Art Deco Style Filet Crochet Sweater – As Seen on Boardwalk Empire


1920s Art Deco Style Filet Crochet Sweater



This was a special request from a reader in Texas. Linda saw a sweater on Boardwalk Empire that she liked and we endeavored to recreate it. The project, which began in Dec. 2015, took 2 mos. to complete, starting from scratch with only pictures to guide the work-in-progress.

Boardwalk Empire; an HBO crime series set in the Prohibition Era, ran 5 seasons ending in Autumn 2015. It won several awards as a period drama. Many scenes feature costumes original to the Art Deco period. The vintage clothing, acquired from various dealers by the show’s designers, was up-cycled with fresh dyes, linings and accents to make them appear “new” for the HD cinematic screen. Other ensembles were created specifically for the cast using 1920’s sewing patterns.

Examples of Costumes Authentic to Period in Filet Crochet:



Both cardigans are similar in design. In analyzing the work, I couldn’t help wondering if they were made by the same person or at least from the same pattern book. An exhaustive search of the Antique Pattern Library yielded no identical matches. However, the Bucilla Blue Book, Vol. 28 has a fringed pull-over shown below:


Bear Brand Blue Book, Vol. 28

Ladies & Children’s Sweaters, Etc.


Soft Cover / 32 pages

c. 1920


(Located Post Script):  E.C. Spuehler 1915 publication of Fourteen Filet Crochet Sweaters by Emma Farnes has a pullover vest that is very similar, with arms added I think this is the pattern of focus. See photo below 1st person, back view.



After searching for a pattern and finding nothing identical to the beige sweater shown in S1:E3, I did a rough sketch and began charting the pattern based on what I could make out from the images of the garment. Finally, coming up with this:

  Click Link for Chart/Pattern  ⇓

1920s Style Filet Crochet Day Robe

Worked from the bottom up, arms out, front over with additional trim and fringe added, it’s not identical, but rather “in the style of.” I used one cone of 8/2 Rayon Yarn 3360 YPP in Rust Color with a #8 (1.50mm) steel hook. (#10 on decr. rows).  

The finished piece fits US Women’s Size 10.  Rayon is a dry clean only medium, but feels super soft and luxurious. 

Popcorn & Fringe: The arm fringe is 6 1/2″ and the lower 9 1/2″. I worked one round of popcorns between the edge and fringe in an accent shade (olive brown in Valdani hand overdyed Size 8) and added an open work trim to the center and collar.

Before adding trim to center and collar, try on the cardigan to see if additional fill is needed in the front area allowing room for bust and hips. The design itself is an inverted v shape, not an abutting closure.  Still, it needs to close at the top and hang toward the front pockets of standard blue jeans. So, if additional front fill is needed, do this in strips of open mesh from top (collar) to bottom along the front opening. I worked three (3) additional strips, the first from top to bottom, the second down 2 from top and all the way to the bottom and the 3rd along the lower half to bottom, joining at desired starting point with a ch 5, then dc, ch 2, dc following the horizontal bars of the original mesh. When satisfied with the front closure work one (1) row of sc along the front opening from collar to bottom, then add the neck and interior trims.

Neck Trim:   Work one row of sc around collar in main body color. If there’s unevenness, work another row using sc and/or hdc to even out. Then worked collar trim (shell) in same accent color as popcorn. To make an open shell border:  *sc, sk 2, [dc-ch1-dc-ch1-dc in next], sk 2, *repeat.

Closure:  The cardigan affixes at the top front with a hook and eye clasp hidden under a small Irish Rose.  

Pictures of the work-in-process:



Interior Edging:   Fancy trim, interior edging used:

300 Crochet Edging 2006 Duplet

This is the type of yarn used:

Below a Kimono with Woven Fringe



11 thoughts on “Art Deco Style Filet Crochet Sweater – As Seen on Boardwalk Empire

    • I think if I were to upsize this, I’d use 5/2 cone Rayon with a No. 5 (1.90mm) hook or 3/2 yarn with a #3 (2.50mm) hook. The best thing is to take measurements of the target size and compare that to the piece as its crocheted. If you do need to change the pattern, add meshes at the outer seam, leaving the front focal decoration in tact. Thank you for your inquiry and best luck with all your projects.

    • The sleeve is all open mesh, made with the sweater. I added one of the small flowers on each sleeve. At the end, I added a strip of the Greek Key on the bottom of each sleeve, then one row of accent shade and fringe.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s