IWK Fall 2008 Backstage Tweed Jacket

Gallery: Backstage Tweed Jacket by Alina Khasanova

Interweave Knits Fall 2008Notes from Sandi: How much ease is enough for this swingy, beautifully detailed jacket? One way to determine this is to measure a garment you already have that has the fit you’d like this coat to have. Then think of how you want to wear it: Layered, with a sweater or other garments underneath, so it functions as a true outerwear garment? Or more as a fancy “suit jacket,” with just a thin shirt underneath? The former would require more ease, the latter, less. But again, the absolute best guide to fitting a new jacket is to measure what’s already in your closet–provided, of course, that you like the fit!

To help you see how the various amounts of ease work for our Gallery Gals, we included a few extra “playful” shots. Hope this helps!

About the hook-and-eye closures:
This jacket, as designed, is meant to be worn with just a few hooks closed. You can add hook-and-eyes at more frequent intervals or use hook-and-eye tape if you’d like to wear it closed more frequently and eliminate gaping–or leave them out altogether.

As you can see, the same sweater looks very different on different women! We give general suggestions for customization for your inspiration. Only you can choose how you want your sweaters to fit and which customizations will work best for you and your beautiful self!

Some links you  might find helpful:

Measuring yourself and your clothing

About positive and negative ease

Measuring tutorial with photos


Backstage Tweed Jacket

Sample garment shown is 36.25″.

Knitting Gallery - Backstage Tweed Jacket Toni
Knitting Gallery - Backstage Tweed Jacket Toni Knitting Gallery - Backstage Tweed Jacket Toni


Her bust: 33.5″
2.75″ positive ease

The fit is good for a suit-type jacket, but Toni loves to layer it on in the cold months, so she might want to have a bigger size. Would she want the 7.5″ of positive ease that the 41″ would give her? Even for Toni and her layers, that seems like a teensy bit much–6″ would be a better fit, so if there were a 39″ size, that would be great. The hem length seems a little short on Toni, so I’d bring the length down just a bit. Otherwise: I love the sleeve length, the armholes give her plenty of room to move around, and it’s a cute style on her. What about a navy blue for Toni? Pretty.

Knitting Gallery - Backstage Tweed Jacket Kat Knitting Gallery - Backstage Tweed Jacket Kat


Her bust: 40″
3.75″ negative ease

The sample garment is too small, at least to wear as a jacket. I’d choose the 44″ for Kat so she’d have some room to move around in. I’d also like to see the sleeves be a bit longer, and in the 44″, they are a full inch longer than in the size she’s wearing. Notice that it’s not just the bust area where things are tight–see how it pulls across her upper chest and back? The 44″ would definitely be more comfortable. Another point to note: If she were wearing the proper size, the jacket would be the drapey A-line it was designed to be. Here, it is so tight it conforms to her shape–not that that’s a bad thing, but just something to note.

Knitting Gallery - Backstage Tweed Jacket Debbie
Knitting Gallery - Backstage Tweed Jacket Debbie Knitting Gallery - Backstage Tweed Jacket Debbie


Her bust: 34.5″
1.75″ positive ease

I think this is cute on Debbie (but then, what isn’t cute on Debbie?), however, she wouldn’t be able to wear much underneath. The next size up, the 41″, would give her 6.5″ of positive ease, making for a very comfy, loose fit. In the sample garment, you can see that things pull just a bit across Debbie’s upper body–not much, but just a bit, especially when she moves around. (Maybe Debbie ought to stop working out at the gym so much. Those monster muscles of hers won’t fit in the sweaters!) The sleeves are a bit long, so in any size, Debbie would need to shorten them a little, to help her find her fingers when she needs them. The hem length is perfect.

Knitting Gallery - Backstage Tweed Jacket Stefanie


Her bust: 34″
2.25″ positive ease

Take a look at Debbie’s photos, and then look at Stefanie’s. Stefanie has a little more positive ease across the bust than Debbie, but overall, the jacket looks smaller on Stefanie than on Debbie. Stefanie’s shoulders are wider, her torso is longer, and thus her overall proportions are different than Debbie’s. Stefanie could definitely use a larger size–although she’d want to keep the sleeve length pretty much as it is here. Since this is an A-line jacket, it is really important to get a good fit across the shoulders and yoke area, since the entire garment falls (and widens) from there. If you are worried about your fit, again, measure a garment you already have that fits you the way you would like the jacket to fit you (it doesn’t need to be a jacket!). Compare those measurements to the schematics in the pattern, and choose the size that most closely matches your desired measurements.

