Knits Summer 2009 Gallery: Linda’s Wrap Vest

Linda's Wrap Vest

by Mari Lynn Patrick

from Interweave Knits Summer 2009

  36.5" sample garment

The images above are from the magazine where the 36.5" size sweater is modeled with plenty of positive ease. The notes for the pattern state:

Because of the way the fronts hang when buttoned as shown, the garment actually has more positive ease than just the difference between bust measurement and garment measurement.

The images below are of our Interweave Gallery Gals wearing the same sample sweater.


 Interweave Gallery Gals

Allison says:
This would be an easy piece to throw on and really change the look of an outfit. I would wear this with some casual, dangly earrings or with a chunky, beaded necklace for a bohemian feel.
Bust 36”
Waist 27”
Hip 36”
Height 5’ 4”
Bust 34"
Height 4' 11"


Toni says: This sweater would quickly become an often worn addition to my wardrobe if I could only somehow sneak it out of the office. I can see it having a wonderfully elegant effect on a fancy dress or skirt, or a more casual look with a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. It is fun and loose and the drape of the fabric makes me look good as I move.
Bust 34.5”
Waist 28”
Hip 36.5”
Height 5’ 5.5”

Sandi's Notes:
This vest is floaty, classic, elegant. Wear it with a dress or skirt to a wedding, an afternoon tea, or other dressy social function. Or, add your best jeans, some dazzling earrings, and a killer pair of heels, and go out on the town, safe against the evening's chill. Two bits of sizing advice: Get the shoulders to fit, and make sure there is enough room at the bust so that the garment hangs gracefully overall.

Specific tips for our Gallery Gals:
– On Trish, whose shoulders are super-narrow, the garment overwhelms her small frame. She should make a smaller size.
– Notice the ease difference between Allison, whose bust is the same measurement as the garment's (zero ease), and Toni, whose bust is two inches smaller (2" positive ease). On Toni, the vest has a bit more fabric to "swing," giving the sweater a graceful movement. On Allison, the vest fits more closely and loses some of its airy grace. I'd advise Allison to make the next size larger, and Toni to try to sneak out of the office with the sample garment in her backpack. 🙂

Here are some questions to consider as you look at these photos:

  • How do you think the garment compliments each woman's individual body type and personal style?
  • Which body type does this garment look best on?
  • If you wanted to knit a sweater straight out of the magazine, with no pattern adjustments except for sleeve and hem length, would this be the sweater for you and your body type?
  • Would it fit your personal style?

Leave your thoughts in the comments!


Some links you  might find helpful:

Measuring yourself and your clothing

About positive and negative ease

Measuring tutorial with photos


Other Things You May Like to Check Out:


Hats, Knitting Patterns

50 thoughts on “Knits Summer 2009 Gallery: Linda’s Wrap Vest

  1. Another sweater I want to like, but don’t. Maybe it is the button placement or the size of the button… Somehow the proportions don’t seem right to me. The collar is so small, but then you have these wide panels coming down the front. I think is is best on Allison. Sometimes I wonder how much the shirts the girls wear under the garments affect my perception of the garment itself. I would like to see fewer undershirts when possible.

  2. I think it looks pretty good on Allison & Toni. I love these types of “funky” garments. I’m a sewer too and often make asymetrical jackets & vests. Knowing what garments they will be modeling, I’d hope that the girls would plan to bring the top they’d actually wear with the garment. Maybe they have… anyway, I’d put this on my To Do list.

  3. I agree with DebB. The neckline is narrow & then it gets wider & I think that the fact that the stitch pattern is horizontal when the general flow of the garment is vertical makes it very jarring. I’m disappointed – I usually really like Mari Lynn Patrick’s designs but this one seems meh to me. Also all that material in the front isn’t good for anyone with much of a bust.

  4. I totally disagree with you, Sandy. I think it looks great on Allison (and yep, she would indeed look great in bubble wrap). Weirdly, to me it looks too SMALL on Toni & Trish. It would be interesting to switch the horizontal & vertical bands, i.e. vertical on the body & horizontal for the dangly collar bit. Judging just by the pictures, I also think the yarn and/or needle size is an unhappy choice — maybe the real deal in hand and on the bod would be much better. ….But other than that, I like it just fine! 😀 (not!)


