Nancy’s Jacket

All of us have been waiting a long time for the very much altered/redesigned Butterick 6106 jacket for Nancy. She has been patient and gone along with my suggestions and additions and subtractions in order to get the perfect fun jacket from a piece of painted linen.

Having taken photos all along the way to document what went into this final garment, they are all assembled in 4 boards (147 photos)on the Pinterest page:

After all the pinning and tucking and shortening and lengthening, I told her that we should line the jacket with rayon Ambiance so it will slide on and off and resist wrinkles. 41-front-liningWe also decided on topstitching all the horizontal seams to show them off. 58-front59-side60-back

The buttons have small clear backer buttons behind them to keep them from pulling through the fabric and the entire jacket has 1/4 inch edge stitching with a neutral thread to hold them flat. The sleeves have a 2 inch facing to be folded up and shown. All the hems have been faced with 2 inch wide self facings.


Shoulder pads were covered and snaps attached for easy removal during washing.46-cover-pads50-zigzag-tails

After I had worked on this puppy for months, the sleeve heads looked all wrinkled and then I decided that the painted bits of the fabric caused the sleeve cap to go up and down and so I opened up the hand sewn lining and attached wool sleeve heads to fluff and smooth that area.52-sleeve-head53-stitched-by-hand54-the-fold57-cap-done They look much better now. The buttonholes were quite wide 1.25 inches and in the making of them, the painted areas stalled the zigzag of the needle path and had to be coaxed/yanked along to finish the lines.45-make-samples45-1 buttons

I used masking tape to attach the buttons for placement.

I won’t bore you with all the photos but if you want to see the process, visit the Pinterest page and the 4 boards.

Good news this week, remember the ponte issue from last week? Well the president wrote to me saying they are taking my suggestion of testing their fabrics and issuing a warning on the shrinkage and they wanted to send me a free replacement for the magenta knit as the hot pink and grey had been sold out. So I want to tell you that the company Sawyer Brook has been great and they pride themselves on good customer service and in the end could not do enough for me. This week I have cut the 3 pair of leggings and managed to figure out a way to salvage the fabric to “make it work”. Next time I will share the photos and layout. But before I go, I have a photo of a RTW pair of leggings with a possible solution for the cutting layout:grey-pants A wedge might just save the day!

Bad news is I see more and more sewing blogs are “pimping for products” and offering “free stuff” that they have been given by suppliers and asking for more testers for badly designed patterns and direct knock-off from the Big 4….really folks…is this what we have come down to? I even saw a sewing blog this week with a woman who was dyeing her hair at home with a nationally known product and announced that she gets it free as long as she promotes it…what’s next? Dog food, tampons or pizza delivery? Wish we could just get back to real sewing without shilling for everything under the sun…stepping down off the soapbox to sew some wedding gowns now…24  brides have booked themselves in for the season so far.


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43 Responses to Nancy’s Jacket

  1. What a wonderful jacket! I know Nancy will enjoy it every time she wears it – it’s perfect! Thanks so much for all your tips and comments on what gave you trouble as you put it together. It’s a huge help to newbies like myself – even though I confess I’m still stuck on the ‘fall lines’ and the sleeve debacle from a few posts back…lol! I’m going to be referring to your posts next time I tackle something with sleeves!

    Not surprised that you already have brides lining up! We’re getting ready for our oldest daughter’s wedding in the spring (next year)…hope we’ll find someone as wonderful as you here!

  2. Colleen says:

    Awesome job! Congratulations! Nancy is lucky to have you as a friend and a seamstress!

  3. erniek3 says:

    Good to read that Sawyer Brook will stand behind their products. A pleasant change; most responses from companies about inferior products or services will just offer you more of the same inferior products/services without hope for change.
    I have had the recent pleasure of doing some pattern testing for a couple folks whose previous work I have enjoyed. I have useful skills and knowledge and it makes me try some things I would not have considered in what is my winter fallow period. There are plenty of folks for whom it would not be a pleasure, and I don’t work with them.
    How do you plan and schedule your wedding work? How many is too many?

