size, a yarn recommendation, and basic crochet stitches involved.
  • Is the tone of their advertising friendly and inviting?  Yes, the tone is very inviting in her listing.
  • Do they provide good quality photos of the finished product?  Yes!  Very cute model!  

Synopsis

This was a very enjoyable pattern to crochet.  It was very straightforward, easy to read, well laid out, and error free for the sizes that I did make.  I only wish that the gauge would have been a vertical/horizontal swatch because that would have saved me quite a bit of time.  When the piece is laid out flat, it is really hard to just look at it and tell if the size looks right but it becomes obvious once you stitch the side seams up.  Still, this would not discourage me from purchasing another pattern from Darling Derriere and I think that I will simply email her and ask her if she can provide me with a swatch gauge so I can get a better grasp on the pattern for the next time I make it.  Here is a photo of the two sets side by side:

Overall pattern by Darling Derriere, finished products

The other thing that I did differently the second time around is to apply the yellow pocket stitching directly to the pocket before I sewed the pocket onto the overalls body.  The designer tells you to sew the stitches directly onto the pocket while sewing the pocket to the overalls and leave the top open so that it is a true pocket.  That does work fine but you can see the yellow stitches on the back side of the overalls.  That is not really a problem when the baby has them on because you cannot see that; however, if  you are selling them, top stitching the pockets with yellow and then sewing them down to the overalls using the same color as the main body gives a more professional appearance.  Here are a couple of examples:

Darling Derriere Overalls, back side pocket stitching

Darling Derriere Overalls, side by side comparison of pocket stitching

My difficulty rating: easy.  I do not recommend this for a complete beginner due to sizing issues.

The pockets are what make this piece stand out and it was the first thing that my customer noticed when I hand delivered the set to them.  They were delighted that the little pockets were actually functional.   A photographer could pop a little red patterned handkerchief in the front pocket for an extra cute affect.

Darling Derriere’s Overalls, pockets

If you would like a copy of this pattern, please visit Darling Derriere Designs here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/DarlingDerriere?ref=seller_info

I hope you have enjoyed my first review.  If I missed anything or if you have any comments or questions, fire away!  I’d love to hear from you!

Darling Derriere Designs, Overalls Crochet Pattern

Hello fellow crochet enthusiasts and pattern hoarders!

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I’ve been meaning to create a blog for quite some time now but I just couldn’t think of anything new that someone else wasn’t already blogging about.  There are plenty of folks out there blogging about the latest project they are working on.  There are quite a few that like to create their own patterns and post them up for others to enjoy.  Although I am continually working on a project of some sort, they come rapid fire.  I work the project, complete it, and it’s on to the next project.  I have regrets about not taking more photos of certain projects.  I didn’t generally take a lot of photos because to be honest, I’m not really the best at photography nor do I particularly enjoy it.  However, in deciding to write this blog, I am going to have to learn to love it just a little.  I’m also not a pattern designer.  Sure, I can pick up a hook and a ball of yarn and whip up a hat or a scarf or the like without a pattern and sometimes I do just that.  But that is where it ends for me.  The item will be a one of a kind because I do not enjoy writing out all the instructions needed to turn it into a pattern.  Call me lazy if you want but I find it much more enjoyable to have a hook and yarn in my hand than sitting there cursing my lack of technical skills when it comes to creating a PDF file for a pattern.

So, I buy crochet patterns.  Lots and lots of crochet patterns.  You could say it is an addiction if you like and if you crochet, you have probably experienced the same addiction.  I have not actually sat down and taken a complete count of all of the patterns I have purchased but at this point I would guess it is somewhere around a few hundred.  I have resisted the need to organize them all into the nice neat little folders I created for them AFTER I realized that my patterns were getting out of hand.  Now I will have to pay for it.  It will take me hours to locate and refile them into one central location on my computer.  I have them in email, I have them in my Ravelry library, I have them in the Downloads file on my computer, I have them in duplicate folders that need to be combined.  You get the idea.

By now you’re thinking, “Just why is she telling me all of these things? What does it have to do with crochet pattern reviews?”  Well, reviewing crochet patterns that I purchase will force me to organize those files and create a document for each pattern to write notes that will help me if I make the pattern again in the future.  It will also force me to take more photos so that progress of a project can be shown and hopefully that will help improve my photography skills (which would improve even more if I would just listen to what hubby says when he tries to show me how to use all the features on the camera!).  Finally, it will provide you, the reader with a little bit of insight on what I,  at least, look for in a pattern – and maybe you look for those same things or have ideas you want to contribute as well.

I also need to tell you this – I am terrified!  I have not been able to find any crochet pattern reviews.  I’ve found sewing pattern reviews, but not crochet pattern reviews.  There may be someone out there doing them and if there is and you know about them, please let me know so I can go check them out.  But perhaps the lack of crochet pattern reviews is due to people being afraid to comment on the design work of others.  Surely I’m not the first person in the world to think of reviewing crochet patterns in a blog?!  So, maybe I’m taking a huge gamble here.  Maybe I’m opening a can of worms that should just stay sealed in the can but anyone that personally knows me will tell you that I’m not one to back down from a challenge – well, most of the time anyway.

In closing this first blog post let me tell you what I plan to enforce upon myself for reviewing crochet patterns – a focus on the positive aspects of the pattern, first and foremost, then a thought on what I’d like to see added to make the pattern more user friendly, and finally a number rating based on several criteria which I will post in my next rambling.  I want this to be a positive experience for me and the designer, should they stumble upon the review.  I will not allow myself or others to talk poorly of a designer.  We can all use constructive criticism but none of us need to endure destructive criticism.  Hopefully a designer can read my review and also the thoughts of others and use that to implement new ideas or fix problems so that they benefit from the review.

In my next posting I will be providing you with the criteria by which I plan to review.  I am hoping that you will contribute as well by telling me what you look for in a good pattern.  You will probably give me  a few ideas that I haven’t thought of yet.  Until next time, get your crochet on!

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