Monday, May 27, 2013

Katherine Tilton Trapeze Top: B5891

Hello you all!  Reader Adrienne of Wear The Hat left a nice comment a while back: "We miss you you must be sewing up a storm!!!" aw, well, i miss you all too; it's funny how a person really notices not having the back and forth, the lack new ideas (visual and verbal), the not putting out one's own ideas and efforts out for the whole wide world to take a look at. Plus, once you start blogging yourself you realize the time and effort and creativity it truly takes to produce the 'web content' out there. From everyday people sharing how they dress, to technical tutorials on arcane sewing techniques i love it all and it's all so helpful and inspiring that i feel like a wee bit of a thief if i read and don't give anything back!

I don't know about any storms, but i have been reliably clunking along and have a few garments to show for it. As much as the state of my wardrobe could stand a more rapid infusion of new duds, i've never been that speedy of a sempstress. So i've been taking my time, adding those touches which i know will add to my enjoyment in the making and in the wearing. And i take little bits of sewing time  where i can - if i have ten or fifteen minutes i can sew a couple of seams or make a couple of alterations to a pattern, so even in a busy week at the end of it i can see i've made visible progress. Yee haw!

Katherine Tilton designed patterns for Vogue Patterns for years and i liked her designs quite a bit, along with those of her sister Marcy. Recently Katerine has moved from Vogue to Butterick, and i have to say i like her Butterick designs even better than the Vogue ones!  As soon as i laid eyes on this shirt jacket (B5891) i loved it. Loved the lines, loved the practicalities, loved the pockets, loved the many collar options, highly intrigued by the vest included in the pattern.....

I had purchased this length of printed linen as an end cut at Marcy Tilton's website a few months back. At that time i'd envisioned making it up into a duster in Marcy's shirt/jacket/dress pattern Vogue 8709.  I started by making a muslin. I knew i had to in this case, because i had a strong suspicion that either this pattern would just not work on my figure, or it would be a huge production number to make it work. This design combines a lightly shaped bodice with fabulous slouchy pockets flowing into an asymmetrical peplum. It is the perfect combination of slouch and dash on rectangular figures with small shoulders and busts. However, as i feared and learned, on ladies with lineback shoulders and a substantial bosom it's just too much extra fabric on top of your larger areas and not many opportunities to create any definition.

I made a muslin right out of the envelope with no alterations, and the pockets seemed to pop up about 2" below my bust - as if each bosom needed it's own personal pocket! My own gals being more freewheeling types, they don't need to take along any personal articles, so i tried lengthening the bodice and adding a bit of a french dart. But when i lengthened the bodice enough to give my bosom some 'breathing room' the overall proportions were not doing it for me anymore (no surprise as by now i'd pretty much scotched the designer's original vision) and the whole thing was turning into too much fuss.

So i decided to make up the Katherine Tilton jacket, and only did a tissue fitting before cutting into my linen. I don't have a duster, but i have a good yard and a half left over for another garment.

Which is what i figured would happen from the start. I was simply so inspired by all the fantastic versions of Vogue 8709 i've seen over time that i didn't mind if the whole exercise went bust.  It was fun to see how the design went together and i learned a lot about how my figure interacts with various shapes. By now i have enough experience sewing and dressing this body that i knew which design would work with my figure and why, as soon as i looked at each. But, i feel it's good to stretch every once in a while, to make sure you know what you're on about or even discover something new.

And there's another factor to this whole figure-flattery tale. Marcy Tilton has a petite rectangular figure with a dainty bust. Katerine Tilton has a long torso with nice square shoulders and a substantial bosom. Now, i feel that a big reason i love both Tilton sisters' designs is because they are designing for themselves - women a bit older, with artistic sensibilities and a largely casual lifestyle.  Like me, adn like lots of you. And i'm strongly suspecting that they also tend to design for their own particular figures - and who can blame them? Luckily for us we've been blessed with two designing Tilton sisters with two different figures!

I wore this piece over in the Haight and got a number of nice compliments on it. As i try to convey in this pictures, this piece is a lovely shapeshifter - it can be a triangle, look squarish from the side, or worn open drape casually over a little cami top. I also put a couple of special touches on the interior - but those will be revealed another day. I want to get this published!  Hold your families and friends close on this holiday and talk to you soon!  steph