Thursday 11 May 2017

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 138 - Mother of the Groom Outfit

Expensive isn't my usual look, but for my son's wedding I decided the time had come to enjoy wearing a posh and unique outfit without breaking the bank.  Rather than go shopping for clothes, which I find frustrating and terrifying, I opted to invent and make my own.

I knew I wanted a jacket and skirt, and did some pattern hacking.  Although the mock up jacket I made wanted to overlap and transform itself into a double breasted version, the finished item definitely needed to be single breasted.  Only three buttons were required - any more would have been too many.

To make life difficult for myself, I started experimenting with silk, with a view to making a quilted jacket.  To test how quilted silk would behave when making seams and buttonholes, I made a cushion.  Because the wadding is so thin, it was easier to work with than I anticipated.

The silk I chose is a blue dupion shot with dark red.  The red only really shows at certain angles and depends also on the light, which is why the colour varies in the photos.  The red element also influenced the choice of colour for the lining

Once I had bought the silk, the next step was to measure all the pattern pieces and then quilt panels of different sizes.

This photo shows the upper section of the back of the jacket.  I used the leaves and berries quilting design which I had tested in different coloured threads on the cushion.  I went for a thread with minimum contrast so as not to distract from the shot effect of the silk.

To cut out the pieces, I drew around them in tailor's chalk on the back.  This photo shows two panels - on the left are the front facings and back neck facing, and on the right are the two front panels.  These were definitely the scariest pieces, because I had had to learn some pattern drafting.  I wanted a shawl collar, but the pattern I had adapted had a stand-up mandarin collar.  

This is the You tube video that I found easiest to understand because the graphics are so clear.

I was pleased with how well the collar folded over into place once it was finished.  I am hoping that the back of the jacket looked better on me than it does on the home-made dress form, which has no neck or shoulders. 

One of the most time consuming jobs was trimming the seam allowances on the inside to reduce bulk.
The trickiest bit to trim was where the top and bottom collar pieces meet, because both have a seam at the middle.  If you count quilted fabric as three layers, then you have twenty four layers to contend with inside the seam.  Ruthless trimming was called for.

The hard work with the collar paid off in the end, and I was really pleased with the way the embroidered blouse complemented the quilting.

The skirt is plain at the front, with an exceptionally messy hem that looks in need of a good pressing.  This is because I had to sew in a ridiculous number of weights to prevent the skirt riding up.  I would rather have a less than perfect hem than worry about showing far too much leg for my age.  Nobody would have noticed the bumpy hem on the day because I was constantly moving or talking.

Rather than have a pleat or straight vent at the back, I made an edge to edge opening with curves echoing the lower front of the jacket.  The curve on the jacket just happened to be exactly the same size as one of our plates, so that came in handy when drafting the skirt pattern.  Then to add just a slight touch of raciness, I stitched on a large bow.

At last I have conquered my fear of zips, and am proud to show my first ever invisible (as opposed to visible) invisible zip.  I am rather less proud of the creasing just below the waistband, but I have no idea whether that actually showed on the real me.  I don't think anyone noticed or would have cared.  The most important thing is that I made sure the waistband wasn't too tight on me and that I had plenty of room for my dinner.

While I was making the outfit I often wondered whether I might end up too hot on the day in a quilted jacket.  The weather at the end of April can be either glorious or ghastly, and I was preparing for the latter.  As it turned out, my instinct was right.  When we went into church it was overcast and breezy.  When we came out it was blowing a gale.  My fascinator went flying, my hairdo made a rapid change from bun to pony tail, my daughter clung onto her skirt for dear life, and plans for photos outside the church were instantly abandoned.  But I found it all hilarious because I was warm.  I needed all the layers after all.

blogbutton photo peacockfmq025_zpse5bceb10.jpg

Here goes for Week 138..

Unfortunately nobody linked up with a free motion quilting project last week, so there is no featured project to show this week.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post and/or grab the linky button for your blog's sidebar.
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland and Brazil have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Linking up with Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday
and Amanda Jean's blog Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday.


  1. What a beautiful outfit- your hard work really paid off. Love the racy bow!

  2. What a marvellous outfit!

  3. Fabulous work! I hope you'll wear this outfit again as it would be a great shame for it to just languish in your wardrobe. Thanks for all the walk-throughs too and reminding me about Studio Lot 13 videos.

  4. A stunning outfit! You have some real tailoring skills. I've only read about using weights in the hem, but you know how to use them.

  5. Your outfit is just beautiful. I am amazed at your construction and designing skills. Having sewn since I was a girl and learned to make a suit with horsehair interfacing, I get some of your techniques. But you have really outdone me and the completed silk with quilting is stunning.

  6. What a great outfit! I still haven't gotten around to trying FM again, but, I do straight line, and wavy lines, and will be taking a ruler class in July.

  7. This is BEAUTIFUL! I love the color. The pattern. Absolutely beautiful!

  8. This is absolutely exquisite! You have done a marvelous job of constructing with dupioni, which is never easy, and the quilting is just magnificent! This is exactly the type of thing I would love to wear to a child's wedding, and you have hit it out of the park. Congratulations on an amazing piece!

  9. Wow! What an incredible outfit and a most excellent ocassion for such a beautiful work! I'd love to see a picture of you in it.

  10. Wow, Muv, It's absolutely gorgeous! Love the colour and the shape and your quilting makes it absolutely unique! Enjoy the wedding and make sure you feature prominently in the photos ;)))

  11. Hi Muv, your outfit and blouse are stunning. Great job!

  12. you have made a fabulous job of that suit. the jacket is exquisite.

  13. Gorgeous! Congratulations on making such a stunning, tasteful, perfect outfit for your son's wedding!

  14. That is GORGEOUS and impressive! WOW! Won't you please model it for us?

  15. Wow, that is a fantastic outfit. Your choice of style, colour and your fabulous quilting - you must have been the source of many comments of approval and admiration, as well as having a memorable day. Beautiful work.

  16. Gosh! What an amazing outfit! Did everyone ask where you had bought it? It must have been wonderful to wear, knowing it looked exactly as you had planned, and that you would be cosy too!
    Barbara x

  17. Superb work! I love the colour, and I'm sure it looked great on you!

  18. Hi Muv, you must have looked amazing in that outfit! I'm glad that you linked it up to our 300th party!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...