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How to Crochet Our New Favorite Spring Accessory

This might just be your new favorite crochet project for spring: Crochet circle vests are not only cute wardrobe additions, but they’re easy to make since there’s no shaping involved!

Want to learn to crochet your own circle vest?

Read on to discover the basic formula for crochet circle vests, plus a few of our favorite patterns.

crochet circle vest recipe

Photos by Kathryn Vercillo of Crochet Concupiscence

How to crochet a circle vest

There are three basic steps to making a crochet circle vest:

  1. Crochet a circle
  2. Add arm holes
  3. Grow the circle

Easy, right? Optional steps including adding sleeves and working additional shaping. Let’s examine these steps to get an idea of how to go about making your own crochet circle vest.

This recipe for making a vest will give you an idea about how circle vests are made, but it’s not a step-by-step pattern. Once you’re ready to make your own circle vest, I recommend the patterns at the bottom of the post!

Step 1: Crochet a Circle

crochet flat circle

The first step is to work in the round to crochet a flat circle. You can use any crochet circle pattern you want, from a simple double crochet circle to a complex doily or mandala pattern. Crochet the circle until the diameter across is large enough to fit across your back. In the next round, you’ll add the arm holes, so the circle must be wide enough to reach your arms.

Step 2: Add arm holes

crochet arm hole for circle vest

Once the circle is large enough, it’s time to add arm holes, which is done by creating chain spaces in the next round of the circle. Here’s how:

  • Begin the next round of your circle
  • *Crochet a chain (the length is determined by required arm hole size)
  • Skip the same number of stitches as the length of the chain
crochet armhole for circle vest
  • Continue crocheting around the circle.
  • Repeat from * directly across from the first arm hole. You should have the same number of stitches between each of the arm holes. Each arm hole should also be the same size.
  • Complete the round.

There’s no exact formula for how many stitches you need to crochet around or how many chain stitches each arm hole should have. What’s most important is that the chains are directly across from one another, the same size and large enough to fit arms through.

At this stage, you can try on the vest to make sure that the circle is comfortable on your back and your arms fit through the arm holes.

Step 3: Grow the circle

crochet circle vest

Continue with the next round of your circle as normal. When you reach the arm holes, work the correct number of stitches (including increases) into that chain space. Continue making rounds until you have completed your circle or the vest is the desired size.

crochet circle vest from the front

Crochet circle vest pictured from the front, with arm holes on the side

Variations on your crochet circle vest

Want to customize your crochet circle vest based on the basic recipe? Here are some variations you can play with:

1. Vary your circle pattern.

For example, use single crochets instead of double crochets. This is the easiest way to change what your circle vest looks like.

2. Add sleeves to the armholes.

The circle vest is a great starter for making a cardigan or jacket! Sleeves are worked in the round at each armhole.

3. Move the location of the armholes.

The basic pattern calls for an equal number of stitches between he arm holes, but that rule isn’t set in stone. Try fewer stitches on top and more stitches on the bottom, which moves the placement of the arms and gives the circle vest a different drape on the body.

4. Add additional shaping.

For example, you could add stitches on the front of the vest so that it closes more, or you could add an edging at the bottom to lengthen it without growing the top.

Ready to make your vest? Start with these circle vest crochet patterns

bohemian crochet circle vest pattern

Photo via Bluprint member Hippie Chick Indie

1. Circle Vest: Stevie Nicks Style

This colorful bohemian version of the crochet circle vest is what many people have in mind. The mandala-style design is built similarly to the recipe above. The extra large vest is long and cozy, but it’s worked with fingering weight yarn so it’s not too heavy.

Get the Pattern

rainbow mandala waistcoat

Photo via Bluprint member ImmediateMediaStore

2. Rainbow Mandala Waistcoat

Here’s another colorful version of the circle vest (which, by the way, is also called a waistcoat). Its rainbow-inspired color changes and rainbow center keep your stitching interesting! By the time you reach the outer edges, the rounds are made primarily of chains and work up quickly.

Get the Pattern

spider dance skull crochet circle vest

Photo via Bluprint member Spider Mambo Designs

3. Spider Dance Skull Circle Vest

This basic circle vest has one special detail: the skull design element in the center. Beyond that, it’s made with simple chains, giving beginners a great understanding of the construction. The pattern comes in four sizes, with great information for getting used to different sizing option. The designer offers a variation with sleeves and a new edging to create a circle cardigan.

Get the Pattern

crochet circle vest

Photo via Bluprint member Dewdrops Designs

4. Circle Shrug/Bolero

This simple crochet circle vest uses puff stitches for texture. It’s built in the same manner as the basic recipe, with a shell stitch edging and a button closure.

Get the Pattern

spiderweb lace circle vest

Photo via Bluprint member One Stitch Designs

5. Spiderweb Lace Circle Vest

The spiderweb circle, created with lots of open chain work, is one of the most popular vest options out there. The designer, One Stitch Designs, offers an alternative crochet pattern for a spiderweb circle jacket built from the same idea as this design.

Get the Pattern

circle vest shrug crochet pattern

Photo via Bluprint member LazyTCrochet

6. Ladies’ Circle Vest

This crochet shrug pattern is worked in double crochet stitches, using strategic spacing to give some additional detail. With an optional button closure, it’s a terrific example of a basic but beautiful crochet circle vest.

Get the Pattern

circle shawl crochet pattern

Photo via Bluprint member HodgePodge Crochet

7. Unforgettable Summer Nights Circle Shawl

This unique variation has an open center in the circle, which creates an opening in the back. Other than that, the design looks like a classic circle vest. The pattern instructions explain how to easily adapt this pattern to fit any size body. Bonus: no stitch counting required!

Get the Pattern

slouchy circle jacket crochet pattern

Photo via Bluprint member Tomboy Nanny

8. Slouchy Circle Jacket

Learn how to turn a basic circle vest into a loose, comfy crochet jacket. The circle itself is a beautiful spiral crochet pattern that’s eye-catching from back and front.

Get the Pattern

FREE Guide: Top Tutorials for Crocheting in the Round

FREE Guide: Top Tutorials for Crocheting in the Round

Step out of the world of scarves and open up your crochet possibilities! Learn essential skills for crocheting in the round.Download the FREE Guide

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