Sign in or become an insider to access this story
A Sewing Pro Looks Back at Her First Tailored Jacket
The journey to making my first tailored jacket started early. Like many of you, I learned to sew in my teens. My mom asked if I would like to learn to sew, and, at 14, I just took to it. My first teachers were two of our neighbors, Mrs. Stewart and Mrs. Jefferson. They were there to answer my many questions. Plus, I learned even more by reading pattern guide sheets.
I think my sense of style came from my parents and grandmother, so I was immediately drawn to Vogue patterns. Back in the day, the local department stores had great fabric and pattern sections. I could sit for hours on a Saturday looking at pattern catalogs and feeling the fabrics. At age 15, I had started sewing for friends too, making prom gowns and other garments.
When it was time to go to college, I knew that I wanted to major in Textiles, Clothing and Business. The project for our junior year was to make a tailored garment. I decided to make a tailored jacket and a bias plaid skirt. I’ll share more about that skirt in another post.
Choosing the fabric
I knew that I would be visiting my brother in Atlanta, Georgia, that summer before my junior year, so I was able to find fabric for both garments at one of the premier fabric shops, The Gallery of Fabrics. The store was in Phipps Plaza, next to Lord & Taylor. It had some of the most beautiful fabrics I had ever seen. Since my purchase was for a tailored outfit, I chose a neutral beige wool for the jacket, and a subtle plaid to go with it for the skirt. I am sure I used a Vogue pattern, but I don’t remember the number.
Start your 14-day FREE trial to access this story.
Start your FREE trial today and get instant access to this article plus access to all Threads Insider content.Start Your Free Trial
Already an Insider? Log in
What is very remarkable to me is that you still have this jacket and it’s in good enough condition to be used in this article.
In reading this article I can appreciate how you took the direction you did in your work and career. It’s a beautiful insight into who you are.
Thank you so much! It was very important to me to make sure that this jacket and the skirt went everywhere I went, and was well maintained. I appreciate your kind words😊
I enjoyed reading your article and imagining the 14 year old who worked so carefully on this beautifully made jacket. It must have been empowering to bring such a complex article of clothing to life! Wonderful!
Hi, thanks so much! Sorry for any confusion, but I made this jacket during my junior year in college😊
It was the project that was assigned to us: A tailored jacket using classic Tailoring methods and a garment to wear with it. I really appreciate your kind words!
Beautiful! I recently purged my sewing closet and found a 50 year old piece of fabric that I used in college to embellish my winter coat hem. It is a very small scrap, but evoked so many memories of all the enjoyment I have had as a sewist for many years.
It’s so nice to find the treasures of our lives! I hope you decide to keep at least a piece of it😊