How I Make Handmade Dancewear: A Day With MSeamApparel’s Jacqueline Moscicke
How do you make MSeamApparel?
I am a stepmom, so I wake up and get the kids ready when we have them. They are 7 and 9, so I drive them to bus. I get back home at 9 a.m., and then for the next five hours I am in the sewing room. On some days I then go to teach ballet from 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. On the days I don’t teach, I am often sewing for 12 hours. My process is pretty organized now, I work by color so I don’t have to re-thread all the time, and I’ll make five of one style at a time and sew each stage before moving to the next.
I enjoy being by myself, it is my escape, especially right now, because leaving Joffrey Ballet has been a big transition for me. I got injured a couple of times and had to have a reconstructive surgery for my ankle. My replacement was really good, so I just kind of lost my place in the company. They were phasing me out as she was getting more, so the director just thought I would find somewhere else to dance. I was planning on retiring on my own in two years anyway — my last show in Paris! — and I was not sure if I would find as much fulfillment after having such a dream job, so I thought that maybe this just was my time to leave.
All of my friends at Joffrey helped me as I started developing MSeam– I used them as my guinea pigs. It was always hard to find a leotard that fit my larger chest, so I wanted to make leotards that flatter curves. I use a rubber elastic for the legs of the leotards so it isn’t too thick. And the men made good suggestions in the development of the tights. Those were developed almost by mistake. I was trying to make normal leggings without an outer seam and they ended up wrapping around the leg nicely.
I have learned a lot from my mom, even though she didn’t work with stretch fabric, but sewed tutus and prom dresses. My grandmother gave me her serger and that’s how I was able to stitch the lycra easier, and my great-grandmother was an upholstery seamstress. My husband is part owner and he helps cut the fabric, so I guess you can say sewing has been and still is a family business.
Looking for a special pair of tights or a new leotard to inspire your new year in the studio? Click here to order a handmade piece of dancewear from our Issue 02 sponsor MSeamApparel. Or head to Allegro Dance Boutique in Chicago to purchase a new, exclusive style.