Meet Jackie, contributor
Why do you sew?
I sew because it’s in my blood. My great grandmothers sewed. My grandmothers sewed. My mother sews, and I sew too. I sew because I am too long for Ready-to-Wear pieces, even from the tall section. I sew because it soothes my soul when life gets crazy or too intense. I sew because it’s who I am.
How did you start – and what’s the first thing you sewed (and fit) to your body?
I’ve been sewing for 20+ years now, so I can’t even remember. There have been so many pieces. I remember my mother making muslins from old sheets, so I always understood that fitting was part of the process. Not all her lessons stuck, but most of the sewing ones did. Fit and matching prints/stripes definitely did.
What fitting techniques intimidate you most?
I’ve tried just about every technique over the years. Fitting shoulders and sleeve caps are a pain. So is fitting a snug, structured bodice. It can be challenging, especially when it’s made up of a lot of pieces. It’s a lot of fractions and math. More than anything, it’s the math that intimidates me. I double check my math…a lot!
What are your measurements and how would you describe your body type?
Upper bust – 34′” Full bust – 36″, Waist – 32″, High hip – 38.5″, Hip – 40.5″, Inseam 36″ I am definitely one pattern size above the waist, and another below the waist. I’m busty but slim. My endowments are in my top half, leaving me with a flat bottom. I’d best describe my body type as a sliced pear.
What fitting alterations do you typically need to make?
I always, always, ALWAYS add length to sleeves and pants. Depending on the designer, I can add anywhere between 4-8″ to a sleeve or leg piece. Learning where and how to add that much length took practice. I often need to make flat seat adjustments. Pocket size and placement on pants is also a dominant modification I consider.
What’s your personal style motto?
I’m a SAHM, so I live in jeans and tees, but that doesn’t mean I don’t put thought into what I wear. I like to have a snappy casual style, so I always feel put together.
When I’m not making, you can catch me shopping at… (fill-in the blank)!
I confess I am a Target junkie. It’s so easy, and their return policy is even easier, because with kids in tow, who has the time or desire to try things on in the store?! Because easy does not often equal fit. Alloy is another retailer I like. They sell jeans with a 37″ inseam so when I need some retail therapy I check them out.
Why did you join the Sew Altered Style team?
When Mac first approached me, I thought, “What do I have to say that Katie and Mac can’t? They radiate style and panache.” But as much as I appreciate their styles and makes, we have incredibly different body types. Their fit adjustments don’t work for my body. One of us is adding room in places where the other removes it, and vice versa. And so, it seems I have something to contribute after all.
You can also find Jackie at