Knitting Gallery - Backstage Tweed Jacket Erin
Knitting Gallery - Backstage Tweed Jacket Erin Knitting Gallery - Backstage Tweed Jacket Erin


Her bust: 38″
1.75″ negative ease

For a loose, comfy jacket to be worn as outerwear, Erin could choose the 44″ and be quite happy. For a closer-fitting “suit jacket” look, she could choose the 41″. The sleeves need to be longer, as does the hem. Pretty color on her, though!

Knitting Gallery - Backstage Tweed Jacket Sandi Knitting Gallery - Backstage Tweed Jacket Sandi


Her bust: 40″
3.75″ negative ease

The shoulders pulled on this a lot for me, so I couldn’t move around very well. (Who knew I was such a linebacker?) To knit this for myself, I would choose the 44″ for a close “suit jacket” fit and the 47.75″ for a looser “outerwear” fit. I loved the sleeve length, but I think the hem needs to be lower.

Other Things You May Like to Check Out:


Knitting Patterns, Womens

101 thoughts on “IWK Fall 2008 Backstage Tweed Jacket

  1. I agree that the gape in front takes away from the beauty of the pattern, several look like your accentuating the large breast portion in a negative way. A little longer would be good too for taking away the hippy look.

  2. I agree that the gap is a distraction from the lovely lines of the pattern. So a zipper, velcro or lots of tiny buttons? But, seriously with that gap showing on everyone maybe a firmer edge and more ease in the bust is needed.

  3. I agree that the front gape detracts from the lines of the garment. Also, as nicely fitted as it is designed, I think the too-long looking sleeves also detract. It attempts to be a fitted garment and then has a sleeve which tends to look more casual and “sloppy”. The flare is nice, but I’d make the sleeves hang at the same level as the jacket bottom or a tad shorter, depending on arm length.

  4. I agree with DanielleP, if I make this, it’s ZIPPER time for the front for me. It’s a gorgeous design but I couldn’t drag my eyes away from the gaping holes on all of the women. Even Bertha!

    I’d put in a zipper but try to do a very flush install where you wouldn’t see the zipper when it was closed. That way you wouldn’t really see it when it was open either.

    I can see how some people would like to hook it just across the chest but I’d rather live without that ability and know that the beautiful lines aren’t being distracted by gaps.

  5. Cherrie C. IWK Fall 2008 Tweed Jacket.

    I must agree with the others. This is a beautiful jacket. The gaps between the closures does not do the front justice. Either leave it open or—use sweater clasps with the chains looping between. Large clasps. No more than three. Otherwise, this is a great jacket.

  6. I think this jacket would look so much better if it had twice the number of buttons so it would not gap so much. Even on staff who had positive ease the front gapped. Add more buttons!

  7. I love this jacket on the model but in real life: the gaps (maybe emphasized by the light colors worn underneath). And the raglan sleeve seems to not quite work in some of the smaller gals Debbie and Toni even though they were closer to the knitted size. Trying to get away from the gaps I still do not like the idea of a zipper. I am afraid it might take away from the “swing”. I must say I am disappointed. It was one of the only sweaters I thought Iiked for a long time. LOVE the GALLERY.

  8. I think that only one closure at top of sweater – somewhere in the yoke would suffice to make this a “swing jacket”. The other thing that bugs me is the deep underarm. I think bringing up the armhole shaping would create less pull on the front across the bust.

  9. I like the jacket but – like so many others – dislike the closure. It looks like it’s pulling across the chest. Maybe adding 1/2″ or even 1″ to the centre fronts would allow it to lie flat.

    Even then, I’d probably put in a zipper or simply use one button at the neck and let it swing.

  10. I agree with all the folks who are unhappy with the gap down the front. I think when I knit this (because OH YES it shall be mine!), I will knit facings for some added sturdiness and put in a two-way zipper — that way you can have the partially-closed from at whatever point you feel flatters you best, but still maintain a clean line for the portion of the sweater that’s closed.

  11. As far as I am concerned, this is one of those “what were you THINKING?” things- unless you put a lot of hook and eye closures on there, the thing will gap unattractively. Does anybody have any thoughts as to how a zipper would work? because otherwise, it’s a very attractive jacket.

  12. As a general rule, I don’t like sweaters or jackets that meet edge to edge in the front. It’s almost impossible to get them to fit so that the front doesn’t gap. And when it gaps, it generally looks just awful.

  13. This jacket gets three thumbs down:

    – The front gaps make the jacket look ill-fitting.
    – The tapered arrow back makes everyone’s hips look larger than life.
    – The flared cuffs on the sleeves look like I’d have to worry about them dragging in my dinner.