  5. For me, I think the color is what makes me not like it so much. When I imagine it in a deeper color (pale pink makes me look washed out), I think it would be very attractive. Still, it is something that takes some getting used to–a somewhat odd style that isn’t going to “hit” immediately for me. I think I’ll like it more as I look at it more.

  6. I would like to see it on Sandy! I miss the voluptuous figure in the gallery. Not all of us look like these gallery gals-I agree with DebB and that the directions of the knit is a far better choice for real women too. I also enjoyed seeing the knit item on the dress “dummy” (no offense meant). these galleries are genious! Jennifercbad

  7. Yuck. It looks like a blanket or an unfinished sweater. Besides the washed-out color, it would look better if the left-front had a narrower band or if the band attached in two places. If you’re bottom-heavy, those increasing-width stripes are unflattering.

  8. I think this looks nice on Toni (what doesn’t?) because she’s proportionately small in the bust. I think this garment would also benefit a large woman who wanted to conceal a large belly or a straight waist. Since this just hangs from the bust, this sweater is bad for a more generously endowed woman who has a small waist. Case in point, the lovely and curvy Allison. This sweater just conceals all her best assets (her bosom and her small waist) and makes her look bulky and shapeless. I was very surprised that of all the patterns, this was chosen for the cover. Despite its interesting construction, it’s not an interesting color, an immediately eye-catching design, nor does it flatter the cover model very much. I often wonder what criteria they use to decide which design goes on the cover!

  9. No matter how I try I just don’t like this piece. It looks like a hodge podge of pieces sewn together. If both sides were the same, either one pattern or the other, I’d probably like it. But with two very different front pieces next to each other, it just doesn’t work for me.

  10. Every time I look at this pattern, I want to switch the direction of knitting, as someone suggested above. If the body were stitched vertically, I think it would look better. I also agree with the reader who said it might be more appealing in a different color. The pale color with such a a floating piece – with strong horizontals, too – gives an impression of bulk despite the garment’s lightness.

  11. Although I appreciate the pictures all being taken from the same angle, because it is easier to compare the models, it also makes me wonder what the girls would look like in the sweater from another angle, or straight on. I dont think I would ever make this for myself. (and wish I had Sandis gift of “seeing” what works or doesnt for different people.) My criteria for my decisions is whether I like or dont a particular pattern- which doesnt always work out to what looks good on me. I have liked a pattern better after seeing it on other people-like the gallery girls, and understanding a little better the way particular patterns work on specific body types, however this pattern isnt one of them. Sandi- might you join the gals again? You were a much better comparison to my own shape, age, body type than these examples.

  12. I’ve seen this type of asymmetrically placed button type thing on scarves. I even made one from a design by Nikki Epstein, a neckwarmer, and it turned out fine because it’s a smaller piece. As an entire “wrap” it doesn’t work well. It starts out ok at the top, but all that knitted fabric free floating around the body overwhelms all the models. It needs some design work to make it look better on the human body. The yarn is pretty, but I’m not sure it’s appropriate for this type of garment. This is a dramatic look, and the delicate, sheer yarn in pale pink misses the mark in my opinion. And to top it off, those horizontal knitted in stripes are not flattering to anyone.

  13. I also don’t think this design is frumpy and an odd choice for the cover. Pale pink is also not my cup of tea. It looks best on Alison (garments always do, though!), and if she were going to knit it, I would say to NOT go up a size. Truth be told none of the designs in this issue were appealing to me. I was hoping maybe the galleries would change my mind, but so far, not.

  14. This looks like an ill-concieved design to me. It is hard to look at since the eye can’t flow upward to the face. The strong horizontal lines in the body of the vest make it look bulky, and the stretch of the rib at the buttoned front makes it look like it is straining over the bust. I generally like asymmetrical clothing, but this one just doesn’t get it.

  15. When I first saw the photos, the question “What was the designer thinking,” popped into my mind. This is an ill-conceived design. It looks like a group project in which several swatches were knitted at random, without consultation and then someone tried to stitch it together into a pleasing and artistic garment – and without success. Ones eyes are drawn to the individual parts, the parts conflict with one another. Looks like it would be very awkward to wear.