    • mrsmole says:

      As far as scheduling brides, in the past I have just taken in whatever work showed up. Last year I had 49 brides (11 brides in July and 9 brides in Aug) along with 49 bridesmaids it just was too many for one person. Working 7 days a week with no days off for 2 years was not wise so this year I am limiting the bridal slots to 5 per month. I can still end up with 50 brides but at least the volume is controlled. I work with one bridal salon that knows me and my work very well and already she has lined up 14 brides of the 22 I have have on the books because she orders custom dresses and knows the dates are fixed. She also sells sample dresses right off the rack and sent 2 more to me today so her brides get preference. I’m afraid June and July slots are now filled and I will have to say no to many others. Great news that people like you that have experience can test patterns and give real results along with the wanna-bes and freebie seekers. Thank you for dropping by.

  4. I was really happy to read that the comments you made to the fabric supplier have been followed up and changes (for the better) will result. I wish all companies were so good!
    Nancy should be really happy with her jacket – such a lot of care and attention. Well done Mrs Mole.

    • mrsmole says:

      Thanks, Kim, you know how obsessed we can be with a project and end up putting way more hours into it just to make it right…and once I uploaded 147 photos on the Pinterest page I knew I had fallen over the cliff…ha ha In the future Sawyer Brook will be my go-to place for knits!

  5. Carolyn says:

    I love Sawyer Brook so glad they went the extra mile! Also 24 Brides – WOW! I guess hope and love do spring eternal!

    • mrsmole says:

      You can’t stop the tide! You can imagine the excitement that accompanies every new bride carrying her precious dress into my sewing room…the voices are loud and shrill and the anxiety level is high as well. After 90 minutes standing on a platform having the dress pinned in every conceivable spot and sweating under spotlights, they do calm down a bit.

  6. Theresa says:

    I’ve shopped in person at SB and found them to be wonderful. So glad they are just as great with internet purchases. The jacket is FABULOUS! And good for you finally spreading the workload out to reasonable schedule. As to pattern testing, I am seeing more of it on the blogs too.

    • mrsmole says:

      Thank you, Theresa. You will have to watch for Nancy when you are out shopping and grab her arm and ask her where she bought such a cool jacket…ha ha. Yes, the never ending pattern testing by people who just want something for nothing who have little background in flat pattern or draping methods or pattern production and then raving about the said pattern to promote it for free…it is a vicious circle…the latest with the hair dye was a real shocker. You could start a dog food testing blog, others can start a tampon testing service and almost everyone has some favorite pizza delivery potential…let’s get crazy!

  7. That looks amazing. I think you should let the pattern designer see your end result.
    Glad to know about the Ponte knits, too. Must be the rayon in them.

  8. mrsmole says:

    Thank you for your comment, mentor. I’m sure Diane Ericson will eventually see all the changes I made with her jacket pattern to remove the intentional bulge although there are enough people who sewed the pattern right out of the envelope. Your blog has tremendous photos and explanations and I look forward to following it! Your background in sewing all these years and adventures will be truly insightful!

  9. JustGail says:

    Nice results on the jacket, I like it without the bulge, especially on a fabric with a bit of oomph and body. And it’s good news that you are evening out the work load, I can’t imagine how you cranked through so many wedding dresses, and then bridesmaids on top of those. Maybe there won’t be *quite* so many middle-of-night work sessions?

    • mrsmole says:

      I’m keeping my fingers crossed and have already turned away 2 brides for June since I have a filled list. It sure is not easy to say no but I have to think that the best ones who got in early will be fun to work with and who doesn’t love girls with a sense of purpose and advanced planning?

  10. Tia Dia says:

    Lovely jacket. I just waded through your pinterest boards. What a lot of work and fiddling with the fit. Thanks for posting, because it’s an education and a half! And so nice of SB to follow up in a customer-first way. I hope with the pacing of the alterations you’ll be able to find more time sewing through your stash!

    • mrsmole says:

      Thank you, Tia! So far I have managed to sneak a little time for myself and will complete the 3 pair of leggings and share those photos. Your blog is so delightful with new things all the time!

  11. Susie says:

    Thanks for the reminder about Sawyer Brook, I am looking for some jacket fabric and just haven’t found any yet. I haven’t shopped there in a couple years, but they do have nice fabric.

  12. Becky Moody says:

    What do you use for the wool sleeve heads?

    • mrsmole says:

      I bought rug wool from Hollyhock Hill Designs about 8 years ago and just cut 2 inch wide bias strips off the yardage. It is a very loose weave and she used to sell online but you can write to her and see if you can obtain any or find a new place to buy a chunk just for this type of application:

      • Becky Moody says:

        Thank you! I have a very small stash of lambs wool that will be used up soon. I don’t like the fuzzy poly stuff that is sold in its place. The rug wool looks a lot like lambs wool.