    On the plus side, when the jacket is buttoned, I love the Mandarin collar.

  14. I loved this jacket so much in the preview issue that I finally subscribed to IK. I agree that the gallery is a bit disappointing in pointing out some flaws in design: not only the gapping in the front, but also the shoulders’ tendency to bunch up. At the same time, however, the gallery is really helpful for thinking about how to plan ahead to remedy these things! Thank you for that! I think a placket with frog or clasp closures might look really nice–it has a sort of mandarin look to it. The color is just stunning!

  15. I like the chains across idea, tho a zip would work too.
    I also like the point at the back, I find angled or zigzag hems more flattering than a straight across line sitting across there like a ruler 😉

  16. I agree with the gap being a negative for the over-all look. What about making one of the front sides a little wider, creating an overlap and setting the “frogs” or hooks or whatever in a little more on the non-increased side?

    With the way the color stands up when closed at the neck, this change might push it further towards a “Mandarin style”, which I like.


  17. The gaping ruins this for me, and it wasn’t at all apparent in the magazine, so it’s good to see this. I would use buttons or add a zipper and I’d have to know that ahead of time so I could make adjustments before knitting.
    This fact (not knowing how this stuff will affect the fit before making the garment) makes garment-making a really tortuous process, I’m telling ya. I haven’t gotten it right in ages, and I’m not that inexperienced. In the last couple of years, I just seem to run into a big problem or two after the garment is all done and I’ve spent like a hundred hours making it.

  18. I really don’t like this, and I rarely say that about a garment. It just reminds me of something off the “solde” rack at our local Leclerc, a French discount chain. The shoulders are entirely too “busy”, and the sleeves entirely too long for the abrupt, at-the-hip ending; either lengthen it about 10cm or shorten it the same amount, or get rid of the “epaulets fantastiques” entirely, but as it, it simply looks badly thought out, almost experimental.

  19. After much study of the backstage tweed jacket and posted comments, I have to say that I disagree with the negative thoughts regarding the front closures. I find it to be very flattering, if fitted properly (not the GAPING) we see from garments that are too small. I would shorten the sleeves just a bit.

  20. I like the pattern and the idea of this jacket. BUT, like everyone else, I think the front closure should be a zipper for most of the length of the front, or one large button about a third of the way up. I do think the point in the center of the back is like a neon sign pointing to one’s tush. If it’s your best asset, it could be good. If it’s not, why would you want to draw all sorts of attention to it?


  21. You know, a little I-cord frog doohickey in the upper front would make this into an awfully cute little flyaway jacket that would really highlight the A-line shape. Give it more of a New-Asian flair.

  22. Why not apply a separating zipper down the front? All that gaposis down the front makes it look like it was knitted by a well-meaning aunt. The jacket would be pretty if it looked like it fit. But unfortunately it looks ill-fitting and awkward on every model except the emaciated Bertha.


  23. I don’t like the gaps either and can only imagine how bad they would look when sitting! My body has it very own gaps (rolls) I don’t need them poking thru !

  24. Sorry, but I don’t think I’ve seen anything in Interweave so universally unattractive — on all the models as well as Bertha.

    So awful I was compelled to comment.


  25. Wow. I had to look very, very hard to find something positive to say about this one. The almost-universal thumbs-down on the gap-osis. Check.

    The fit? There is no fit. It looks as though these poor models are trying to make a one-size-fits all tube sock fit across their chests and shoulders. It looks like molded plastic.

    I like the color of the yarn.

  26. I agree with all the above people. It just looks if the garment isn’t fit for anybody.I would make an overlap in the front and close the overlap on the left or right side just under the left shoulder indeed like a kimono or poncho idea. No sagging closures.Wool is in general to heavy for closures with hooks. And zippers always bulge and are not neat.You can use one of these special beautiful ornamented pins with a big dagger to close the front. The sleeves are out of style and I once mowed a bottle of wine with these kinds of sleeves over a dinner table. They also gives you the idea that you have cold hands and wants to cover them.One thing,the color of the tweed is gorgeous! Marthe

  27. I do like the Sweater, but I think it is best worn
    by a small breasted woman..or as you all have
    commented, a zipper or velcro..

    But I think whoever designed it meant it to
    be a ‘Peek-A-Boo’ Cardigan Sweater..
    It’s part of it that makes it so attractive.
    I must say I love the deep richness of
    the Red color..

    What Level is it, I am sure not for
    someone like me, still a Beginner
    after 50 years of attempting to
    Thanks for sharing..

  28. Apart from some of the design flaws and the really gorgeous color I wonder…and not for the first time……does your team not feel that your garments are worth blocking and maybe steaming a bit ?
    A curling front, sloppy uneven sleeves and wrinkled back do not show the jacket in it’s best light….

