3 Ways to Alter the Santa Fe Vest Backing to Applique a Vest or Jacket

Tapestry crochet is a great way to create beautiful colorwork patterns and ornate geometric designs. You can easily create a tapestry crochet panel, and add crochet applique onto a jacket or vest that you have in your closet, as seen in the Santa Fe Vest Backing from Interweave Crochet Spring 2018.

First, this crochet applique piece will work best on a jacket or vest with a rectangular (or near rectangular) panel of fabric on the back of the jacket. If it’s not exactly rectangular, that’s OK. I’ll show you how to fix the pattern so it will still fit onto the jacket. Because each jacket is unique, I’m sharing 3 ways to alter the Santa Fe Vest Backing so you can easily applique it onto the apparel that fits you best.

1. Change the gauge.

The panel on my denim vest measured 7 inches wide and 14 inches long. When I tested out my gauge, I discovered that 9 sts and 8 rows =2 inches in sc blo. Using my gauge to help me, I knew it would take about 31 sts to reach the 7 inches. I knew I wanted to add a border of sc at the end, so I planned to work a pattern that would span 30 stitches. Similarly, I used my gauge to figure out it would take about 56 rows to reach 14 inches. Again, I was adding a sc border, so developed a pattern series to space 54 rows.

If the rectangular backing on your vest has a very different measurement from mine, but you would like to maintain the same colorwork pattern, you can work backward to manipulate your gauge.

Say the rectangular backing on your vest is 8 inches by 16 inches. Simply adjust your hook size (in this instance you would need a larger hook), so you can achieve a gauge of 8 sts and 7 rows = 2 inches in sc blo, then you can maintain the same stitch pattern while also making a crochet applique that will fit your vest.

2. Change the stitch counts.

If you like the tighter stitches and don’t want to adjust your gauge, you can always adjust the stitch counts. If you keep the original gauge of 9 sts and 8 rows = 2 inches in sc blo, but need back rectangle to measure 8 inches by 16 inches, you can simply add stitches and rows.

Using my gauge, I calculate that I will need to make a crochet applique that consists of 36 stitches across and 64 rows long.

With this change in stitch count, you can keep the color pattern the same, just work it over more stitches.

tapestry crochet

Or you can change the number of stitches in each color square to work with your new stitch count.

tapestry crochet

3. Increase or decrease as needed.

Some jackets might include some waist shaping. If that’s the case, the rectangular panel at the back of the jacket might get a bit wider as it approaches the top of the jacket. It might start off as only 7 inches at the bottom but widen to 9 inches by the top of the rectangular panel. This is easy to adjust. Simply hold the crochet applique up to the back panel as you work it. If it seems as though the stitches are no longer covering the rectangle of fabric, increase one stitch on each side by working 2 single crochet into the first stitch of the row and the last stitch of the row. Implement the color change as you see appropriate. Luckily, the color pattern is only a series of squares and is easy to adjust.

tapestry crochet

Now you know the best ways to alter this pattern so it fits your own jacket. Work a little math and play with the color pattern if you need to. Before you know it, you’ll have an incredible tapestry crochet applique to dress up a denim jacket or vest. To see more projects from the Spring issue, check out our lookbook.

Happy stitching!
Editor, Interweave Crochet

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