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


  1. I can hardly wait to see it! Beautiful.

  2. What a fabulous design! So unusual and I love that collar. Are those snaps in front? I'd love to see a closeup of the fabric...

  3. Lovely trapeze style jacket! I can't wear that style - the A-line shape just tents off my boobs and makes me look pregnant.

    Great to see you back!

  4. Great to see you?, I love this trapeze jacket, wonderful shape.

  5. Wonderful to click on your blog and see a new posting. YEAH.

    Yes. I agree. And that could be why the Marcy pattern is sitting in my stash and the Katherine one has gotten closer to the top. I don't have a substantial bust line but without waist definition, I'm a tent.

  6. heehee, hello 'elk'!!! Should be less than a week! love you ma :)

    Hi Ms. Pesu! it is a really nice design and yes those are snaps. And thank you for encouraging me in my evil plan to take some closeups of the details for a future post! For me the little touches add a lot.

    Hi Sheila! yep, trapeze shape needs care in handlin'. I like to put this one over a pencil skirt or skinnies, and the very soft drape of the fabric makes a big difference. A big step for me - a third piece that won't go with ALL of the bottoms in my closet ;) !!! Thank you for stopping by - it's fun to be posting :)

    Thank you Patti :) It's great to see you having such a wonderful time in the Big Apple!!

    Howdy Myrna! oh, thank you :) That's interesting you're getting a similar vibe of of the Tilton sister's designs. I like it - it's great to have those 'looks great on everybody' designs, but nothing ups a person's style quotient like a design which shows off their own unique qualities.

    Happy Day Everybody!! steph

  7. I love the cut!

  8. Stephi thanks for the nod, but we do miss you when you don't post but this post was worth the wait. Fabulous fabric. So cute cant wait to see the close up. You are so right about the Tiltons designs being tricky for the big busted big shouldered types. I love how you styled this with a denim pencil skirt. So cute and I love it, really fresh and fashionable take on casual chic.

  9. This really does look great on you and I love how you are styling it. How can you say you don't sew as a form of creative expression??!! And thank you for your thought-filled response to the rather snarky comment on my recent blog post. :)

  10. Hello Terri, so nice to see your face!! i can see you in this jacket in a solid silk - extravagant and minimalistic at the same time. Give those gorgeous girls of yours a hug from me!

    aw, Adrienne, you are so kind! and your spring hats are just a knockout - dramatic and very wearable. re: sewing, take a closer look at Katehrine's designs. The tee top i showed in my last post (heehee, if anyone can remember back that far) is so flattering on us 'full figured gals', and the pieceing is perfect for mixing different fabrics and trims. This shirt jacket also works well for us - just choose a fabric with some drape, or follow sister Marcy's tutorial on pleating linen:

    Katherine's newest design B5925 is also great for IT figures (that's 'Interverted Triangles, mom).

    Use the vee neckline to break up the top line a bit, then the godets and fanciful pockets add interest at the hip to balance. I'm drooling over this one myself!

    Hi Shams! Thank you :) well, for me i mostly sew so i can have clothes that i can stand to wear (very picky re: fabric, techniques, very hard on clothing so i like to sew clothes that will last, i am excruciatingly hard to fit - hips around 6-8 up to 14-18 in the shoulders). I also just like to make things, and feel that making things for our own use provides a counteractive rebellious force to our consumerist/materialistic/money obsessed society.

    of course creativity happens during the process, but it's not my primary goal. The final decision comes down to 'what will make this the best garment for me in terms of comfort, performance/practicality and style'. If i'm taking pictures of wildflowers or mushrooms, then it's all about my creative expression. I don't care if you can ID the shrooms or if the color is accurate. I don't NEED a pic of a flower, i just want to say something about what i'm seeing in it. But i'm making a skirt now because the one i used to wear is getting pretty ratty and i can't go naked!

    Hope that helps, it's just how i look at it. And No Problemo! really, i wouldn't have noticed so much but she did the same thing she was accusing others of - and you, so unfairly!

    Happy Day All!!! steph

  11. The jacket is divine, and I love love love the lines!

  12. That jacket is so unique I love it.