    Mexico City

  29. Many knitters (including me) seem to like the idea of the design but its realisation lacks a lot of chic, or should I say know how.
    Seeing it announced on the preview side I thought a little blocking would have helped to show it as a wearable item. But collar, hems, front opening, everything is flapping. Do you know anyone who would like the gaps?
    There is a big room for finding the right drape between too sturdy and too loosely. Gauge and yarn should be chosen appropriately for that reason.
    This should be an A-line but seems not to be worked out so within the pattern. Still not having got my magazine (when do subscriptions reach Germany) I only can presume this.
    I want to feel chic when finally having completed a cardigan for me and wearing it. Being used to change any design to fit my long and tall figure with very long arms I would like to dicuss the fit of the yoke as well.
    Sorry for my poor knowledge of English but had to write this.

  30. Well… a little if not very disappointing this time. I agree with every negative criticism about this jacket. Sorry, but yes, it looks amateurish (despite the wonderful cable work), the sleeves are too long (and you want them LONGER on your models?!), the gaping front is awful, the curling edges stick out, the armholes make the models look like they’ve been stuffed into this jacket whether with positive/negative ease – it only looks half decent on Bertha and I don’t agree with any of the adjustments you suggest. Sigh. The colour is nice, the yarn looks nice, the cablework, maybe even the idea (I didn’t mind the back shaping) – BUT…. hope all the other patterns in this IK make up for it!!!
    Oh well, you can’t win ’em all!

  31. Ditto the gaping down the front and the idea of a two-way zip. However, the colour, contrast and point at the back all work for me. I really appreciate the gallery idea because there are so many variables in our bodies. One size doesn’t fit all. Thank you to everyone who is kind enough to allow themselves to be photographed – it’s all to the good of promoting our craft!

  32. You know the more I see pictures of the projects, the more they start to grow on me. And things that at first glance I didn’t think of making I find myself considering. Thanks for the galleries.

  33. Nope, this one isn’t for me….
    I couldn’t disagree more with the editor, I think it is a perfect example of how good design does NOT look.

    But that’s my opinion.

  34. I agree with all the previous commenters. This jacket is beautiful, but those awful gaps in the front spoil it completely. They really look terrible!
    There must be a way to make the jacket close without all those gaps! (or then is it planned to stay open?)

  35. I don’t like the point at the back on anyone except Bertha. The first time I saw it, I thought, “What’s that? Is it a point or is it pulled down a little too far?” On the second model I thought, “Yes, it’s a point, but it looks weird.” It just looks like the hem rolled up around the point and the point was a mistake.

    I love the color, and the patterning at the yoke and down the front looks intriguing, but ditto to what nearly everyone else said about the gaps in front. I’d NEVER wear it closed like that.

  36. Sorry, but I agree that this gaps unattractively — even on Bertha!

    Also, Sandi, I believe you’ve stated that you like your sleeves on the long side and I think a lot of people have trouble with that idea, especially with a pattern with flared cuffs. I often disagree with your sleeve advice in these galleries so it might help if you could please elaborate on your opinion a bit (just another five words or so on sleeve alterations that would be particularly unobvious).

    Overall, I think it’s a shame that this garment doesn’t look better on people as it looks beautiful in concept. Thank you for this great gallery feature. I always look forward to it now.

  37. Even in the magazine I thought the gaps were distracting. I hope someone on Ravelry is brave enough to make it with another closure…maybe frog closures??? I do like the patterning and overall shape but I’m disappointed to see this design as one of the first galleries.

  38. Sorry, but I would never knit this. The gaps really destroy the design–I’m totally sick of this trend for sweaters that are actually too small, but pulled to sort of join in the front. It looks awful on everyone, even the most emaciated models!

  39. I’m with what looks like the majority here – the design has a solid, heavy feel. Why the light-weight closures? The frog-closure idea was great! This is actually one that I was thinking of knitting for myself to use as a comfortable but sylish Fall jacket – work-worthy and jean-worthy, what could be better?
    PS – From a traditionally brown knitter, LOVE the colors in this issue!

  40. Have to agree with the crowd, gaping looks odd, almost felted. Also dislike the v-shaped bottom on the back, seems to be a directional signal for one’s bottom, otherwise a beautiful piece, and the color is gorgeous.

  41. One thing that i noticed is that the jacket barely registered with me on the front of the magazine, in gray. But in the dark red color for the gallery, wow, it really pops.