  16. I have to say in defense of the piece for the cover that it IS very chic and a GREAT layering piece especially when the weather is a little chilly at night~ I live in Rome, Italy now and light vest-type jacket replacements are really very much on the forefront of fashion~ I’ve been waiting for my magazine just to knit THIS piece~ it’s exactly what I’ve needed instead of a jacket (to warm now). These nicely draped pieces are flattering and elegant~ for me I will change the color, but I love this design.

  17. Funnily enough I kind of like this piece although I do think it borders on “contrived” and I like it best on Trish, probably because the bottom hem hits her at a good spot, and least on Toni, because it seems to be bunchy at the bust area. Things often look different in person than in photographs and I would love to see this item in person in a deeper color on someone with “atittude”. The ruffle seems to demand that. Not that any of the models don’t possess attitude, it just isn’t evident in the posed photos.

  18. I have to say this vest leaves me so cold that I decided to postpone renewing my subscription. I’m sure it’s a lack of imagination on my part, but I can’t fathom what it’s trying to do in the front.

  19. On the model the knit looks airy and semi-sheer but it looks very solid – and less attractive – in the gallery photos. I really like this vest in the magazine so I’m thinking that the difference is actually in the lighting for the photographs.

  20. Interesting that you have had so many negative comments on this one. I own a long sleeved wrap knit that is not dissimilar (but in a soft greyish brown), and it’s one of the best things in my wardrobe. It’s an incredibly versatile and useful piece.

    Perhaps you have to try this kind of thing on to really appreciate it; and perhaps this colour isn’t for everyone, but I think the wrap vest could be lovely, particularly in a fine, cobwebby yarn.

  21. One word: Weird. I don’t particularly care if it’s “on the forefront of fashion” if I can’t see fitting it into my existing wardrobe. Remember that bell bottoms were all the rage once as well.

  22. I do like this piece but I would never wear it. I have a large bust and this piece would make me look 7 months pregnant because it would drape right off the ends of The Girls. There were quite a few pieces in this issue that aren’t flattering to the busty woman.

  23. I second GougeL’s description of the likely “designer vision” (total lack thereof) behind this, uh, garment. The best I can say is that it looks comfortable. So is the old quilt I wrap in on cold nights. Again, as with the skirt/shawl thing from a previous issue, it looks like only an excuse to sell yarn. Surprisingly, this is from a designer who has produced good stuff for years. Oh well, we all have bad days. The results of mine don’t get published though.

    That said, I very much appreciate the Gallery Gals showing us how, or not, a garment works on real women.

  24. I disagree with most of the comments. Like SuzanneP who lives in Rome, I live in France, and this sort of fashion is very common here. I love the colour, and would knit it in a very fine wool. I already have a similar piece in my wardrobe which is considerably larger, and even fits over a sweater in winter. It’s so comfortable and cosy. I’m not exactly sylph-like, but there are times when comfort comes before elegance, but even so, I think this piece could be very fetching even on a larger frame.

  25. it’s the sort of garment which would look absolutely fabulous on a tall stylish person but the rest of us would have to be jolly careful not to look as if we’d accidentally put on the cat’s blanket by mistake.
    I think the yarn chosen doesn’t help it – imagine it in a vibrant colour or better still, bold stripes or something – it would really lift it.

  26. I agree with the color assessments; the pale pink makes it look like it’s meant for a bed jacket. But knit in a more sophisticated, neutral color and a smoother yarn I think it would be a great cardigan to throw over a summer dress or tank top.
    Although the cover picture is pretty unflattering, I have to say, even on that skinny model; the extra pics look much nicer.

  27. I’m all for constructive criticism, but lately the comments just seem like a contest to see who hates it the most. I’m a little baffled by this negative turn – I, for one, really appreciate that the magazine is encouraging their designers to branch out and explore new territories. And while this transition might be a tad awkward, in the end I’m left with a boatload of inspiration. “Contrived” or not, these patterns are expanding the boundaries of knitting, and I find that incredibly refreshing.

  28. Thank you, MonicaW. You express my sentiments exactly. I was “drafting” my response to the negative criticisms as I read through them, and finally got to your refreshing comment, saying exactly what I wanted to say. I think it’s a lovely, creative – and very practial – wrap. It says to me “I can be comfortable and stylish at the same time!”

