Nancy Brought Me Clouds

In this sewing room filled with all shades of ivory satin and tulle, a nice little project helped me keep my sanity.

Maybe you remember the last floral jacket I made for her with Butterick 3926, a basic shirt pattern with a side bust dart. We eliminated the collar and added patch pockets and lining with 3/4 sleeves. This time she brought me some thicker home dec fabric that had a directional pattern.

It had rows and rows of clouds in shades of grey and salmon and lime green. You can see that the lines ran horizontally which would not flatter so I cut the pattern pieces out to be vertical. Can you do that? There was hardly any difference in stretch crosswise or lengthwise and it had been pre-shrunk to compact the woven threads.


You can see my well-worn paper pattern with the front FBA adjustment and the rounded back adjustment with neck darts so the only thing left to do is think about the direction of the clouds. I cut the fronts to have the clouds face each other and the sleeves to follow that direction too. The back was cut on the fold so the clouds just went one direction.


P1190389 What I wanted to share with all of you is a new little tool that makes measuring curved and straight lines.

The designer of this cool gadget is Clarie Cochran who has been making and selling rulers with a French curve on one side and straight edge on the other. Since I have bought all her rulers in the past and love using them for pattern work, she wrote to me and offered me the chance to try out this new tool. Here is the link to her pre-launch on Kickstarter. If you are like me and are tired of turning the measuring tape on its side and tediously working along the curve, this gadget can help. Nancy brought me a new pattern and I was able to measure and compare sleeve caps so quickly by rolling this pizza/rotary cutter type device along the seam allowances. Maybe this may make you think of a surveyor’s wheel. In his new book,  The Shirtmaking Workbook, David Page Coffin features this in his tools section. There is even a larger version in the works which would suit even more applications. Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch shares her love of this tool, too .

As with the last floral jacket, this one is lined and edge stitched and topstitched and has self covered shoulder pads with Velcro. P1190481Using a very basic shirt pattern allows you to let the fabric do the talking and if you are lucky enough to have scraps that allow you to make pockets that match the front motifs…well that is just a huge bonus!P1190448

Here they are lined and ready to attach.

Can you see them? Me either.


Here is Nancy showing off her pockets in her loose summer jacket:


Seven inch vents and the back is 1/2 inch longer for a little style:


The back darts were added but she still has plenty of ease for driving and hugging friends:P1190523

The back neck darts hug her shape with no gaping and the sleeve caps are generous enough to allow for lots of movement.

This week from the garden…what do you do with an old greenhouse that has outlasted its plastic cover? Park it near the spaghetti squash plant and let it wander:August-2015

Happy sewing everyone and remember…Drag Lines are your friend…they point to the problem and scream…”add more fabric, add more ease or drop your crotch curve”. Thank you to all the folks who have asked for help offline with their projects…my pleasure!


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28 Responses to Nancy Brought Me Clouds

  1. Tee says:

    Very pretty, I didn’t like the fabric at all, but made up it looks great!!!!

    • mrsmole says:

      It was not as soft as the first jacket but once we flipped it to vertical it worked better. Keeps you on your toes to have to work with different thicknesses doesn’t it, Tee? Thanks for dropping by!

  2. prttynpnk says:

    Nancy has a great eye for prints- I love this one. There’s something about a pop statement piece to make an outfit…..

    • mrsmole says:

      Nancy loves her clothes to make a statement and flatter her figure but most of all be comfortable and travel well. You know she brought over even more fabric for another exact jacket and another sheer jacket that is her trademark…color for me!!!! I think you and Nancy share fabric dreams.

  3. jan says:

    LOVE THAT JACKET! it is exactly what I have been trying to make, along with a blouse with the same lines/features. Haven’t quite managed it yet.

    • mrsmole says:

      Lay out your fabric for about a week…drool over it, spread the paper pattern over it, leave it for a week, pin it down, leave it for a week, and then cut it out…it has aged properly and is ready to be sewn and serged. The cool thing is no collar, no facing, no buttonholes..summer jackets keep the A/C off your shoulders and can just be fun with less fitting and fussing….do it, Jan! Thanks for visiting!

  4. Bonnie says:

    The jacket is very inspiring! I love it!
    See me @

    • mrsmole says:

      Welcome Bonnie, I just checked out your blog…wow…14 pair of culottes! You have some really great garments…really enjoyed you photos of the bias draped blue blouse!

  5. Judie says:

    I love the jacket! It’s nice that you get a break from bridal wear occasionally.

    • mrsmole says:

      No kidding, Judie…it is a conveyor belt of ivory 7 days a week and a dose of color really lifts my spirits and eyeballs! Nancy wears such nice statement pieces and I feel honored to work on her clothes.

  6. sewruth says:

    I didn’t like the fabric when laid flat but made up it’s completely different. Very flattering.

  7. Fabrickated says:

    I love it! And I always look forward to the Nancy posts, which I feel have lots of relevance for us day to day seamstresses (I can’t believe I would ever be called on to tackle a wedding dress). Great work – nice fit and appropriate style and fabric. Super work. I thought your squash were lemons for a moment, but I suppose it isn’t quite hot enough for citrus fruits in the Moles’ Garden of Eden.

    • mrsmole says:

      You never know about wedding dresses Kate, especially now that you are searching for knowledge about lace and lace construction…one may follow the other? Lemons? We have grown lemons and limes for 12 years in pots on the driveway…with summer temps over 100 and no rain from May-Dec, they love it here. Come Nov-May they spend all their time in the garage on a drip system keeping the frost away. Everyone should go and see you latest project of making a sheer silk blouse and learn tips and tricks!

      • fabrickated says:

        I was more thinking I only have one daughter and she is already married (wearing a short, off the peg dress). One of my son’s is married to a Brazilian who wore an evening dress from Brazil. The youngest has a lovely girlfriend but if it develops I am sure she will buy something in Paris, where she is from…

  8. Love your adventures with Nancy! Thanks for sharing that great information about the new tool, it will definitely come in handy for me. And, those huge veggies, WOW!!!

  9. It looks great as a jacket though many people would shy away from that print. I’m sure Nancy will look fabulous. Now back and Hoover the colour out of your machines! (No-one thinks of that, do they?)

  10. mrsmole says:

    I doubt that they do but working mainly with ivory colors, you have to clean all the machines, bobbin cases and sergers unless you want those bright colors to adhere to the next wedding dress. I put in a new needle as well especially when sewing sheers…thanks for mentioning this, Kim and for the non-UK folks : Hoover=vacuum

  11. Nice work on the jacket! It is a lovely, unique, fabric. The darts didn’t hamper movement and were a nice touch too. Thanks for the “drag lines” reminder too!

  12. maryfunt says:

    Nice change from that sea of white! I’m checking out the circular rolling measure; it would make pattern drafting so much easier. Thanks for showing it.

  13. June says:

    Excellent pattern matching for the pockets! And whoa, that spaghetti squash – you know, I eat it often but don’t think I’ve ever seen it outside of the produce section. Blown away by the sheer size of the leaves!

  14. Pingback: Nancy’s New Jacket 2 | fit for a queen

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