Subversive Femme

FO: Golden Eileen knitted jumper, circa 1941

Wow, it’s really been ages since I’ve finished knitting something but what a sense of accomplishment!

vintage knitting pattern jumper sweater 1940s 1930s 1941

The pattern is Eileen, from Patons and Baldwins Specialty Knitting 79 printed around 1941 according to Trove.

I was really drawn to this pattern because of the tiny cables surrounded by dropped stitches, I love knitting anything with an interesting texture.

The yarn is Knitpicks Comfy Fingering (cotton blend in Semolina yellow), and I’m fairly happy with it. It’s nice to knit with, has a bit of a drape and hasn’t pilled much yet.


Being an old pattern, there was some general weirdness I encountered in the sizing but I’ll share that below.

The pattern was originally sized to fit a 38 inch bust, but I modded it to fit a bit larger – probably shouldn’t have bothered as it’s very stretchy and would fit a 42 inch bust easily.


  • Only made 4 inches of rib (the original called for much more).
  • Originally planned to increase 1 stitch in each panel of plain knitting to make it 39 inch bust, but needn’t have bothered.
  • Used 3mm needles on the rib and the body.
  • Lack of stretch in the rib meant I cast on more stitches here and decreased down on the first row afterwards.
  • The chest and shoulder depth were all quite short so I worked extra rows here to add an inch.
  • Worked an extra inch in the sleeve cap to match the extra depth on the chest.
Overall, really happy with how it turned out.
I think if I was going to knit it again I wouldn’t worry about adding extra stitches to the body as it’s so stretchy – I would probably add more to the arms though as they’re a bit tighter.
The only downside to this pattern – dropping all those stitches! It took forever to drop them down, but well worth the effort.
Just a reminder that Curvy Month is less than 8 weeks away – and I promise this pattern will be available for download in July.
I hope you all have a great weekend


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  • Reply
    Lauren Stowell
    May 7, 2017 at 1:22 am

    It's fabulous! I envy your amazing skills. It's a beautiful jumper!

  • Reply
    May 7, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    Awesome! I love reading 'knitting reviews' especially on vintage patterns. Love the color and that spade brooch is DIVINE! My inner gardener is Squeeing. :^)

  • Reply
    May 24, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    Love this sweater! I'm with you…I much prefer to knit something with texture. Straight stockinette is a pain! lol! Looking forward to Curvy Month!

  • Reply
    Sarah Jane
    January 13, 2018 at 4:48 am

    Do you have a link to the pattern either for free or purchase? I’d love to give it a try, it’s beautiful!

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