Friday, December 3, 2010

Butterick 7031 - Boys' Windbreaker

After 1923.

I bought this pattern because I was interested in the use of the term"windbreaker" at this early date.  The earliest use of the term found on Google Books is a February 1919 review in the wonderful Outing magazine, while Boy's Life magazine for May 1928 recommends a windbreaker as part of a bicyclist's kit of gear.

The Youngstown Vindicator for November 10, 1925 contains an advertisement for "the new wind-breaker  The newest thing for boys and girls." The Montreal Gazette for September 30, 1926, shows an advertisement for suede windbreakers designed to appeal to young women.  Some more sleuthing might find a parent of the windbreaker in the leather jackets worn by aviators, who probably knew more about wind than anybody.

We've seen the banded bottom used a little earlier on Excella 1111, Men's Jumper, as well as the much earlier Working Blouse pattern put out by the Universal Fashion Company.

Recommended fabrics for the Butterick windbreaker include:
Plain or Plaid Flannel, Camel Hair, Fleece Coatings, Corduroy, Duvetyn, and Suede Coatings
Fleece in this sense means a heavily fulled wool fabric with a somewhat soft, fleecy finish (as opposed to a smooth, sheared finish.)   Duvetyn is a "soft, filling-faced fabric made in a satin or twill weave with a fine downy nap...Its appearance is similar to velvet.  Originally made of soft wool in France." (1)  The soft quality of the fabrics accords with the view expressed by the reviewer in Outing that this firm, fleecy quality is what cuts the wind.

But possibly the most intriguing aspect of this pattern is the "instructions for knitting collar, cuffs, and band for View D."

Commercially knit banding was certainly available for the 1930's, when it's called for in the DuBarry Children's Snow Suit, but a substantial wool banding may have been harder to find, so Butterick enhanced the value of their pattern by providing instructions for knitting the straight bands for the collar and cuffs as well as a slightly shaped collar.  I must admit that I find knitting 1x1 ribbing just about the most boring knitting task possible.  However, a thrifty, thoughtful maker might buy extra yarn so that frayed or badly stained ribbing could be replaced to extend the life of the windbreaker.  My recollection is that Shetland Floss is about like our fingering weight yarn.

This unprinted pattern appears to have been used and is in reasonably good condition.

(1) See Sources Consulted


Anonymous said...

It reminds me of the jacket Ralphie wore in "A Christmas Story." Be careful with those straight pins, you'll poke your eye out!

Anonymous said...

I can just imagine this jacket in flannel--so cozy. How cool about the instructions for knitting the cuffs, etc.
When I saw the picture, I thought of little Jimmy Stewart in the movie, A Wonderful Life.
Thanks for sharing!

Blackberry said...

Smiling at your 'k1,p1' gripe. Me too! I always adjust it to an even number 2,4 etc or just go 3's. It still looks swell, and personally I believe the only time k1 p1 is called for is in very small scale knitting- like for baby clothes.