Nancy’s New Jacket

With so many brides dropping off their dresses, it was nice to start something new for Nancy, my client, using one of the fabrics we purchased on our Portland trip in November.

Here is the fabric:P1200339 and a close-up…yes Anne, it IS Jungle quality! You don’t often find Type 2 summer colors all together in one piece.It might be a home-dec fabric but the woven threads are just so yummy.

The pattern is from Grainline Gear

P1200340                  abdcaefbf97c3ca14eb601025c894482

A muslin was made using a few alterations on the paper pattern like adding a center back seam for better fit and rounded back adjustment. The front with pocket and front bands were left as is. While the front bands were too short, I added to their length along with adding 3 inches to the jacket length. The back has a 2 piece sort of apron over-layer but I did not include it.


Here we are for the first try-on with shoulder pads and horizontal lines drawn and pinned at buttonholes:


Can you see the drag lines pointing to above the bust points? Can you see how the horizontal line just under the bust arches up? Remember the past slash and spread techniques we have done? OK let’s do it:P1200352

While adding 1.5 inches make the front look good, how about the back? We could use some center back taking in at the waist and some side darts too but the excess fabric across the upper back needs to be there for reaching and driving ease. A slash and spread at the yoke area allows the horizontal lines look better too.

P1200350   P1200354

Just a few other tweaks, a pinch at the shoulder and the waist:


So there we have a good start on this jacket right out of the envelope. Next time Nancy visits we will use these muslin pattern pieces to place them on the huge color sections to create a very unique color-blocked jacket.

In the meantime, I have 30 brides booked in for the start of the season, 3 known pregnant ones and a few with over-sized egos…what does that mean, Mrs Mole?

Well,  just last week a bride marched in with her 3-girl posse and 2 wedding dresses. She warned me she may bring 3-4 dresses but decided against it. She was 30 minutes late and one of her girls was 45 minutes late. When the last girl arrived she asked the bride where they had been and the bride said she and the other 2 had been getting their trial wedding make-up done (July date). Then the late girl asked what did the beautician charge and the bride snapped back, “Any make-up artist knows that she cannot charge ME for the service as I will take that into consideration when selecting who gets to do it the wedding day. I will be consulting every make-up artist in the valley before I make MY decision”.

I learned something new this week at the local ASG community sew gathering…how to make a churn dash quilt square:


Then I made 11 more and stitched them together:quilt-squares-12

And while it is nothing compared to quilts that Ruth makes, mine will be finished and be given away to a charity for homeless teens and children in shelters. My learner mistakes will be passable and overlooked!

Spring is coming soon!!!! I saw a huge robin this morning!


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46 Responses to Nancy’s New Jacket

  1. fabrickated says:

    Wow! What a fascinating post. I love your Fitting Nancy posts the best as the reader can really see what it means to fit a garment. And the pattern is just perfect for the fabric – great choice. Next an appalling bride story that we come here to read because we love to be shocked by dreadful manners. And finally a really lovely quilt. I have no idea how these are constructed, but isn’t that just super? You are a star and I love reading your blog. So glad you have lots of brides lined up – let’s hope some of them know how to behave…

    • mrsmole says:

      Oh Lordie, Kate…there are more snippets of bad manners to come…I could not unload all of them from one bride in one post! Nancy is a joy to work with and I hope I can encourage more women our size and shape to check out some of the patterns with her quite normal alterations.

  2. jay says:

    Fascinating post! I like to look at the alteration/fitting details, and that fabric is lovely. It sounds like you will be snowed under with brides, I hope not too many with an overarching sense of entitlement. Nice little quilt block.

  3. Can’t wait to see her dress(es)! You are a brave woman Mrs Mole.

    • mrsmole says:

      She will not disappoint you! Since her wedding is a ways off, I have some time to sneak in some very sweet brides with appreciative mothers…that should smooth my feathers. I want to say to them that they are not Cher with many costume changes and a stage…they are just common variety cocky girls who want everything their way for one day.

  4. laura says:

    Oh Yay! You made a Churn Dash Quilt! So glad you did something in my direction!!!!!! Your work is always inspirational – no matter what you are working on.

    • mrsmole says:

      Squares and half square triangles…bias and nesting seams…not my thing but it is for a good cause after all. You do such phenomenal work finishing quilts…all blue ribbon winners!

  5. Margaret says:

    Love your attitude and sense of humor!! Some people –you just gotta laugh or you would strangle them!! But then there are friends like ‘Nancy’ . Oh and I forgot to mention, your talent is awesome. Thanks for sharing.

    • mrsmole says:

      Thank you, Margaret, I just keep my head down, pinning hems and ruffles and let the bride and her girls just chatter away…you can learn a lot from just listening!

  6. erniek3 says:

    That Grainline jacket is great! My sister thanks you for the alteration directions, as she was reading this over my shoulder and pointed: I want one.
    Brides! If she is that good at this bride job, I’ll wager she gets to do it again. And again.

    • mrsmole says:

      Well, your sister is welcome to my slashing and spreading steps…I was amazed that the jacket fit so well compared to some we have tackled…you know…the artsy fartsy types…pockets and collars all wonky and sections flaring out from the body…not for me and Nancy! The nice thing is the pattern comes with a blouse and coat and pant too…a real bargain!

  7. Sarah says:

    I hope the makeup artists in the area read your blog and suddenly get completely booked through July. Mean girls do not rule!

    • mrsmole says:

      I do hope word gets around…I may mention it to my facial girl and let her spread the word to her colleagues! It is almost like visiting food stalls and asking/demanding free samples but in real large portions for yourself and at least 2 friends…just too pushy!

