Cardigan with side-zip front and draped neckline. This was inspired by a garment from ModCloth.
This is based very very loosely on Simplicity 4074; however, I modified parts of the pattern substantially to try to get the effect I wanted.
Modifications and Construction:
I chose this pattern as my basis largely because I had it on hand (half my patterns are still across the Atlantic). However, it also seemed like a good starting point because it has princess seams in addition to the mock-wrap front, meaning that it has a seam about 1/3 of the way across the front, which is what I needed. It also already has a collar-type extension that wraps around the back neckline.
To create the front drape I traced the center front pattern piece, then rotated the darts/pleats from the shoulder seams to the center front. Then I extended the free edge as far as the point of the princess seam on the other side (i.e., to make a single piece across the front instead of dipping in a wrap/"v" neck), and made the shawl collar 2-3x wider.
Here is the pattern piece for the modified bodice front, with the original overlaid for comparison.
There was no way I could think of to test the drape before actually constructing the cardigan, so I proceeded to lay out my fabric and hope for the best...
The fabric was an impulse purchase from the remnants table at Karstadt, 1.6 x 1.4 m, with more acrylic/synthetic than I normally like, but the pattern was intriguing and it was only 8 Euro.
I decided fairly quickly that any kind of systematic pattern matching would be impossible, but I did try to line up the flowery bits more-or-less at the waist. It turned out fine, mostly, except that annoyingly the one place where I messed up with the matching was the center back seam. Were I to do this again I would cut the back in one piece, without a seam.
The inspiration garment apparently has a zipper on the outside and a magnet closure on the inside flap. I used two zippers inserted along the princess seams.
Minor oversight number two: curves (i.e. princess seams) and zippers aren't an ideal combination. Fortunately the zippers fall somewhat to the side of my bust point, but the result is slightly lumpy, even if probably not obvious to the casual observer.
For best effect, the front panels really need to be fully lined; I didn't have enough fabric for that, so I used a 10 cm wide-facing instead.
front view, fully zipped
The two zippers mean that it can be worn multiple ways:
left side unzipped
The Simplicity 4074 pattern has served me well; it's the third time I've used it. I've rated it "recommend with modifications" this time only because I altered it substantially to meet the particular purpose I wanted it to serve. It fits me well provides a good basis for adaptation.
The drape didn't turn out quite like the inspiration garment, but I really wasn't expecting that I would be lucky enough to have everything work on the first try. The general effect is there, so I'm satisfied. Apart from a few minor glitches, I'm quite happy with the result and cosider this a successful reverse-engineering experiment.
This time of year I find that I need layers that I can put on and take off easily, so this fills a important wardrobe gap. It's dressier than a hoodie but comfortable enough for lounging in bed.
Edit 28 Nov 13: For anyone else who may be interested in trying this design, StyleArc's Marie Jacket has a front drape and side zip very similar to the ModCloth garment.