Crocheted Lace Bolero

Let me start by saying that this project was by far the most challenging so far: This bolero has been over a month in the making. This is partially due to the fact that I got distracted by a few sewing projects (What can I say, it is like a child at Christmas with a toy — more on this later), and partially due to the fact that I decided to go freestyle (no pattern) and I got more than a little frustrated with the sleeve-making process.  It was more painful than I originally anticipated, and I am not 100% satisfied with the results (then again, I so rarely am), but at least it is finished. There was a moment when I almost gave up and resigned to making a sleeveless bolero, but then my stubborn self refused to let the yarn get the best of me!

I don’t have pictures of all of the steps in the process because I messed up and started over so many times that I stopped taking pictures because I never knew if it was going to turn out. Hopefully my explanations for the parts without pictures will be enough.

As you may or may not remember from my post “Crafting Frenzy,” I stole the lace stitch for this bolero from this pattern, and adapted the pattern for my own purposes.

Anyway without any further ado, here is how it turned out:

Front

Front

Back

Back

Crocheted Lace Bolero Pattern:

Hook size: 4.5 mm (Crochet Hook Challenge: 6/14 – ALMOST AT THE HALFWAY MARK!)

Yarn weight: France size 4 (worsted weight)

Yarn amount: 400 g

Stitches used:

Sl st = slip stitch

Ch = Chain

Dc = Double crochet

Hdc = Half double crochet

Hdc2tog = Half double crochet decrease

Other abbreviations:

Ch sp = Chain space

Tch = Turning chain

 

Front left side:

(Please note: The sides are worked horizontally from bottom to top and measure about 10” in width on the bottom. If you need them to be wider, you should start with a longer chain – making sure that you have a multiple of 5 + 2. To figure out how wide you need the side to be, you should measure one of your own cardigans from the underarm to the front and adapt the pattern accordingly.)

Ch 37

R1: Sc in 2nd ch and all others. Turn.

R2: Ch 5, skip 4 stitches and sc in 5th stitch (each of these constitutes a group, for a total of 7 groups). Repeat until the end. Turn.

Side: Row 2

R3: Ch 3, 5 dc in ch sp [Group 1], ch 3, sc into next ch sp [Group 2]. Repeat until end (for a total of 7 groups). Sc in tch. Turn.

Side: Row 3

R4. Ch 5, skip 4 stitches and sc in 5th stitch (for a total of 7 groups).  Repeat until the end. Turn.

Side: Row 4

Side: Row 4 (group 2)

R5: Ch 3, sc into next ch sp[Group 1], ch 3, 5 dc in ch sp[Group 2]. Repeat until end (for a total of 7 groups). Dc in tch. Turn.

Side: Row 5

Repeat rows 2-5 until you have a total of 15 rows (if you want your bolero to be longer, you should make more than 15 rows before moving on to Row 16).

R16:  Repeat row 4, but stop before the last group, making for a total of 6 groups instead of 7. Turn.

R17: Repeat row 5 stopping where you stopped in the previous row (for a total of 6 groups). Turn.

R18: Repeat row 2, but stop before the last group, making for a total of 5 groups. Turn.

R19: Repeat row 3, but stop 2 groups before the end, making for a total of 3 groups. Turn. (Please note that for my version, I continued with rows 20 and 21, but if I had it to do over, I would have stopped here and done 3 groups until the end because the shoulders ended up sliding a little bit, but it is up to you!)

R20: Repeat row 4, but stop one before the end, making for a total of 2 groups. Turn.

R21: Repeat row 5, for a total of 2 groups. Turn.

Continue repeating rows 2-5 until you have a total of 18 rows of 2 (33 rows in all).

Front right side:

Ch 37

R1-15: Same as for the left side

R16: Ch 1, sl st into first 5 stitches, then ch 5, skip 4 stitches and sc in 5th stitch. Repeat, but stop before the last group, making for a total of 6 groups instead of 7. Turn.

R17: Repeat row 5 stopping where you stopped in the previous row (for a total of 6 groups). Turn.

R18: Ch 1, sl st into first 5 stitches then ch 5, skip 4 stitches and sc in 5th stitch. Repeat, but stop before the last group, making for a total of 5 groups. Turn.

R19: Ch 1, sl st into all stitches in the first two groups. Ch 3, 5 dc in ch sp [Group 1], ch 3, sc in ch sp [Group 2], ch 3 5 dc in ch sp (for a total of 3 groups). Dc in tch. Turn. (If you stopped at 3 groups for the other side, do the same here)

R20: Ch 1, sl st into the first 5 stitches, ch 3 5 dc in ch sp [Group 1], ch 3, sc in ch sp [Group 2] (total of 2 groups). Sc in tch. Turn.

R21: Ch 5, skip 4 stitches and sc in 5th stitch. Repeat once, for a total of 2 groups. Turn.

R22: Ch 3, 5 dc in ch sp [Group 1], ch 3, sc in ch sp [Group 2] (total of 2 groups). Sc in tch. Turn.

R23-45: Repeat rows 21 & 22.

Back:

Ch 47 (chain less depending on size – for this pattern it is important that you chain a multiple of 5 plus 2)

R1: Sc in second stitch from the hook and all others.