  8. mrsmole says:

    Well, your sister is welcome to my slashing and spreading steps…I was amazed that the jacket fit so well compared to some we have tackled…you know…the artsy fartsy types…pockets and collars all wonky and sections flaring out from the body…not for me and Nancy! The nice thing is the pattern comes with a blouse and coat and pant too…a real bargain!

  9. Siobhan says:

    I just love your bridezilla posts! You wonder how these people get any service with their attitude problem. I’d love to hear more about your sweet, good natured brides too.

  10. pdxSewista says:

    Oh heavens! Bridezillas abound. Twenty-five years ago I laughed at one who was pitching a fit in the party store because she was holding pew bows in one hand and reception napkins in the other and THEY WEREN’T THE EXACT SAME SHADE OF PINK!!! Neveryoumind that the two events were not even in the same building.

    thanks for the slash and spread pics. So helpful. I think I even have that pattern – certainly one very similar.

    • mrsmole says:

      Picking colors or asking for the dress to be taken in one 1/4 inch more is the norm isn’t it? I want to say, “no one will notice and no one will remember” but they are certainly in “the zone” with all these exotic ideas floating in their head. Lots of all this stuff is sold on Craigslist after the event to recoup their purchases.

  11. maryfunt says:

    Sounds like you have an interesting lot of brides lined up. I can’t wait for your tales. Great pics and details of the jacket fitting. Please post the finished results.

    • mrsmole says:

      Lots of photos to come with brides and Nancy in between trying to get the dresses back out the front door as fast as they are coming in. You know, Mary, it is always a gamble when you answer the phone whether they will be a plus or minus but for me they are always a blog post.

  12. Bunny says:

    Wow, business is good, thirty brides! I know some will be bridezillas but some will be lovely and gracious and appreciative as well. The good thing is you know how to deal with all of them.

    Love the Nancy posts and that fabric is such pretty colors. I love working with home dec fabrics. Did you pretreat in any way?

    • mrsmole says:

      We are not pre-treating this fabric as it will always be dry cleaned and it has a little body and might need some interfacing especially for the front and neck bands. A lining will add some weight and stability. Next time Nancy will decide where each section will be placed…that should be fun!

  13. Connie says:

    Do the brides read the blog? Do they recognize themselves?

    • mrsmole says:

      My brides do not know that they are on the blog. It is run anonymously and many detectable features are left out on purpose. Only Nancy knows and enjoys being the model/guinea pig. I try not to be critical of sizes but do relate their comments truthfully and when their requests become unreasonable or their attitude takes over the room…then they get selected to be the star of the post. Like I tell my clients, with 80-100 gowns/brides a year, I can only remember the best and the worst each season.

  14. Cookie says:

    I learn so much from the fitting Nancy posts. Thank you both. I shudder to think those brides will be raising nasty little children with entitlement issues like themselves. They need an etiquette intervention.

    • mrsmole says:

      You do hope that one day they will come to their senses but we all know folks in our own families who have lived a long time still expecting to be treated like royalty. They have always wanted things their way and done NOW. Even if the world does not work that way, they still push and pout until they get it…the rest of us shake our heads and follow orders.

  15. Laura says:

    I dunno. I think I might lose my mind with your brides. I would be tempted to violence.

  16. Always love reading about your brides. It’s nice to read what else you are up to too! Pretty quilt pattern!

  17. sewruth says:

    Oh yeah,,,”then I just made another 11!” – You’re brilliant! What a variety of sewing you have going on, never a dull moment. And another pattern company to check out – thanks.

    • mrsmole says:

      You are welcome, Ruth…sort of like how you picked up the ball with your Alabama Chanin technique and then made a complete wardrobe and then bought more fabric and made some more…ha ha Yes, you might need just one more jacket/coat pattern…just doing my job.

  18. denise njim says:

    Love that Grainline Gear wardrobe pattern… just pulled the trigger and bought it!

  19. Dara says:

    You are one smart and talented woman! Thanks for sharing your wonderful and informative posts! God Bless You!

  20. Bonnie says:

    Thanks for sharing. I always enjoy your posts. I have a couple of fitting questions i hope you don’t mind answering. 1). Do you always add a CB seam to accommodate upper back roundness? I’ve seen advice both ways. One says yes; another says you don’t need to, just slash and spread. 2). Will you be taking the tuck at the shoulders where it is pinned, or will you remove the excess from the princess seam? Thanks.

    • mrsmole says:

      Two answers for both, Bonnie…if the fabric is soft, I don’t always add a CB seam and the excess is taken out using small neck darts after slashing and spreading. If the fabric is stiffer and I know we will need some waist shaping as well, then I add the CB seam. Either way you are making a curve at the top and the fabric determines which method I use. Also if you are using a fabric with a nice center motif, a CB seam might ruin the look. The shoulder tuck is so small, about 1/8 inch that I may not even do anything until the real fabric is cut. Muslin is flimsy and can do weird things that the real fabric will not. I will be adding a little to the sleeve cap height to allow it to come in if I narrow the shoulders with either method, again the fabric will tell me the best way. The next set of photos will show what worked best. Thanks so much for your questions!

  21. Wonderful post as always. New pattern company for me to look into. Thank you!

  22. Tia Dia says:

    Thanks for posting all those lovely alterations! How I love to see the things you do to get a garment to fit correctly. Thanks, Mrs. Mole.

  23. Pingback: Nancy’s Sofa Jacket | fit for a queen

  24. Pingback: Drafting a Larger Block (aka sloper) | Pattern Pandemonium

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