I was slow to repair this, primarily because I was not sure how without completely removing the band, something I was prepared to do if necessary, but I really did not want it to be necessary. Eventually, I undid the bind off and tinked back two rounds (which saved me from having to remove buttons and redo button holes). Then I tied together the ends of rounds that were still intact, added a "patch" to the mostly still intact round, then reknit two rounds and the bind off. (Fortunately, I had made a note in Ravelry about the bind off, as I had done a yarn-over bind off around the bottom.) I carefully wove in the ends and blocked the thing to help weld those ends to the fabric.
Were I to knit this vest again - or if I had to remove the entire band - I would do one (or more) of the following:
- Knit the band in one color instead of changing colors each round
- Start the rounds at a less stressed spot, like somewhere around the bottom
- BE MORE CAREFUL