  42. Oooh, not this one! I don’t like the gaps at all and the point in the back is distracting. The neck in the back looks like the jacket was pulled down to fit correctly. I’ll pass on this one.

  43. well if you work the gaping, say, with a black top and some of the distressed denim jeans and then heeled (or not ) black leather boots under them, and accent with (i prefer silver) hammered silver hoops and rings, you could make it into a slighty glam outfit that works in the winter. and would be great at the office. if you have too much give the sweater looks likes a too big hand me down. I agree that a zipper would eiminate the gaping, but it would lose some of the look. its not for every-body, but I know that many could wear this with confidence the way it is. I mean pull you hair up in a nice do, accent with a silver clippy, and walk out that door with confidence!

  44. NO. Gapping fronts, whether between hooks or buttons, just look awful! If you’re going to have the point in the back, it needs to be deeper so it looks like a point and not like a mistake – and it would probably look better if the sweater were longer, so the point would fall below the butt. Did anyone block this garment? If so, it needs reblocking. I don’t like the too-long flaring sleeves, especially because when they fall even with the hem of the sweater, they make everyone look wider across the hips and who needs THAT?

  45. I liked the back point, but then again, I am more along Erin’s proportions and I thought that the jacket ended at the perfect spot for her! Sleeves, I’d go with the shorter length, ending right at the wrist bone. I picture this with a turtle neck sweater with the wrists of the sweater peeking out the bottom of the sleeve of the sweater. Again, either a zipper type front with no gape OR no front closure… gapes didn’t look good on anyone!

    And I think I’d pick a wool which would drape even more… I found the fabric looked stiff in the pictures and made people look more ‘tank’ like than flattered.

    BUT seriously, from all of these comments I wonder if this is a garment that looks better in ‘real’ life than in all the photos??? I had that once with a sweater. Any time I wore it I got lots of compliments on how it made me look wonderful, but whenever I had pictures taken of me wearing it we all wondered what we were thinking! Somehow the colour (I think) made the nuances of the garment and why it looked good on me in 3-D not translate to a 2-D picture.

  46. I would add eleventy-billion more hook closures to this thing to keep it from gaping in the front. I like the toggle closure idea, but I think that would make it a more casual piece instead of something I would wear to the office.

  47. I agree that the color and cables are fab and the gapping is ugly. I think the best solution is the one put forth at the top of this page- hook and eye TAPE. I think a zipper would totally ruin the look of the sweater but it DOES need a sturdy edge in order to close properly. I also disagree with Ms. Jang’s assessment of this pattern. (That’s rare) I think this sweater would be a nightmare without some type of closure due to it’s too-deep armholes and unfitted yoke. I would never make this for myself since I have very broad shoulders and could never get that yoke to fit me. I think this design is poorly suited to having positive ease. If it’s snug it takes on the shape of the wearer. When it’s looser it just highlights how shapeless the garment itself is. I personally like the way it fits Kat the best. I’d give her just a couple more inches so it’s not actually TIGHT, a couple more inches of hem, use hook and eye tape, lose the “butt pointer” and give the thing a good blocking and put it back on Kat. Then it would be gorgeous!

  48. If I were to knit this I would stabilize the front edges with bias binding and attach the hooks and eyes to it instead of the knitted fabric. This combined with positive ease may help solve the unattractive gapping issue that plagues this garment. Just my two cents…

  49. Never left a comment before, but this jacket compels me to add my echo to all the negative comments: hate the gapping, it looks uneven, unfinished, and sloppy, not fashionable. And the sleeves are too long, the fit is wrong. BUT the color is lovely.

  50. My first comment here. I hate this design. This would only work for small-breasted women with very narrow shoulders. Even the model looks like the sweater is pulling and tight when she is doing something other than just standing. Poor fit.

    Sigh. I have large breasts, and wide shoulders. This would be a disaster on me, and on many, many women, even with a zipper closure. It is an OK looking design on the mannequin. And luckily, mannequins don’t have arms or actually try to move!

  51. and this was the only pattern in the Fall edition that I like, sometimes gaps lend mystery, like maybe there is life under there, but my style is airy, flappy, layered and fly away…I love the tension of the highly stylized collar yoke with the loose, and yes, gapeing front closeure. I would choose i-cord frog fasteners, however, thanks for that suggestion and all the comments; they give context. I do like over the knuckle sleeves, even with bells, you just gracefully hold them out of the way, like with a geisha serving tea, if eating soup, otherwise take the thing off…this garment reminds me of the art of wearing clothes as well as making them…

  52. I just pulled out my copy of the magazine, and the description of the sweater described it as being worn with plenty of ease. I loved this sweater when I first saw it in the magazine, but wasn’t sure what was meant by plenty of ease. In this case, I believe that plenty starts at about 5 inches.

