Friday 13 November 2015

Joan Crawford - Design For A Silk Jacket

I am very pleased to report that my design for the Joan Crawford jacket has been reformatted and is back up on both Ravelry and on Etsy.

Image courtesy of Alastair McAskill

This is a design I came up with while shooting the photographs for A Stitch in Time Volume 1 with Susan Crawford. It was heavily inspired by the silver screen glamour of the 1930s, and, in particular, the style of Joan Crawford. Her character 'Crystal' in 'The Women' was influential, along with her off-screen style throughout the 1930s. The yarn choice was easy. Pure silk. For the drape as much as for the indulgence.

Image courtesy of Alastair McAskill

I wanted to create a very feminine, but not too fussy jacket, but I also really wanted to incorporate a peplum into the design. So I decided to keep the main body in stocking stitch so as not to detract from the design details. I didn't want the peplum to taper at the back, I wanted it to be quite short and flippy, with a slightly raised waistline.

Image courtesy of Alastair McAskill

The decreases in the peplum became design features when spaced evenly and the picot edging adds interest to the hem. And I cannot resist a good bow, so that took centre stage on the petersham ribbon belt.

The shawl collar I kept quite small and neat, knit in one piece and tapered at the ends, so that it would tie gently in front.

I couldn't stick just to stocking stitch, it was just a tad too dull, so I introduced moss stitch with the bow, sleeve cuffs, shawl collar and the front bands. I decided to omit buttons altogether instead using press studs, as I knew they would draw the focus away from the shape of the garment, and the discreet design features.

Image courtesy of Alastair McAskill

And the sleeves? They had to be full and feminine, with a slight gather at the shoulder. Three quarter-length seemed just right. They are knit from the top down.

 Image courtesy of Susan Crawford

This design was first featured in the Glamour issue of knitonthenet (along with A Posy of Violets). It was Susan's first website, before she established Susan Crawford Vintage, and it showcased lots of independent designers.

Image courtesy of Susan Crawford

I have to say a huge thank you to Susan Crawford for encouraging me to release this pattern, and for the multi-sizing she did for it.

Image courtesy of Susan Crawford

Here's a bit more info on the pattern:

1500 metres of 4 ply in either silk, a silk mix, or cotton.
1 pair 3.5mm US 4 needles
1 pair 3.75mm US 5 needles
Length of petersham ribbon
8 press studs

The silk used above is discontinued now, but the red silk I bought is available from Knitshop. I have seen it done in other yarns too, (see version on this Ravelry page), which looks wonderful. I would also love to see how it looks in a silk and alpaca mix. Or bamboo. The drape would be lovely.

34 (36, 38, 40, 42) inches

Actual bust measurement
36 (38, 40, 42, 44) inches

23 sts and 32 rows to 10cm/4 inches measured over stocking stitch with 3.5mm needles.

I hope you like it, as I can still remember throwing it across the room on two separate occasions while it was still on the needles. Ah, the design process...



  1. It is more than fantastic!
    I actually bougth yarn in the means of copying it (as no pattern was available a few months ago)! So this is great news!
    unfortunately my tension will be way off..

  2. First time I've seen this, and it is absolutely divine! The sleeves really makes it stand out. Love the grey one :)
    I've always loved the look of peplums, but never tried it on my person. It is said to be flattering, so this would be a lovely project to try :) Perhaps a dressy black one? Or a Cristmassy red? Ah, the choises!

    1. Thank you Siri. I'm a sucker for a bit of red, but the muted colours can look good too. More restrained.

  3. Oh my god, that is so stunning, particularly in the red! I just love the pieces you do and I get so angry at myself that I can't knit. It just does not compute in my head, I have no idea why. Ah well, I'll just carry on coveting yours. x

  4. Such a gorgeous creation! I love the elegant draping, along with the peplum ~ it's such a chic design. Thank you for putting yourself through all that work to release it!❤

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

  5. It's absolutely lovely! Congrats on the (re-)release!


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