Shop Custom Jacket here: Mother of the Bride Jacket
Why is it so easy to take for granted the people who help us the most? Just because they’re always there doesn’t mean they always will be. I think it’s important to honor and celebrate them while they still take front and center in our lives. So, even on my wedding day I wanted my mom to feel like it was her day, too.
The Mother of the Bride doesn’t always enjoy the wedding. They manage the bridal party (not to mention groomsmen!) and much of the boring but necessary planning. Before they can think about themselves, MOB’s have a lot of work to do. When they finally arrive at the moment of dress-choosing, they have dark circles under their eyes, have probably had it out with the bride more than once, and now have to constrict themselves to picking a dress that matches everyone else. This is harder than it seems, especially for women who aren’t teenagers with pre-partum torsos and the metabolism that can handle instant weight loss. The women who deserve to look as good as the bride have a harder time doing it.
The wedding dress market is full of bad quality textiles and styles that are not made to flatter the human body. When planning my wedding, I think the most radical decision I made was making the MOB dress first! I chose her look first, and everything that followed was meant to work in the same theme. Yes, that includes my own dress.
After I designed her dress the rest of the vision fell into place. The key element in her design was the fabric. I used a beautiful silk wool fabric, which I purchased from Italy last April. Months before any talk of a wedding, I wanted to make something nice for my mom and support the Italian mills that worked tirelessly to keep things together during the pandemic. (A really good metaphor of moms during this time, too!) Because the March shutdown lasted longer than planned, and my creative mind felt tired and depressed, we decided to postpone the project.
(My mom fitting her fitted muslin last spring 2020.)
So… when my husband and I decided to marry in January, I knew it was time to make this jacket for my mom! It was a winter wedding, but the fabric was a bright floral motif and shouted Spring vibes. The challenge became matching everyone else’s more festive textiles to some element of the MOB jacket, thus making my mom look more Christmas and less Easter. I dressed my other family members in dark green, navy, and champagne to command which aspects of the MOB dress were most prominent. The MOB jacket did not look out of place and a winter theme for the bridal party was a success!
(One of the jacket mock-ups on the left. Work in progress of the final jacket on the right.)
Because I couldn’t nail down my own wedding dress design, I worked on my mom’s jacket pattern and mock-ups before starting my own. I had already started the mock-ups and custom body block for my mom last Spring. I combined an old Burdastyle pattern and her body block to make her final jacket. (I made the Burdasyle pattern for another MOB in 2015. Read more here: Mother-of-the-Bride Custom Jacket)
I created a couple of jacket mock-ups before nailing down the fit. Here armpits, sleeves, and back shoulder width needed to be adjusted a few times before I got it right.
Work in progress
This silk wool was a bit fussy to cut and sew. (Most delicate and beautiful silks are this way.) I fused high quality and flexible interfacing to the silk wool (body pieces) thinking it would help keep the fabric from stretching and moving off the grainline. Unfortunately, the interfacing wasn’t enough, and I had to recut the sleeves and adjust the shoulders a few times by using other couture and bespoke tailoring techniques. I also added a little more padding in various places, including the shoulders, which helped.
I lined the jacket with 100% dusty rose silk charmeuse. The soft silk wool and silk charmeuse gave the jacket he perfect weight and drape. When my mom wore it, the jacket moved nicely and looked very high-end. (It was all around the perfect jacket for my mom and her personality.)
Originally, the jacket was meant to be a complement piece to her dress. I wanted to make a shift dress like the one I made for her in 2013 for my sister’s wedding. She even considered wearing this Mother-of-the-Bride Dress again. But I ran out of time (I planned the whole wedding in just two months!) and she happened to find a very flattering dark green jersey dress to wear as a comfortable option, and it highlighted the jacket’s beautiful and very soft silk texture. We were both very happy with the final outcome!
Contact Mary Grace if you're interested in ordering a custom made Mother-of-the-Bride dress or jacket.
Prices for custom pieces start at $800, this includes fittings & couture silk and silk/wool fabrics from Italy.
Wedding at Our Lady of Shkodra in Hartsdale, New York.