Jackets of the season – cascade, revers, asymmetric

Some of us only feel happy if we can wear a structured crisp jacket with shoulder pads on even the most casual occasions. Others, me included, are miserable if we have to wear anything like a blazer, even if it contains not a smidgen of interfacing. Most people are more flexible and come somewhere between the two !

In this season when the notched collar blazer fills the fashion magazines, what can we wear instead ?

All Eileen FIsher‘s jackets are current classics, so can be worn for several years. This Spring season she picked 7 jackets to emphasise. Three are notched lapel collar blazers, see my post, and 2 have a shawl collar, see my post on them. She also picked two less formal styles : a cascade jacket, and a collarless jacket with revers. And in the catalogue there are several styles with asymmetric front opening.

(All these styles were available at the beginning of the season. Some of them are already no longer on the Eileen Fisher site.)

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Cascade front

Eileen Fisher

There are several ways of designing cascade fronts. (There must be technical terms for these things, but I don’t know what they are. The books on pattern making I have don’t mention cascade style.)

The first issue is whether the upper edge of the cascade is short or long.

Two download Shrug patterns for knits show the difference between the two front lengths, a high/ short cascade which draws the eye up, and a long cascade which draws the eye down.

Sewing Workshop’s new eShrug pattern (left ) has a high cascade length.

Or there’s Hot Patterns free Cascade-cozy shrug (right), with a long front.

(not correct relative sizes)

Most knit cascade patterns are the longer style, like the shrug on the right but with sleeves. Eileen Fisher has that style in her winter and spring catalogues. (P.S. here’s a tutorial on adding long sleeves to the Sewing Workshop shrug.)

This season’s cascade jacket for wovens from Eileen Fisher has the short upper edge.

Then below the short cascade, you have a choice of the lower front dropping down, as in the black shrug, or cut away as in this season’s Eileen Fisher woven version (first photo).

Last summer Eileen Fisher featured a short cascade jacket with longer lower front. Here’s my post on her Summer 2010 capsule. I suggested Butterick 5472 for copying that version.


The lower cut away is like some of her more structured jackets for this season, see my posts on the notched collar blazer and the shawl collar jackets.

There’s a new McCall’s 6333 wardrobe pattern with a short cascade which is cut away below.


Release the darts and lengthen about 4 to 8 inches / 10 to 20 cm around the bottom edge (and omit cuffs) to mimic Eileen Fisher’s version.

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Collarless ‘revers’ style

Eileen Fisher

Collarless jacket styles are more frequent in the shows and pattern catalogues this year. This one has a button at waist, and the X-shape opening, cut away below the button.

Here’s a new Palmer-Pletsch pattern, McCall’s 6329.


Many good opportunities for fit.
Add a waist level button, and perhaps cut away below it.
If you’re going to cut away, notice the X-shape is made by the fold line of the revers, not the cut edge. So there’s a curve in the pattern piece around the button area.

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Asymmetric opening


These Eileen Fisher’s examples show much variety in style details : buttoned and zip closures, fitted or semi-fitted, narrower or wider collars.

Leather asymmetric jackets with zip closure are sometimes called biker or aviator jackets. Biker style is more edgy in black with exposed zip pockets. Aviator ones have shearling lining.

There are a couple of popular patterns for this style.

Sandra Betzina Vogue 1198, with zip closure.


Widen the collar and use buttons instead of zip to copy some of Eileen Fisher’s style options.

And Kwik Sew 3827. This has an angled front. The vest version has hidden button closure.


– – –

I’ve picked out some themes, but there many other current style choices. On the Eileen Fisher site there are also trench coat, parka, zipped knit hoodie, some soft hoodie vests. So you can enjoy jackets in your own style this season.

On The Shopping Forecast site (currently discontinued) the jacket styles are very limited – nearly all are notched collar blazers, with a few trench styles and jeans jackets. All current classics. If you want high fashion this summer, ironically this isn’t the time to go wild with your jacket shape (though you might want to with the colour).

There are good patterns for all these other styles if you prefer them. So there’s an idea for yet another jackets post 😀

– – –

Patterns and links available April 2011

Explore posts in the same categories: current fashion

3 Comments on “Jackets of the season – cascade, revers, asymmetric”

  1. Kai Jones Says:

    Thanks, I had read this entry a few weeks ago and just this week decided I wanted a high-cascade jacket–and because you organize your posts so well, with links to patterns and great illustrations, I can find what I need!

  2. Chris Says:

    Love these suggestions!!!

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