Winter Knits 2008 Gallery: Manchester Jacket

Interweave Knits Winter 2008

Manchester Jacket

by Alice Halbeisen

from Interweave Knits Winter 2008

 36" sample garment

The images above are from the magazine; the images below are of our Interweave Gallery Gals wearing the same sample sweater.


 Interweave Gallery Gals
Knitting Gallery - Manchester Jacket Annie Knitting Gallery - Manchester Jacket Meghan
Annie Meghan
Knitting Gallery - Manchester Jacket Debbie Knitting Gallery - Manchester Jacket Debbie
Debbie (front) Debbie (side)
Knitting Gallery - Manchester Jacket Toni Knitting Gallery - Manchester Jacket Stefanie
Toni Stefanie
Knitting Gallery - Manchester Jacket Bonnie Knitting Gallery - Manchester Jacket Sandi
Bonnie Sandi

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:


Knitting Patterns

55 thoughts on “Winter Knits 2008 Gallery: Manchester Jacket

  1. This seems really too bulky for most of the girls – Debbie looks great in it, Toni looks okay, Annie is being swallowed up by her big sister’s coat, and it’s really unflattering on everyone else. (If the culprit isn’t the bulk of the fabric, it’s placement of the horizontal band – which is going to need to be placed *very* precisely. I don’t think I’d make this without adjustments unless I had the Mythical Standard Body.)

  2. I loved this in the magazine, but after seeing it on everyone, I don’t think it looks the same. It looks too bulky on nearly everyone. Debbie looks good in it, but then again, she looks good in everything.

  3. I have to agree that I’m not a big fan of this coat. The bulkiness of it would make it a good outer garment, to keep out the cold. However, the high waistband isn’t flattering on most of the women pictured, and would definitely not be flattering on me.

  4. Don’t think it is the most flattering coat. Maybe it is the color, as someone suggested, maybe try it in navy. Of the pictures here I’d say Debbie looks the best, followed by Toni. I agree with whoever said Ann looks swallowed up by it.

  5. It does look very warm. As a Southern Californian, I break into a sweat just looking at it. I agree that it looks good on Debbie, also Annie.
    There’s so much material up around the neck and shoulders, and the double-breasted front is bulky, too. I think it’s just a little tight on some of the women, so the upper arms are too close fitting, and that horizontal band isn’t placed right for some. But, assuming you each had the right size to try on, I don’t think it’s really bad on anyone. Still, that horizontal band isn’t something I’d wear, since my small waist (for my size) is one of the attributes I try to emphasize.

  6. I wish I liked this because it looks so interesting to make but it’s so boxy and bulky it doesn’t look good on anyone but the magazine model. One would think that the band would give it shape but it doesn’t seem to. I don’t know how to make it better – longer?

  7. I bought this issue just for this jacket!But I also love the empire waist style of clothing(my wedding dress was empire waisted)I also love the colour it’s made up in although I do have to agree with the other commenters that the style and colour are not for a lot of people.But I love it and plan to make it in a great spruce green wool.

  8. With the strong horizontal up under the bust, this coat doesn’t really flatter anyone, in my opinion. It looks more like a maternity coat than anything. Move that bar down to waist level, and perhaps nip it in just a bit at the same time, and I think it would be a really sweet bit of outer wear.

  9. This coat does not look good on anybody. I think that style needs to be sewn, in cloth, rather than knitted, so the fabric would be less bulky and crisper. It looks bulky and sloppy in all the photos.

  10. The suspicion I had when I got the magazine – that this would not look good on most non-model people – is officially confirmed. The gallery gals are all beautiful, and this coat does not do them justice. I agree with Louise A that this style is probably not the best style for a handknitted garment; it would probably look fine (or at least better) on everyone if it was made from woven — and less bulky/heavy–cloth.

  11. This may not be everyone’s color, but I think it looks great on the people it fits, namely Sandi (love it!), Bonnie, and almost Meghan. True, the empire waist and double-breasted construction is not the most slim fit in fashion, but it’s a winter coat. Most people don’t look the slimmest in truly warm winter coats. I have a lovely, tailored coat that is also double-breasted and it looks very similar to the fit here. Pairing it with slimmer pants would be the best option. And, it could be that straight-on photos don’t show off the best lines. If mods were to be made, people could move the horizontal band down to the natural waist, perhaps adding another set of buttons to correspond. IMHO.

  12. Sorry but this reminds me too much of my old regulation “P coat”. Much to close for comfort. I wore one of these things for the better part of 20 yrs! don’t need to be reminded. but it does seem to be one that needs to be worn by a slender person. The colour ,as far as I’m concerned is great!

  13. I agree with KimberlyB – I love empire waists! I went out and bought yarn for this jacket before the magazine even came out. I have a pear shape, so I think it will look good on me. I wonder, though – did they pin the jacket for the magazine shoot? The model looks like she is a very petite gal and it fits her perfectly, but it seems to swallow the more petite gallery girls.