  29. MonicaW and A Kniited Brow, I’m totally with you! These type of patterns get our grey matter up and chomping to try them out or at least look at their design elements with a view to how we can achieve a certain look that is all our own. Of course not all patterns can be worn by everyone but HEY!! …. let the creative juices flow, who knows what might turn up in the eddies. I’m a Spinner and I love to ‘play’ with designing yarns and trying out new pattern elements and noting the interaction between the two. 🙂

  30. It’s just not my style. I can look beyond the pale pink, and get that the design is creative. It feels like a design I may come back to in the future but would not queue anytime soon. I find it interesting that Allison’s 3/4 blue shirt looks so much better than the magazine model’s blue cap sleeve in terms of bringing off the outfit.

  31. This thing looks goofy. I just don’t get it at all. It appears to be falling off everyone – or there was a horrible sewing error at the factory.

  32. I rather like this design, it has a lovely liquid softness to how the front drapes. Sort of like origami for the body. I’ve always been fond of this sort of construction, I think it allows for a lot of creativity in how you wear it . To my eye, the proportions of this kind of vest look best with more fitted and tailored clothes underneath it, or even a more fitted jacket over the vest.

  33. To MonicaW – what you call negative comments, I see as readers simply expressing their opinions, and I find it interesting to see how many people do not like the sweaters that have been picked for the galleries. Some people have commented that they no longer like many of the patterns in the magazine, and I think these comments reinforce that point of view. I hope that the editors are reading and listening . . .

  34. I am huge fan of IK. I am glad to have an opportunity to post on this garment. I just didn’t “get it” from the minute I saw the cover. Allison wears it the best, but it would not be for me or a lot of figure types.

    I think its too loose and rather than asymmetrical, it appears that the button is just in the wrong place.

    that being said, you can’t please everyone and everyone sees things differently especially in art and fashion. There is always something for everybody in IK. There were many designs in the issue I really loved.


  35. The main reason I was happy to see Linda’ Wrap Vest in the gallery was to see what others thought about it… while I generally like many patterns in IK (even tho not all are my cup of tea or would work for my body type) this one left me scratching my head. It looked like a bad mistake that made it way into the design room hoping no one would notice that the emperor had no clothes. And how it was chosen for the cover was beyond me. Sorry, Sandi and Eunny… your usually impeccable tastes took a holiday on this issue, especially this garment. And I was relieved to see that it wasn’t just me. I have faith that the next issue will be better.

  36. I think that this wrap looks light and breezy and very comfortable. I have to disagree with most comments and say that I love the color and I think it looks good on all of the models. I think that this is a piece that you don’t have to have a perfect figure to wear because it flows instead of clings. Pieces like this are what make me buy this magazine because they are different.

  37. This is one of those garments that make me ask “Why?”. It adds considerable bulk to the midsection and leaves the arms bare. Hmmmm….why would someone WEAR this? It makes each of the models, including the cover, look overweight and makes their arms look sort of flabby – which they are NOT. Any garment that makes a woman look bulky is a
    BAD idea!

  38. I think it looks perfectly lovely on the models, and it might even look good on me, too! The problem is in the design. I would feel as if I’d buttoned it in the wrong place, as if I’d gotten dressed while half asleep, and I think my friends would all be thinking the same thing.
    With the expense and the time involved in making a garment, I wouldn’t take a chance on knitting this one. The classics are for me.

  39. I was attracted to this vest the moment I saw it. Sort of reminds me of the pieces Eileen Fisher frequently has in her collections. I resisted for awhile but yesterday broke down and ordered the yarn. I think it’s quite lovely and does flatter a variety of shapes. I hope so since mine isn’t perfect. I am not particularly fond of wearing sleeveless over sleeveless so I will likely wear it over 3/4 length or full length sleeves. Having said that I am surprised how many don’t like the design. It was one of the few that I did like in the magazine this time around. I find all the little smock & tunic type tops just a bit too precious for anyone over 12 years old. Funky is fine but juvenile just isn’t flattering on anyone with breasts & a waist (imho).

  40. I like it on all 3 gals.  Each has a different look but very nice.  My favorite is on Allison.  Again…no larger busted women to help me decide how it would look on me.  How about modeling again Sandi?  Your body type is more like many of us out there.