  13. BeaJay says:

    Wow – stunning jacket. Love that fabric and the fit is wonderful – of course!!. What a great job.

  14. Shams says:

    That jacket is GORGEOUS! You really honored that beautiful painted linen and those buttons are perfection! What a work of art and the fit is wonderful! (I completely agree on the endless shilling. I routinely receive emails asking me to sell things like sunglasses, fingernail polish, cheap RTW. It’s ridiculous and completely irrelevant to my blog. No thanks.)

    • mrsmole says:

      Thank you, Shams…I am still laughing at your comment about thick quilted jackets being called “stiffies”!!! It is amazing as to the amount of crap people are pimping for these days. It all boils down to one thing in my books…if you have integrity, you don’t do it because it is …DISHONEST! Period. This week 62 US Congressmen and women were given $250,000 each to vote for a pipeline that the public does not want. Shilling, pimping, selling out…be it pattern, fabric, books…it is all the same. You and I buy products, use them, love them and can speak about them knowing there is no money or free goods changing hands…we don’t owe anyone anything and we will not be used or manipulated…it just feels right.

  15. prttynpnk says:

    Nancy better not leave that jacket laying around! While Im out promoting Petsmarts Lavendar scented poop bags- sold in 3 sizes and a variety of colors in compliance with Bruders endorsement deal, I might just have to steal that jacket!!!

    • mrsmole says:

      Don’t forget about the dog food deals too…food in one end – poo bags for the other end…a complete circle of shilling! Just like the sewers who are given free Indie patterns and then shill again for free fabrics from Indie fabric sellers. Just because you have a real full-time job doesn’t mean you cannot stoop/scoop to make more money on the side.
      Nancy will be on her guard!

  16. Mary says:

    Oh my gosh! That is beautiful and thank you so much for the Pinterest link. The board is a sewing lesson!!

  17. sewruth says:

    You should stay on your soapbox and tell some of those brides and mothers-of where to go……but then we wouldn’t hear the tales you’ll have to tell. Fabulous sewing for Nancy and it really looks like you enjoyed sewing it too.

    • mrsmole says:

      You are right about that, Ruth. If I gave my real opinion of the brides, their dresses and their lack of fashion or common sense, I would have no customers!!!! and no crazy-ass blog posts. I learned so much from working on Nancy’s jacket. Everyone should have a challenge that makes them think and think again about how to make it all come together to improve what they started with. I had never faced a lining before nor dealt with such points and inside angles on a hem before. The pattern had you just turn under 1/2 inch and be done with it and all the seams exposed inside…it was just too nasty to wear without a lining. Working with painted linen was another aspect that makes you plan ahead for positioning of motifs and thickness of paint in seams. As I gave the pattern back to Nancy she said we will probably never make this jacket again but I said, “We certainly have worked all the bugs out by now!”

  18. girl in the stix says:

    The jacket is beautiful, and the fit impeccable! Really enjoyed reading about it as well. All the best!

  19. EasilyAmewsed says:

    Nancy is lucky! Beautiful fabric. Nice to know about Sawyer Brook. I’ve never bought from them before, but good service does perk my interest.

    • mrsmole says:

      It’s always nice to share good news and good service! Nancy is busy planning her Spring wardrobe so there is more to come in between brides. Thank you for dropping by!

  20. jay says:

    Nice jacket! I like the hem shape and the buttons are perfect with the print. Good news about your ponte supplier.

  21. mrsmole says:

    The hem was a real challenge and making a facing which did not come with the pattern. Each side was a reverse of the other and one being curved was a little weird. The sleeves had facings as well so she could roll them up and if she rolled them up twice the lining would show but Nancy is all for re-creating the 80’s look.

  22. fabrickated says:

    I have followed this jacket frame by frame and have loved the endless creativity displayed when tacking a difficult pattern, fit and fabric (don’t make it easy for yourself, eh?). There is so much to learn from you Mrs Mole and I am very grateful that you offer all this wisdom, great annotated photographs and cheery, witty writing to go with it. And for free. Bravo, and thank you!

    • mrsmole says:

      You are so sweet, Kate. The jacket project just had a life of it’s own and being determined to improve and improvise, the sequences and techniques just fell into place along with a load of photos. I used to teach sewing in my home to beginners but they never did their homework, so this way, I am still sharing knowledge to those who might want it and maybe give you an idea or start a project of your own.

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