Monday, March 1, 2010

My Second 1945 Jacket

I thought my black wool crepe jacket would be my all time favorite, but I love my new 1945 jacket. For this jacket, I left off the collar, shortened the sleeve to 3/4's and shortened it. I made my own trim for embellishment and fringe along the edges. This jacket went together so much quicker since I dealt with most of the fitting issues. I still needed to tweak it a little more, so the third jacket will be even faster.

Here it is:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Nancy Erickson 1945 Jacket

I finished my 1945 jacket yesterday. We had a snow day in Montgomery, AL due to 3 1/2 inches of snow - biggest snow since 1993! So I took full advantage and completed my jacket. It has been an interesting journey. I planned this jacket over a year ago and had all of the lining, interfacing, and shoulder pads ready to go. I waited until now to start it.

I could say that I procrastinated because last year was so busy. I began dating, planned a wedding, and married. However, I managed to make several other pieces during the year. As I began this project, I realized that subconsciously I wanted to make something special for my mother's funeral. As I began the jacket, I thought a great deal about her and how much she taught me. Now that I have completed it, I know that my mother only has a few days to live. God certainly works in mysterious ways.

The jacket had it's challenges. I was very proud of the fact I made perfect welt pockets, only to discover they were both going in the same direction! So I had to rip out an entire section of the jacket and begin again. Then, I cut the top part of the jacket too large and had to do some significant altering. Thanks to Nancy Erickson herself, I now have the fit just right!

I had made pants using the Textile studio Soho Pants pattern a couple of years ago out of the same fabric. They look great with the jacket. This was definitely a sewing challenge, I learned several techniques and lessons along the way. As Nancy said, the next jacket will definitely be easier.

Monday, January 25, 2010


I have come to Boston to see my parents and help take care of my mother for the week. Mom has been sick for many months and continues to decline. As I sat in the hospital room today, I thought about what my mother has given me. She taught me to play the piano. (My mother was a wonderful piano teacher who continues to be loved by all of her students). She and my father taught me to love all kinds of music. I learned to accept everyone, no matter how different and to embrace the difference. Mom taught me to be kind and mind my manners. Mom taught me the love of sewing.

I come from several generations of seamstresses, witnessed by the many quilts we have acquired throughout the generations. My grandmother was an incredible artist who made the finest of suits. My mother made all of our Easter dresses and prom dresses. Going shopping for school clothes meant we went to Hancock's. I loved it. Although most of my clothes were homemade, we were the best dressed girls at school.

My mother bought me my first sewing machine when I was 20 years old and newly married. My former husband was at Officer Training School for the Air Force so I went home for three months. Mom purchased a used Singer and told me that if we made all kinds of garments over the three months, I would learn all the basics. She was right. We picked out patterns and fabric, and within three months, I had a new wardrobe. More importantly, I had found my passion.

That was 30 years ago. At age 50, as I care for my mother, I look at her hands and think about the many beautiful garments she made for us. The beautiful music she played. My Mom is an artist and I am so grateful to be her daughter. Thank you for the many gifts you have given me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Wedding

I have been so busy being a newlywed, I just haven't had the time to post on this blog. That's a good thing, right? Anyway, the wedding was absolutely perfect. It was very small with our closest friends and family with us. The weather could not have been more perfect. I was very pleased with the dress and the coat. My only concern with the dress is that I had to watch the front. It tended to lower when I sat down, or perhaps it was my viewpoint that was worrisome. Anyway, all and all I was pleased with the dress and the coat.

Here's a picture of the happy couple!