The Opera Fichu by Jane Sowerby

The Opera Fichu

November 2006
Lace ?
24 stitches and 40 rows = 4 inches
in garter stitch using 3.25mm.US 3 needles
US 1 - 2.25 mm
US 3 - 3.25 mm
US 5 - 3.75 mm
700 yards (640 m)
One size

Pattern Description from Victorian Lace Today: “Throughout the Victorian period, fichus were worn over dresses to cover the front and back of the bodice, for warmth, modesty, or decoration. Their shape and size varied according to fashion. Some came to a point at the back; others were rounded like a cape, with ends crossed at the waist an tied with a bow, or fastened with a button at the chest. In 1881 The Girl’s Own Paper said, “Fichus are used more and more, and serve to turn a morning dress into a useful and becoming one for evening wear without much expense, and with very little trouble.”

Difficulty: Intermediate Lace

Measurements: Center panel measures 40” x 3”, border is 3” deep

Yarn Weight/Yardage: #1 Super Fine Weight / 700 yds

Yarn & Colorway: JADE SAPPHIRE Lacey Lamb 1 ball in 214 Melon


  • Straight or circular 2.25mm/US 1 and 3.25mm/US 3, or size to obtain gauge
  • 3.75mm/US 5 circular needles, 80cm (32”) longer


  • Stitch markers
  • Blunt needle
  • Small amount of smooth yarn for cast-on

Pages: 122-123

Volunteer Editor’s note: Many knitters have reported running short of yarn on VLT patterns--check gauge carefully (and purchase extra yardage, just to be safe!)