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Chic Knit Jacket

Threads #191, June/July 2017

A fashionable cardigan jacket has been a wardrobe staple for decades and today is worn in settings from professional to dressy to weekend casual. Now you can make a designer jacket from a knit fabric, combining the style and versatility of a structured jacket with the comfort of a sweater. I’ll show you how to adapt a basic T-shirt pattern to create a jacket that rivals costly examples by names like St. John, Escada, and Missoni. You’ll learn how to select a suitable knit fabric, which interfacings to use to support it, how to install a back half lining, how to finish the jacket edges, and how to enhance the garment with statement-making trims.

Find an ideal textile

Upper back liningThe key to a great-looking and long-wearing knit jacket is a well-chosen fabric. Look for one that is substantial so it can support the weight of trims and pocket welts. Good options are Ponte knits, medium- to heavyweight double knits, boiled wool, and stable sweater and novelty knits. Textured knits confer personality and style to this jacket. Stay away from stretchy, open knits. You will need approximately 1-3⁄4 yards of 60-inch-wide fabric (for extra tall or sizes 24 and up, you may need more).

The jacket includes an upper-back lining that supports the garment and makes it easy to slide on and off. Purchase 5⁄8 yard of silky woven fabric: It can be silk, rayon, or polyester in any color or print you like.

Jacket on a dress formSupporting materials are essential to prevent stretching and distortion at stress points. I recommend Perfect Fuse Light fusible interfacing, and SewkeysE 1-1⁄4-inch-wide Knit Stay Tape, and 1⁄2-inch-wide Woven Stay Tape (PamelasPatterns.com).

If you plan to add faux welt pockets, you need a 12-inch by 5-inch rectangle of woven or knit fabric for each one. 

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