    It looks pretty nice on Toni, and she has the largest amount of positive ease in the group. I think with a slightly larger size, she’d get a bit more use out of it. This might be one of those areas where changing gauge can make a huge difference for those inbetween sizes.

  53. I just love Eunny’s comments in that they are so opposite to how most of the gallery comments! If Eunny does knit this jacket, I’d love to see her version, especially as she doesn’t plan too use the fasteners, leaving it to hang open instead.

    As with the comments above, the only positive comment I have for this sweater is the deep, rich color.

    I suspect the majority of the flaws are due to the garments drape, which depends on the yarn and guage used. The drape has a lovely, flowy feel to it, which is usually great for an a-line garment. However this jacket has some tailored fetures requiring more support, than a drapey fabric will providel. The front band is the most obvious. Without any firmness, that band it will easily gape open when hooks are used. Think of the thickness of a Norwegian sweaterband – it has a very solid guage band, and is often backed with gross grain ribbon for support. Other sweaters use a tightly gauged (stiffer) band without a lot of give or drape, thus giving structure where needed. However, that might not have looked good on this garment . Consequently, neither do the hooks.

    Without seening the pattern, the rolled edges at the hem and sleeves are perhaps that was the designer’s intent. Or, the garment needed to be blocked. Perhaps, too, this is a function of a very drapey fabric.

    I don’t care for the flared sleeves nor the point in the back. Were I to knit this, I’d revise the pattern and remove these two features. I prefer my sleeves shorter than the recommendations here – my mother the, home education teacher and seamstress, taught me to end sleeves at the wrist bone found at the outside of the wrist just, before the hand joint.

    This sweater is supposed to be an a-line cut. I couldn’t see the a-line on any of the models save Bertha and Debbie. On the others what may have been a-line looked like shaping.

  54. What in the world was the designer thinking of with those clips. Ridiculous. I think everyone would walk up to you and say..some of those are undone or something…and ‘uh did you make that’?

    I do like some of the shaping and believe a zipper would completely change the look and feel of the piece.

  55. I loved this jacket – until I saw the pictures of it being worn…
    A warning to all those considering adding a zip : these may look fine when you are standing, but check out the side view of someone sitting in a knitted jacket with a zip. Definitely not a good look, with the bulges in & out – it will not sit flat, even on slender ladies!

  56. I’d love it if someone at Interweave would let us know why they thought that the gappy hook-and-eye closure was a good idea – I’d actually really just like to know. Most of the commenters seem to agree that the gaps are unattractive. It seems that the vertical emphasis of the cable front and collar would be rather flattering and slimmng on a number of body types, otherwise, if knitted with adequate ease.

    I realize that gappy, tight-fitting sweaters are sort of fashionable right now- I looked at a previous issue of Vogue Knitting in which Paulina Porizkova was buttoned into a gappy tight sweater. I believe this will be one of those trends we roll our eyes at in 10 years and say “What were we thinking?” (and yes, I have what Stephanie Pearl McPhee calls a “flying squirrel” dolman sleeve sweater that I knitted in the 80’s, sitting in a closet somewhere. It was terribly trendy at the time) I’m looking for sweaters that will not look stupid in 10 or 20 years. Not necessarily classics. Just well thought out.

  57. Although I love the lines of the cabling on the yoke and down the fronts, I would elect not to try some or all of the suggested alterations and forge ahead with such a dicey task. Yarn like this is just too expensive and my time is too limited to dedicate to a pattern that has shown itself to be so ill-fitting on so many. With literally hundreds of great patterns out there (like the Pearl Buck A-line Swing Jacket from Best of Interweave) I won’t risk amending this one.

  58. Some designa you publish, I love to death and haste to make real. Others, not so much. Thank goodness! Think how boring it would be if each of us liked all the same things! Keep on keeping on with the diversity!

  59. The most flattering, fabulous design I’ve ever seen–brava! And those magnificent gaps–only kidding! Okay, so it’s not the most inspired design you’ve ever featured. But I am a bit confounded by the passion of this poor jacket’s detractors, as it is far from the least attractive design to grace these (Web) pages. For that distinction, I’d nominate any of those skimpy, empire-waisted numbers you featured in the last two galleries–I was astonished at the enthusiasm viewers expressed for those. But, hey–we’re all ages, shapes, and sizes, and seeing IK’s designs on real working women is a terrific thing. Keep the galleries coming, and all you models–you’re all GAWJIS! –Robin

  60. I love the look of the sweater/jacket. I would add a touch of ease but then do some waist shaping so that Ithe garmet would hang closer in the waist and hip area. As far a closures, I would only have one very ornate frog at the top, (no hook and eye closures) and let the rest of the garmet swing. This is a beautiful sweater!