R2: Ch 5, skip 4, sc in 5th stitch, repeat until the end for a total of 9 groups. Turn.

R3: Ch 3, 5 dc in ch sp [Group 1], ch 3, sc into next ch sp [Group 2]. Repeat until end (for a total of 9 groups). Sc in tch. Turn.

R4. Ch 5, skip 4 stitches and sc in 5th stitch (for a total of 9 groups).  Repeat until the end. Turn.

R5: Ch 3, sc into next ch sp[Group 1], ch 3, 5 dc in ch sp[Group 2]. Repeat until end (for a total of 9 groups). Dc in tch. Turn.

Repeat rows 2-5 until you have a total of 35 rows.

Once you have finished the two front panels and the back panel, you should join them using a darning needle and some yarn. Be sure to sew the pieces with the “right” sides together (meaning the outside), so that your seams will be on the inside.

Sew along red lines

Join sides to back by sewing along red lines

Sewing pieces together: Step 2

Sew tops of shoulders to the back from the inside (Please note here I have shown what it looks like from the outside)

Once it is all sewed together, it should look something like this:

Bolero 1

I recommend weaving in your ends before adding the sleeves.

Sleeves: (As I said in the beginning of this post, these sleeves are not perfect, so if you have any suggestions for improvements on this pattern, be my guest! Also, please note that I have extremely long and gangly arms, so you may need to do fewer rows, or decrease more/less accordingly. I would recommend trying on your sleeve after every couple rows to see how it is fitting.)

R1: Sc in all stitches around the arm hole starting at the seam. (Make sure the count the number of stitches that you end up with, so that you can make sure and do the same number of stitches on the other arm, otherwise one arm will end up being looser than the other. I ended up with around 73 stitches.)

R2-3: Ch 2, Hdc in all stitches. Join.

R4-5: Ch 2, 2 hdc2tog (making 4 stitches into 2 for the next row), hdc in all stitches until 4 before the end, and then 2 hdc2tog. Join.

R6:  Ch 2, 2 hdc2tog, hdc in all stitches until just before the top of the shoulder. 2 hdc2tog. Hdc in all stitches until 4 before the end, and then 2 hdc2tog. Join.

R7-8: Ch 2, hdc in all stitches until just before the top of the shoulder. 2 hdc2tog. Hdc in all stitches until the end. Join.

R9: Repeat row 4.

R10-14: Ch 2, hdc in all stitches. Join.

R15: Repeat row 4.

R16-48 (Please note: You will need to do more or less rows depending on the length of your arm. You should continue this row until a few inches below your elbow when you arm starts getting thinner): Ch2, hdc in all. Join.

R49 (or whenever your arm starts getting thinner)-62 (or whenever you reach your wrist): Ch 2, 1 hdc2tog. Hdc in all stitches. Join.

R 63- 64 (or when desired length has been reached): Ch 1, sc in all stitches. Join.

Border & Button Holes:

Border:

R1-2: Starting at one of the side seams, Ch 1 and sc in all stitches around the entire piece. 2 sc in corners. Join.

R3 (This is the row with the button holes, so if you don’t want to add buttons, just continue as you did in rows 1-2. Please note that I used 3 buttons. If you want to use more, you will need to adapt these instructions accordingly.): Ch 1, sc in all stitches (2 sc in corners) until you get to the right side. 2 sc in corner, ch 3, skip one stitch and sc in next (1st button hole). Sc in all stitches until you are halfway down to the bottom.  Ch 3, skip one stitch and sc in next. Sc in all stitches until just before the bottom. Ch 3, skip one stitch and then 2 sc in the corner. Sc in all stitches until you are back to where you started. Join.

R4: Ch 1, sc in all. Join.

Tie off, weave in ends and sew the buttons on the opposite side.

When all was said and done and I tried on my bolero, I discovered that the shoulders wouldn’t stop slipping, which was really annoying. After a little online research with some help from my friend Google, I discovered that this is a common problem for crocheted/knitted garments. The solution that I found was to slip stitch around each row along the neckline (on the inside so it isn’t visible) to reinforce it, and make it less likely to slip. I was skeptical, but it actually worked quite well, and I no longer have to worry about it slipping off my shoulders!

Here’s a picture of the bolero by itself:

Crocheted Bolero

Wow that was a long post! I hope I explained all the steps clearly enough, but if not don’t hesitate to shoot me a message, I’d be happy to help.

Happy crocheting!

Allison

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8 thoughts on “Crocheted Lace Bolero

  1. Great job! I just made a sleeveless bolero for my daughter. I am not brave enough myself to tackle sleeves, maybe in a couple of months :). Thanks for the pattern. I really like the open lacework on the back. Lovely.

  2. Pingback: Leibster Award | allison craftland

  3. Thank you for all the effort you do to make this tutorial, it’s very helpfull, I’m still doing trial and error making a bolero for my daughter and just make it as I go without taking a note for the stitches I make..and then I will be confused again to make another one..hehe..I’ll bookmark your pattern for my future references, ..thank you very much

    • You’re welcome! Hope it will be of use to you in the future. I understand not wanting to take the time to write down everything as you go, it definitely makes the process even longer than it already is, but to me it is worth it if it makes the second time around (for me or for others) a little bit easier 😉

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