Woofens, you can do it! I taught myself crochet by using videos online, and a beginner DVD from a craft store. I started in 2010, and now feel comfortable with it.
This lovely vest looks to be done entirely in single crochet and double crochet, or is it something else? If it's just sc and dc it should make a good early project for a new hooker. I find it tempting and if I ever really crochet again I think I'd like this for myself.
The front bands include more complicated stitches, working through the front or back posts, but I found videos online to help with that. Also, I made step-by-step videos while making my vest. So those videos will help, if you decide to make the project.
Aha! Post stitches are what make the front look denser. I did a large (think queen sized bed) blanket with fpdc and bpdc and it just about killed my hands. Then I switched to knitting. I think if Woofens wants to learn to crochet and make this, it's a reasonable goal.
Sandy, it was definitely a labor of love. I made it for my son who is a big guy and needs a big blanket. He uses it a lot, it's helped keep him warm, and it was worth it. Will I do it again? Not bloody likely. My wrists ache just thinking about it.