  61. As a long-time sewer of my own clothing, I see the problem with this design in the shoulders and the too-deep arm scye. Other issues, e.g. gaposis, lack of blocking, back hem point, choice of yarn, adjustments for ease, are corrected more easily. Only on ‘Bertha,’ who has no shoulders or arms, does the jacket drape properly. Great idea, but poorly designed in the details.

  62. So nice to see this on “real” people, with measurement included, and the critiques were so helpful. But the gaps gotta go, and the point with them. I just can’t wear raglan sleeves, makes the anlge from my neck to my shoulders look like 45 degrees. Maybe gauge is too tight? Looks bulky.

    But it’s better than I could have designed!!
    Sue H

  63. I LOVED the design, and this designer’s two pieces in Fall IK were the two I would most like to knit.
    I am a designer, and can see that it is possible that the shaping details connected to the firm-ish patterned yoke and the more fluid body could be a problem, and may need work. Maybe its shaping is best on us narrow-shouldered, plentifully-hipped ladies, and maybe it truly does need some tweaking in the shoulder/armscye area. That is ALWAYS the trickiest part of the body to get right. But the gapping is easily solved by several means:the good stabilizing suggestions for the yoke, bust darts, the body made a little larger and eased into the yoke, etc. etc.
    I want to knit this, but will knit a mock-up of the yoke and shoulder/armscye area to see how it does on me. To my eye, that is the area that is the problem.
    Also, the hem may need some weight, to keep it from flying and sticking to clothes. Maybe a roll hem with the CC?
    I LOVE the V in the back, and might make it even a little more so. Maybe it is some of us with more European
    taste that like this design, but it is really a lovely concept, and the designer should be very proud of her work. I too am dismayed that so many of the readers saw only the dreaded gaps, and not the lovely whole of the design.

  64. Well, I’m one of those small-shouldered pear-shaped women! Even though the gaping annoys me – as posted up-topic – there are still things I like about this sweater. (A sucker for red, maybe!)

    It even gapes on Bertha, who has no shoulders, which means it is too tight through the shoulders. If you think of Lopi sweaters, they are enormous through the shoulders to prevent that tugging. 5″ isn’t enough.

    So, SherylT, I would add a stitch or two to each wedge in the yoke, eliminating it by the bottom of the collar – maybe a little P1 K1 P1 between each wedge. This would flare the yoke more, giving more ease through the shoulders and probably minimizing that gap. You could get the stitches by increasing to a size larger than your own through the body – and really, this sweater would look better with more more more drape. As a 38″ girl, I’d knit the width of the 47.75 size (but keep an eye on the length of the pieces) then bring that collar in to the 44 or even the 41 size.

    I’d also lift the underarm seam to make the fit better through the yoke – as others have noted, you can only cut an armscye low when there’s lots and lots of fabric (like a dolman sleeve). It looks like it needs to rise about 2″ but I’d have to check that in the knitting – to move it up, knit more in the sleeve length before casting off for the underarm, then knit the same amount less between the underarm and yoke.

    Hope that helps!

  65. Agree with AnnaM … although some adjustments are needed to make it work as most of us would want it to, it is a lovely design. Beautiful idea that needs refining in troubled spots. Hope and wish all the best to the designer and wait for her future ideas.

  66. Oh, I’m so sad to see this on real people (not styled models). The gaps are awful. I think a zipper solution would make it look too sporty and would take away from its elegance.

    I would make the front bands WIDER, so they could fold back like a kimono band or ethnic garment colllar/band. You could make a handmade frog as a simple closure.

    yes, the sleeves are too long. Makes me think of Dopey of the 7 dwarves…I’d have to shorten them for sure!

  67. I really didn’t care for the fit on any of the ladies. The gap in the front was unattractive and the peak at the back hem looked more like a distortion than a hem design.

  68. My impression is that ANY yoke sweater needs more positive ease around the shoulders and upper arms than this pattern allows for. As a result, everyone looks as if they’re stuffed into the sweater — and the gaps accentuate the problem, making even the trimmest model look bulgy.

    As many have pointed out, the sleeves look as if they’ll drape nicely into the gravy. And the flared sleeves are too much of a good thing with the A-line of the body — they contribute to making everyone look wider across the hips. (An A-line with a more restrained sleeve bottom can be very flattering for those of us with wider hips.)

    What I want to know is what kind of emaciated stick-figure this sweater was designed for . . . ’cause it doesn’t look good on ANY of the real people.