  14. I love it on the magazine model and on Sandi. I like the horizontal band on Bonnie, provided she is comfortable with emphasizing a generous asset. It is obviously too big in this size for Annie. She could wear MANY layers under it and still have room to breathe. It’s not the greatest color but Meghan and Debbie look the best in it.

  15. I’m in the camp with those who say it looked good on the magazine model but it doesn’t really do anything for the gals in the gallery. It looks bulky and uncomfortable on all of them. You really need to be model skinny and the fit has to be absolutely perfect (or you need a skilled stylist to make it look that way) in order for this jacket to work.

  16. I think the horizontal band needs to be precisely placed on each woman to flatter their figure. I also think the jacket itself needs more shaping through the hip to take away the boxy look and to make it look more like an A-line jacket.

  17. Main part of the gallery pictures, that caught my attention, was the placement of the band for Empire Waist. It only fell correctly on Debbie! I am sure that I would have to do major adjustments if I made this.

  18. I kinda hate to say it, but the jacket seems frumpy. Even on the model in the magazine it struck me as something my grandmother would’ve worn in the 60’s. Maybe that style is hip again and I’m just out of touch. But then it didn’t look all that great on the gallery gals either, IMO. Looked pretty good on Sandy and Debbie. Looked too big on Annie, and the top band seemed to hit in the wrong place on the others.

  19. I agree with all the above comments, but particularly don’t like the last button on the left. Annie appears to be the slimest and yet the button is pulled out of line. It seems to be almost aligned perfectly on Toni, but still screams “Home made” to me. I thought it looked really nice in the previews.


  20. I agree with all the above comments, color, waistband, etc. What I find particularly annoying is the bottom button on the left. It is worst on Annie, although it doesn’t seem to be pulled by her person. It looks best on Toni, but not perfect. Something like that screams “home made” to me. I thought it looked quite nice in the previews, this has been a big help in realizing how different it looks on a model.


  21. I like the design of the coat, it’s an updated Pea Coat look. But I think that it’s not flattering on any of the models #1 because the sleeves are too long and makes everyone look sloppy and #2 because it doesn’t look like it was blocked well. The overlap edge seems to be curled and uneven.

  22. Did not block well, pulled buttons and curve at bottom section makes it look like a bad fit on all. The knitting techniques are pretty but I think they’s be better on a different project. It seems that it should almost have a nonstretchy liner fabric , but I’m thinkin’ that would just pull and show on the outside.

  23. i agree with most of the comments – it’s shapeless and “blocky” not “blocked” well – and not suited to a boxy-type figure. The only one it looked really “okay” on – notice i said “okay” – is Annie – as she is more petite in build

  24. I agree with Tessa, it’s too boxey and sloppy looking. But I generally don’t look at coat patterns to knit because I live in Central Florida, not a big coat place! Annie is the model I would choose for the most acceptable fit.

  25. I guess I am WAY in the minority… I think it looks good on everyone, maybe on some either go up or down a size to look great. I also like the color but I don’t like dark colors anyway. It’s not meant to be worn as a sweater… it’s a coat meant to be worn over your other clothes. The only two problems I have with it, which are easily fixed while knitting, is that the sleeves are too long and the band needs to be on the waist instead of right under the boobs. I also agree that it needed to be blocked better.

    BTW Sandi you look really good, I need to do what you are doing!

  26. This is a problematic coat. It actually looks pretty good on most of the models, though the collar doesn’t lie well on Annie or Stephanie, the buttons don’t look level on some of the models, and the horizontal band is just too high, by about an inch or two. Bust darts might help it. And the color is just uniformly unflattering on everybody. Meghan looks the best in it.

  27. Shotening the sleeves so they hit near the top of the hand would clean up the look a lot. That’s part of the reason it looks so trim on Debbie because she has them pushed up to a good length but doing so creates the folds at the elbow.

    I agree the band is too high to accomodate the bust line on most of the women. Dropping it down to a comfortable position below the bust would eliminate that I’m being choked look the coat seems to give and allow them room to breathe. Also a little more ease around the bust would help the garment hang better I think and keep the button placement from being distorted for those who need it.

  28. I really like this sweater. Its an improvement over the typical Mary Maxim-type zip up that is usually worn as a jacket in spring and fall seasons. It’s dressier and the middle band and flared hem suit the feminine form much better than the ribbed band at the bottom of the zip up sweater which just makes you look like a marshmallow. I think it looks good on all the models except Meghan (too tight) and Toni (too loose). Meghan would just have knit the next size up and Toni maybe one size smaller. The sleeves are too long on everyone. Very interesting to see pictures of Bonnie and Sandi side by side. Both women are similarly curvy, but Bonnie is longer from the shoulder to the bust point than Sandi. Bonnie would have to lower the middle band about an inch.

  29. I agree with most comments, mainly I would make it longer (more coat length, this is more jacket length) and the sleeves a mite shorter for a neat cuff. Then I would be VERY careful where I put that (cute) Empire waistband – I think it is best on girls with some bust/shape, also taking care with the shoulder width so it doesn’t pull on the upper arms. Then careful again about where I positioned the buttons. The colour – well, I like “different” but not sure about this pink. However one of those model pics makes it look more heathery, which I like… On the whole though, so many adjustments do rather put me off the whole idea!

