Military Knit

This should be a useful piece for early fall. It is influenced by a cardigan that I saw at the store Opening Ceremony in New York. I love shopping there, not least because the staff always tells me that they like what I am wearing. They have a lot of very wearable casual pieces with elements that bring the design up a notch. I can’t remember exactly what the original looked like, except that it had a solid color shell, striped lining, and shiny buttons. Here’s my interpretation.

The shell fabric is a cotton knit that came from who-knows-where, and the stripe is a nylon or poly knit that my neighbor gave me when she cleared out the clutter from her basement. My kids played with the stripe for a while, so it was always around. After tripping over it for a few weeks, I decided that it would be good for this project.

TO construct, I applied fusible interfacing to all the edges of the shell fabric, then constructed the shell and the lining seperately. I put them wrong sides together, and topstitched the whole way around in 3 rows. Then I added buttons and buttonholes.

If I were to do this again, I would leave more fabric on the underlap near the buttons. If I had followed a commercial pattern, there would probably have been more of an underlap.

unbuttoned view

detail of buttons and topstitching. I used fusible interfacing, but my machine buttonholes stretched a bit. Is there a way to prevent this?

Back view



  1. Posted July 6, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Did you draft the pattern yourself? If so, did you have to muslin it first? I have had buttonholes stretch despite interfacing too. Very frustrating. Wish I had an answer to your question.

    • Posted July 6, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I did draft it myself, but I started with a knit pullover pattern that I have used previously. I did not muslin it because I never muslin anything. Horrifying, I know, but there you have it.

  2. Posted July 6, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Beautiful! I love the asymmetry.

    I haven’t done this with buttonholes, but my first thought is backing with a bit of organza or something similar.

    • Posted July 6, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I backed the buttonholes with paper which seemed to help a little bit, but there was still some stretching.

  3. Posted July 6, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

    It’s great Claudine. I use a tear away stabilizer under the knit as well as fusible interfacing for buttonholes and cording both help keep them from stretching out.

  4. Posted July 6, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    In case that wasn’t clear, I cord the buttonholes. It really keeps them from stretching out.

  5. Posted July 6, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A really nice style and very well done.

    Buttonholes can also stretch if the thread is to thick. I like to use machine embroidery thread for buttonholes. If possible adjusting the stitch length can help also, but most machines can’t do it on the scale of 1/3 a threads thickness or so… So using finer yarn and sometimes also finer needles is the easier option.

  6. Posted July 6, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I absolutely love this blouse. I can see that it will be very versatile.

  7. Posted July 8, 2011 at 9:36 am | Permalink | Reply

    Gorgeous! I love that closure!!

  8. Posted July 8, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I love the way you treated the raw edges! What a clever technique. Love the cardi/jacket and you are sure to get a ton of use out of it when the weather turns cool (almost hard to imagine on a swampy day like today).

  9. Posted July 9, 2011 at 8:54 am | Permalink | Reply

    I love it! I think it’s great that it looks so structured, and yet it’s a knit. I kind of want one…

  10. Kathryn, aka fzxdoc
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 6:03 am | Permalink | Reply

    Very cute top, Claudine–a nice juxtaposition of style and fabric. I really like the quirky shape of the opening when the top two buttons are undone. It suggests a bit of rebellion in the military ranks 😉 .

  11. Posted July 13, 2011 at 11:15 am | Permalink | Reply

    Claudine – how did I miss this wonderful jacket!?! There were some interesting answers to your stretched buttonholes and I will have to remember Nancy’s with the cording and the tear away stabilizer! I’m also going to steal your method of putting the two pieces together – that is ingenious!

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