    Of course, if I wanted to try and make this one, I’d have to entirely rewrite the pattern, because IK is lamentably stingy in patterns including LARGER SIZES! (52-inch finished chest, please!) The last few years I’ve been knitting for everyone but myself, as a result.


  69. I’m glad I’m not alone in wondering about the design of this jacket. I immediately did not care for the gaps, the shoulders appear too small/narrow, and I think the hips have a wee bit too much flare. The general design is nice, but it needs a lot of refinement.

  70. The sweater needs to be knit in a larger size for most of the women who modeled it. I’ve noticed that most of the galleries show sweaters knit much too small for the very busty women wearing them.

  71. i really don’t like this sweater at all! the fit is weird, the gapping horrible, and the sweater itself would be boring if it weren’t so eye-catchingly bad…

    seriously, the thing doesn’t even look good on bertha and everything looks good on her! come on…

  72. I was drawn to this sweater instantly. I agree that a zipper may be a better choice for closure. I agree that it would look great on small busted narrow shouldered women (I’m not part of that group) OR perhaps knitting it with the intention of having 5 or more inches of ease AND a zipper? I just love the color!

  73. I too did not like this on Bertha, or any of the other models.
    I hate to say this, but make it wider, put in a button band, loose the arrow in back, in general just give it a finish, and make it in a different color. Aran,gray,black, anything but a color that shows that it’s slopply made. My 7 year old could do better finishing, and she has just learned to knit.

  74. Although Bertha has no arms or shoulders, her slightness gives the jacket a swingier look and a more fashionable appearance. I would shorten the sleeves slightly, lengthen the whole thing, put in a zipper (or as suggested a band) and make it in a bigger size for most of the models. It doesn’t look good tight and gaping and makes everyone except Bertha look uncomfortable

  75. I agree with whoever said to use just one large frog as a closure and let the rest swing open. Keeps it flowy. I also agree that that butt arrow has to go!

    Now, about the sleeves. I can go either way on the length of the sleeves. To me, it would depend on the flare of them. Remove the flare, then keep the extra length. But the flare and the extra length together is just too much. Personally I would be knitting this with a straighter sleeve and keep the length. I have flared sleeves on myself. It looks nice, but in everyday life, they just get in the way. I don’t have a problem with long sleeves getting in the way. I generally like my sleeves to come to about mid-palm. I don’t know why, really. Just a personally prefrence. I like holding on to them when I walk. 🙂

  76. aside from the gaps in the front which can be remedied with a different closure, i think it’s a lovely sweater with the zig zag pattern and bell sleeves that mirror the shaping in the body. when it’s cold, i love sweaters that i can pull my hands into like a turtle. some sweaters make you look like a square block. this one doesn’t. perhaps with more ease in the yoke, toggles instead of clasp closures, and minus the point in the back, it would look great.

  77. I think the jacket is really attractive and unique..but I would do away with the back point, shorten the sleeves a bit and add some kind of band decoration to the cuffs..possibly similar to the front panels and neckline and definitely add some reinforcement to the front bands so that they would hang properly and either leave open or place 1, 2 possibly 3 good looking frogs to the top third…mayble take in the flare a bit on the sleeve cuffs as well..this is a beautifu jacket..needs to be cleaned up a bit…

  78. If, as noted above, the jacket is meant to be worn with just a few hooks done up, why not show it that way? And, wow, as shown on Bertha, the oddly pointed hem with the belled shape and sleeves REALLY adds width. across the backside. Definitely not a place I need extra width.

  79. I love the “idea” of this sweater and it’s color but why did you make such a small sample for these girls? You consistently put them in tops too small for them – great on Bertha.
    Yes, a zipper please! I’d add a couple of loops & buttons near the top for when I didn’t want to close up totally. Use shorter sleeves (I liked them on Kat and Erin) and no point in back.
    A really helpful feature would be doing a sweater in a couple of sizes and then do a comparison of fit – very helpful for those of us learning. As a newer knitter I can’t afford to experiment that much so an ill-fitting sample doesn’t inspire me to make any investment in time or money.

  80. The sweater is, indeed, lovely. However, I agree with those who think that the gaps in the front should be reworked. Perhaps two rows of single crochet on one side to accommodate very small buttons, and on the other side the second row of crochet should have small loops to accommodate the buttoms.

  81. The front gaping that we have disliked aside, this design is very chic. The models who look best are Erin and Stefanie because of their wonderful straight/broader shoulders. For those with sloping shoulders, you’ll need shoulder pads. The pointed hemline in the back and flared sleeves are nice features.