Above is a photo of an Italian Valstarino men's jacket (manufactured by the Milanese company Valstar).
You may not be familiar with the name but you've probably seen the style, which has been around since the 1930's. It's a loose-fitting blouson-type jacket with knit cuffs, waistband, and collar.
The collar is perhaps its defining feature.
They're still made today in many different fabrics and colors. I want to make a similar one for myself. I'm not sure if I'll make it in cotton, wool, a synthetic, or even genuine leather.
I actually own a vintage pattern that, apart from the collar, looks almost identical. It's this vintage Thirties jacket pattern I picked up last spring:
The challenge is finding the right kind of rib knit for the waistband/collar/cuff. It's not the easiest stuff to source. You can find it on Amazon, but it ships all the way from the UK, which seems too far for something so basic.
If you haven't seen this kind of trim, it comes in varying widths, and is finished on (at least) one edge, and it can be folded in two if you need extra thickness (like on a collar).
Mood carries a bit of it, but not in a wide variety of colors and mostly in very light weights.
I went to Daytona Trim and their dusty selection looked like leftovers from many years ago -- a bit sad, frankly.
Sil Thread carries good quality, heavy rib knit but only in black and brown and pre-packaged. You must buy a yard (18" wide) for $25. That's probably more than I'd need for two cuffs, a waistband, and a collar.
I found the best selection at Pacific Trim. They have a wide variety of weights and sizes, many different colors, and some of it looks sturdy and high quality (and not the kind that's going to start pilling as soon as you bring it home.) I've found the best of these are blends that include wool and nylon for strength. The worst are thin acrylic (think: dime store yarn). Or so it seems to me.
Have you ever worked with rib knit trim? I haven't but have always been curious about it.
In other news, I may be blogging less moving forward; we'll see (blogging mojo and all...). Not to worry, however: all is well.
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!