“This is the most valuable thing I own, because it’s an original work of art,” Sandra Blanton, one of the receivers of the jacket, shared.
Nancy Epley has been creating beautiful personalized quilts and appliqued jackets for decades now. At 100 years old, she's still a lover of fashion and enjoys creating custom jackets for people. Epley has created a space where she lives dedicated to her art. “One of my two balconies is devoted to a sewing machine, fabric, and a bulletin board of inspiration,” she said, according to Kendal at Lexington. Store-bought garments never had enough detail to suit her, she said adding, “I always made clothes for myself. I love the feel and colors of fabric,” said the self-professed fashion lover. The 100-year-old started making dirndl skirts as a young mother during WWII and she hasn't stopped since then. Her passion for sewing and quilting came back even harder during the pandemic.
To date, Nancy Epley has made more than 200 jackets — and no two are the same. She gives them to friends and family and, sometimes, total strangers.https://t.co/eY3051iZLV— The Lily (@thelilynews) December 27, 2022
Over the years she's made more than 200 personalized jackets and the best part is that no two are the same. The talented senior often gives them to friends and family and strangers too after they began requesting custom jackets from her! Epley’s custom creations have even been on public display in several fashion and art shows, according to the Washington Post. Those who have received the handmade jackets from her, some even decades ago, can't stop raving about how much they mean to them.
The reason the jackets are so special is that Epley puts a lot of the wearer's personality into each creation. She asks them to “make a list of all the things that matter,” and include what they love most in their lives, their hobbies and what they would like to remember. 87-year-old Ursula Keeley wanted her jacket to represent her marriage and family. “This jacket really represents my life and my family’s life,” said Keeley, who got her jacket 10 years ago, when her husband was unwell. “If there is a fire, this is the only thing I would take and run.”
Nancy Epley has stitched together about 200 quilted coats, all of which tell a personal tale. https://t.co/vIgAkSqRZQ— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) December 27, 2022
Sandra Blanton’s jacket has symbols of her favorite places. “I wear it as often as I can,” the 83-year-old who got her jacket in 2007 shared. “I love talking about it to everybody. Whenever I wear it, I get lots of attention.” “This is the most valuable thing I own, because it’s an original work of art,” she added. “Nobody has anything like it, and nobody could have done it except this incredible woman.”
Epley admitted that each jacket is a “labor of love,” Epley explained adding that she often offers them as gifts. Rarely does she charge customers, and when she does it's usually just for the fabric costing between $100 and $150.
Representational Cover Image Source: Getty Images | VioNettaStock