The basic idea of the Minuet Vest is crochet a simple shape, add a fancy border, then seam the sides to turn it into a vest.
I chose plain filet crochet lace for the basic U-shape so that it would be quick to crochet. Filet is also an easy grid for edging with a fancy border later.
With just two skeins of a casual daytime cotton yarn, this summery vest can be thrown on over anything and look great. Use a polished-looking mercerized cotton and the silky gloss suddenly takes the same design into an elegant Jane Austen-style world. The dramatic architecture of the lace is unforgettable over solid black.
This pattern explains step by step how to use a type of Tunisian Knit Treble stitch for the filet, like I used for the red Minuet shown. For the cropped yellow version I used regular crochet stitches (treble crochet + ch-2 filet). This pattern uses the Tunisian filet stitches, but you could substitute with regular filet.
Chains and single crochets are the only stitches needed for the lacy scallop border. Make your vest any length you choose. Printer-friendly filet charts and edging diagrams are on the last pages of this pattern.
I get a bit emotional about this Minuet design. It received a Hookalicious award in 2010 from the Crochet Liberation Front, and was one of the signature patterns I hoped to launch my new website with later that same year. I’ve worn the prototype (cropped yellow one) more than possibly any other garment I’ve crocheted. I’ve even worn it upside down! Over the years I’ve discovered more features, like how unreasonably happy it makes me to wear it under a winter coat so that just the lace collar shows.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Experienced because of the join-as-you-go seaming. Over the years I’ve encountered crocheters who struggle with assemble-as-you-go garment construction. The struggle may be with how it’s described in text, so I’ve created visual aids for this step. Pattern is written with a minimal amount of abbreviations.
The skill level of the stitches used is Intermediate due to the Tunisian crochet stitches used for the filet section. Experienced filet crocheters can substitute regular filet stitches by using the filet chart on the last pages. The fancy scallop border requires only chains and single crochets.
After using this pattern you will know (if you didn’t already):
- How to construct a vest as you go, with a few crochet joins instead of seams.
- How to let a fancy border do all the shaping.
- How to use the same pattern to make a cropped bolero style.
- How to crochet an easy, great-looking Tunisian Filet stitch variation.
- How to adjust both stitch and row gauges of your filet crochet lace.
- How to fine-tune a standard size for a Petite or Tall fit.