Sweater Workshop: The Peplum and Pleat Jacket

Erica Patberg's Peplum and Pleat Jacket

A note from Kathleen: Eunny Jang, editor of Interweave Knits, is here again to delve into one of the stand-out patterns in the Winter 2011 issue. It's the Peplum and Pleat Jacket, which is a classic, stylish jacket that incorporates two colors and a beautifully tailored design.

Here's Eunny to tell you more.

Erica Patberg's Peplum and Pleat Jacket from the Winter 2011 issue of Interweave Knits
is a tour-de-force of knitted architecture, combining seamstress details knitterly technique for a finely fashioned piece that's comfortable to wear and fun to make. But tailoring and knitwear don't always go together—most knitted fabric is too soft and stretchy to give a structured look. How does Erica make all the ingredients work together so well? Let's take a look:

1) A smart pairing of yarn and needles
The Peplum and Pleat Jacket is knitted in Zitron Gobi (distributed by Skacel Knitting), a delicious blend of merino, camel, and alpaca fibers.

It's a warm, fluffy yarn that normally knits up into a fluid, drapey fabric. Erica chose to knit it at a smaller-than-usual gauge to create a dense, structured fabric that would accommodate sharp shaping and show details crisply without sacrificing a luxurious feel and serious warmth.

2) Clever construction
This jacket is knitted in an unorthodox way that combines the best features of knitted fabric (drape and the ability to be shaped as it is worked) with those of sewn, woven clothing (seams for stability and structure).

The jacket begins in one piece at the hem, with the entire peplum worked in one piece—pleats, buttonband, and all. The body continues in one piece up to the armholes, with dramatic shaping worked along faux princess lines at the two fronts and along the back.

Collar detail
Cuff detail

The work is split at the armholes, and the right front, left front, and back are all worked separately. The two fronts have integrated lapels formed by gradually-widening wedges of reverse stockinette (which, of course, turn into stockinette-stitch collars once they're folded back).

The front and back shoulders are seamed together to give jacket a strong, secure hang point.

Two mirror-image sleeves with offset cuffs are worked flat and then seamed into tubes, which ensures that they will not twist or grow once on the body. They're set into the body to give neat fit and additional structure around the shoulders.

Finally, a separate piece is made for the back of the collar, and is sewn to the back neck and the integrated front collars.

Crocheted buttons

The combination of seams and shaped one-piece knitting give the jacket structure and clean lines where it needs them, and form-fitting shape without the bulk of seams in other places. Very neat!

3) Beautiful details
The Peplum and Pleat Jacket gets better the closer you look at it. Contrast-color panels peek from between the pleats (created with intarsia knitting as you work the peplum).

Crocheted custom buttons give a couture, perfectly matched look. Integrated facings support and strengthen front edges. Buttonholes are reinforced with hand embroidery. And attached I-cord trim snakes its way around the collar and cuffs of the jacket, adding a sharp, cleanly tailored touch.

At Interweave Knits, we love beautiful knits that challenge and reward the knitter. Subscribe today to make sure you don't miss a single one!


P.S. For more information about the Peplum and Pleat Jacket, and all of the projects in the Winter 2011 Knits, click here.


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