Right. Because suede patches look so incredibly good on tailored suit jackets
Instead, I've been busy making up some knitted jackets. Not cardigans, exactly, although technically I suppose they are. "Cardigan" implies something casual. These are office-ready, and have some dressmaker details to make them more tailored-looking.
The first one I finished is a Fiona Ellis pattern:
The second change was to omit the floppy pleated cuffs and replace them with a plain hem that had the same trim as the front and neck bands. I thought the dramatic cuffs were great, but not terribly practical for the office. I have to type a lot for my day job, and worried I would have to do a Liberace-style wrist flourish every time I went to edit a new version of a requirements document.
The second jacket is from a recent issue of Interweave Knits:
- I added extra rows of garter stitch to the bottom of the body and sleeves to keep the lace edging from curling. It still does, a little bit. The directions said steaming would get rid of this. I am not inclined to steam a jacket every time I want to wear it, so decided to let the knitting do the work.
- I added a 5-stitch garter stitch border at the fronts of the body's lace edging so the edges wouldn't curl in. The original pattern called for the knitter to flip back X number of stitches and tack them down to the wrong side. "X" didn't equal a pattern repeat or half-repeat, so the lace on the back of the facing wouldn't have lined up with the front of the facing. I had to re-jig the stitch counts a little, but was pleased with the garter stitch.
- The stranded colourwork (the stylised plants around the body) were worked in the round with a steek up the middle, because purling back through a 25-st repeat with no symmetry in it did not appeal.
- I worked the colourwork chart so that only whole motifs were knitted in, instead of partial motifs per the instructions. I figured since I was creating the fabric instead of working with printed & cut stuff, I could pull off little niceties like that.
- Because of the steek, I changed the way the front facings were worked from the original directions.
- I added some rows of I-cord and I-cord knot buttons with loops to close the fronts. The original pattern had a single hook-and-eye closure just below the collar.
- I made the sleeves full-length, instead of the original 3/4 length. If I'm wearing a 100% wool jacket, I want to stay warm. Also, 3/4 sleeves look ridiculous on me.
What are your favourite DIY wardrobe tricks?