Mountain Romance



Madison Gallagher


(click images to to enlarge)

Other Credits

Model portraits photographed by J Baehr

Outline the story …

The Natural World speaks to all of our roots. My roots include the axiom, “If you want something nice, make it yourself” as money has never been part of my rich inheritance. Part of my literal inheritance is the yard of leafy velvet from my great-grandmother’s stash. This fabric was the seed from which everything else grew organically. All fabrics were found either at work or home. Thankfully, I get to work with quality wool on a daily basis. Although synthetic fibers can do incredible things, I’m in love with natural wools, linens, cottons, and silks. The ensemble needed to breathe and feel as a natural extension of self rather than oppressive garb I yearn to escape. Intended as my bridesmaid outfit for a Colorado mountain wedding, it needed to be luxurious and formal as well as cozy, like I sprouted from the ground wearing it. The silhouette and details are grafted bits from history: “time-full” rather than timeless. Victorian walking suits inspired the jacket’s full upper chest, contrast collar, high break point, and large sleeves; though the sleeve is more like a pre-20th century shirt in the cuff functionality. The vest draws on 19th century masculinity; the functional shawl collar makes it feel special. The pants are a combination of a 1930’s men’s pant with a “millennial taper” down the leg ending in a cuff. The ensemble captures my own nature as well: soft and feminine with a masculine backbone romantically contemplating history.

Outline the construction…

My friend, Michal Andrea, was my pattern resource. She assisted in fittings as well. She followed my design, measurements, and comments perfectly.

Focusing on jacket:

Mostly I’ve done some variation of classic tailoring techniques: canvas padstitched lapel and undercollar, canvas and flannel chest pieces, lapel taping, covered buttons, and decorative handwork including Milanese buttonhole.

At first, I didn’t know I wanted so much structure; it grew that way. Fitting the final jacket, I noticed parts caved in at the chest and hips. No tight fit; pad it out. I fiddled in a shoulder pad above my apex and cross-stitched onto existing chest piece. The hip caved in between side-seam and side-back pleat. I made a canvas layer placed below the waist/pocket, removed all but the side seam allowance, lapped the side seams to reduce bulk, and steamed it into the desired hip shape. Unpicking four shoulder pads, I arranging the pieces within the hip curve so it would hold. Fiddled the canvas into the sides and back. I started whipping onto the side seam allowances outward. The center back got stiffer canvas invisibly hand-stitched into the main fabric. Next time I’ll do this sooner in sewing order. Trust the Process!

The pants show my figure in back, give room in the front, with tapered leg. The side-back seam allows the pants to rest against my figure while the pleats give a fuller effect in front.

Bonus: All pant pockets are functional *swoon*. I made the shirt and bolo tie too.




  1. Constance MacKenzie Constance MacKenzie on May 3, 2023 at 11:26 pm

    Beautifully tailored and some gorgeous finishing features.

  2. Avatar Christiane Christiane Edel on May 5, 2023 at 9:22 am

    Such an amazing ensemble. I hope the bride appreciated the fabulous work!

  3. Avatar Stephanie Stephanie Tietze (list as Piera on the entry if possible please) on May 8, 2023 at 7:45 am

    This is lovely. The fine tailoring and handstitched details are wonderful as are the color choices.

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