Mamma Mia!

Or, sometimes sewing projects just don’t work out for a reason…

If you remember, this fall I participated in the Great Trench Coat Sew-Along on Pattern Review, and I mentioned that I had e-mailed the pattern company, Indygo Junction, and let them know that there were a few (minor) issues with the pattern that I had used. I just thought that was being helpful, letting them know that there were some issues, thinking that they’d want this information for future editions of the pattern. They were super-receptive to my input and even sent me a free pattern—the Retro Raglan Jacket—for my trouble. I was pretty impressed.

Anyway, a little while after that, Josh placed an order from Fabric Mart for a specific weight of wool for a yet-to-be-started project. Because we were first time customers (we’re able to get almost anything we could ever want fabric-wise within a half-hour of our Portland home), they sent us an additional, free box of yardage. In it was a real gem—some beautiful gray wool.

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After letting the fabric and pattern “cure” for awhile, I decided that they’d go nicely together. I had even tried on similar, but not identical, styles at Nordy’s on my lunch break a few times. So, I was feeling like it would be a good pairing.

It wasn’t. Well, I’m lying. The fabric and pattern matched perfectly. The piece that didn’t work was me. The style was all wrong for my small-shouldered self. It was absolutely huge, despite my going down a size after measuring the pattern pieces (a note to anyone making Indygo Junction patterns: they’re sized very generously). When I was done, I literally looked like I was being eaten by my jacket. Whatever that looks like. It looked so bad on me, I wouldn’t even let Josh take a picture of me in it for the blog.

I was pretty pissed off. This jacket had (unnecessarily) been a pain in the butt to make. I had stupidly tried to add a snazzy hot pink lining to the jacket that I ended up taking out because it screwed up the way the jacket hung—it was no longer “swingy” with the lining (the pattern calls for it to be unlined). So what should have been a quick, simple project really ended up being a stressful nightmare, because I removed the entire jacket lining that I’d sewn in. Not fun. Not fun at all.

I had the jacket, that was really lovely and well made (if I do say so myself), hanging in the kitchen (isn’t that where you’re supposed to keep your sewing projects?) staring at me for a couple of weeks while I thought about how to make this too big, wrong style jacket work for me. (I’m stubborn, in case no one’s noticed.) After this went on for awhile Josh must have gotten sick of me dissecting all of the possibilities that would make this wearable. He said to me in the car one weekend afternoon, “Why don’t you give that jacket to your mom? Everything that makes this not work for you, would make it look great on her.”

Well, he was right.

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She looks pretty fabulous, doesn’t she?

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My mom is built completely differently than I, and she can really pull off clothes with strong design elements, like big, face-framing collars and swingy, A-line shapes. On me, I’ve figured out that they, well, look like crap. I’m just too small-boned for that look, which is really disappointing, actually. (Incidentally, I went back to Nordy’s, and now realize that the styles that I tried on that looked good on me were much more fitted and had much less dramatic details—you live and learn, I guess.)

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She has worn here new jacket to work a couple of times this week (keeping in mind that this is a four-day week, and it’s only Thursday) and, according to her, everyone has complimented her on her beautiful jacket, telling her how well suited it is for her. She’s pretty proud of how sharp it looks, and really enjoys telling folks that her daughter made it. Paired with her High Street Messenger Bag that I made her this summer, she’s got a lot of bragging rights, I’d say.

She also really likes the remnants of my well-intended, yet ill-fated, hot pink details…

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Here’s one more picture of my mom in her new jacket, just because she’s got her smart-ass teacher look on her face in this one (hi, Mom!).

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Oh, and I sent this pattern home with her too…


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