  30. I am very attracted to this jacket. I think it looks about okay on everyone. In my opinion, though, it is definitely outerwear, and would greatly benefit from having a thin, dark colored turtleneck on underneath. Then it would have that cool, mod, British look, I think.

  31. Gee… This doesn’t look good on anyone, does it? The empire waist just doesn’t work with this design — makes everyone look kind of screwed together at that point. I also think the collar is spectacularly unflattering.

  32. A friend has this jacket in a woven fabric, and it’s darling–I wish the same could be said for the knitted version. I agree with others: it looks frumpy, and does not appear to fit any of the beautiful Gallery Gals as well as it should. The problems might be with: a) the placement of the buttons (to my eye, they’re a bit too close together); and b) an Empire waist should “catch” under the bust to provide a suggestion of curvyness, something the horizontal band doesn’t do.

  33. I confess – I really don’t care for this pattern and I am SO TIRED OF EMPIRE WAISTS which makes just about everyone, except reed thin people, look 8 months pregnant. Having got that off my chest, this works for Annie. If you twist my knitting needles, I might concede it could almost work for Debbie (shorther sleeves please) and maybe Bonnie if she had nothing else to wear on a cool day. For everyone else – NO.

  34. I do like this jacket. I might have to move the waistband a little though, and I think I’ll change the color. Maybe a red like the Victorian Yoke pullover-those more colorful sweaters look really great on the gallery girls.

  35. great concept on the manchester jacket! the application of a “tailored” design on such a giving fabric may benefit from a couple sewing tricks. to avoid the way the buttons swim on the various models, try velcro to close the bodice and use the buttons as embellishment. additionally, I would make sure the detail of the waistband was more pronounced by encasing a non-roll waistband mesh.

  36. I agree with the CheryS. I am ready for the empire look to go away. I think it makes everyone look pregnant! This sweater only looks good on Debbie, whom it seems to fit the best and its an okay color for her. As a big fan of lavender, purple, grey, etc. I am surprised to say that I don’t particularly like this color either, although I am a fan of tweeds. The placement of the empire waist band seems so critical that I would never try to make this pattern anyway.

  37. I like this sweater, and I think it would look great on many body types with some minor tweaks to make sure there is a small amount of positive ease, the cuffs are at wrist length (not coming down over the hands too much), and the waist band hits the wearer’s narrowest spot (whether that is at the natural waist or under the bust).

  38. boy oh boy, now I know why the genetic minority consisting of over 5’10” and very thin are models–they can wear anything!!! This sweater makes almost everyone look WIDER! I personally avoid looking like I’ve gained another 20lbs.

    Thanks to our real world models, though!! These galleries are worth gold, I tell you, in the time and effort you save by NOT knitting some of these styles. However, my very skinny daughter might get some of these gifted to her someday.

  39. I agree with Laura. The color doesn’t work for some, but done in a darker color and making sure the waist band hits at the wearers narrowist point, I think it makes a flattering cold weather jacket. I sometime watch “What Not to Wear” and they always say that if the person’s narrowest point is just below the bust, then this style with no gathering below the bust and a band around the underbust is flattering. I love the way it looks on Sandi and since I’m sort of shaped like her, I plan to knit it in a deep plum tweed, maybe a little longer, since I’m very tall with a short torso.

  40. Actually, I think the biggest problem is the length. If you go back and look at the models, and imagine the coat (yes coat, not sweater) to be knee length (+ or – 4″) it’s a winner. A fitting point for this would be the sleeves–they need to be coat sleeves. That is, the shoulders need to be extended a bit and the sleeves need to fall straight from the shoulder, as a coat does, to help the structure.
    And what this all comes down to is that knitwear that wants to mimic a fabric sewn, structured garment has to be structured too, or it isn’t going to “work.”

  41. If Annie wore this two sizes smaller and Debbie had shorter sleeves it would look decent on both of them. All others look frumpy. The droopy right front is sloppy and could have been remedied by having it flare out at an angle rather than hang straight. I’ll bet they pinned the back of the jacket for a good fit on the model for the photo shoot.

  42. I could not be more stunned. As a… bigger up top gal I had pretty much sworn off empire waist and any sort of blky interest below my bust and toward my waist. BUT that is what this sweater is and it looks positively gorgeous on the women who are bigger up top. I am surprised how good it looks on all the figure types. What a revelation.

  43. This jacket was a disappointment, because I love double-breasted coats, etc. As I really studied what was wrong on the models, I realized in order to make this work, the band would have to be lowered. Too much going on here up by the bust line. And that is always a mistake for woman who are amble. The bust will dictate a lot of issues in good design. This is (supposidly! ) an A line style. However, with the bulk of the I-cord high it makes a less flattering style for a real curvy figure. In this case, I would echo the band at the hem line, complimenting the sleeves. Keeping the double row of buttons. This way the neckline and the hemline have more balance.