Knit a Child’s Vest

Looking for a project to knit for a six- to seven-year-old child that satisfies his or her fashion sense yet will keep them warm and toasty during the cold winter months? Check out our knitted child’s vest! We used tapestry yarn, most often used for needlepoint, to achieve the thick, padded effect. This is an easy project to personalize: just use the child’s favorite colors and add novelty buttons.

Free Download: A Child’s Vest

Childs Vest

Ian Brock wearing Ann Budd’s knitted chest protector (vest) for a child. Photo by Joe Coca.

  • Only in the Victorian era would someone name a child’s vest a “chest protector.” That is what Weldon’s Practical Needlework, England’s premier how-to books published in the late Victorian era, calls this child’s garment, and it does exactly describe it, but our guess is that calling it a vest will get it worn more often!
  • I modified the instructions from those in Volume 7 of Weldon’s Practical Needlework (Facsimile edition, Loveland, Colorado: Interweave Press, 2002). The yarn, designed as a tapestry yarn for needlepoint, has a wonderful spring, which, when worked in garter stitch, gives a thick, padded fabric. The vest is worked in one piece from the lower back, over the shoulders, and down to the lower front. The edges are trimmed with a few rows of garter stitch.
  • Ann Budd

Download the Pattern: A Child’s Vest

Find the Chest Protector pattern and other timeless Victorian knitting patterns in Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Nineteenth Series. The 23 projects included in the eBook range from simple to ornate and include the stylish Lady’s Jacket, Knitted in Basket Pattern; the intriguing Emigrant’s Vest; and several items for the baby, including Baby’s First Vest in Windsor Stitch, Baby’s Turban Hat, and Baby’s Glove in Brioche Knitting. Instructions might perplex a contemporary knitter accustomed to detailed charts and succinct directions, but the patterns are often ingenious, and many of the objects transcend the century-plus span of years since they were devised.

Ann Budd, formerly a book editor for Interweave Press, is the author of The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns and The Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns (Interweave Press, 2002 and 2004, respectively).

Posted February 20, 2014. Updated November 16, 2017. Featured Image: Illustration from Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume 7.

Find more vintage knitting patterns in Weldon’s!


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