Sunday, February 10, 2013

Vogue 8863 - Katherine Tilton Quilted Vest

Katherine Tilton has brought us another great pattern! This asymmetric lined jacket has great style. It might be easy to overlook some of the interesting RTW details of this piece, so let me point them out:

  • The neckline is particularly nice. It is "cut on" the right front at an angle so that it is on the bias. It wraps around and is sewn to the back neckline and the seam continues around to the left front. (This is why there is a collar seam on the left front but not the right front.) The collar is not interfaced and has a soft, scrunchy quality. It isn't particularly hard to sew and the fit is very nice. It's not too tight nor too tall.
  • The sleeve is cut on the body and features an underarm gusset. There is a contrast, close fitting, full length, undersleeve. The undersleeve is sewn to the lining and the oversleeve is left with a raw edge.
  • The asymmetric front closes with a zipper. It would be easy to hide the zipper tape on the right side but it would be exposed on the left side. For this reason, both sides of the zipper tape are covered with a length of wide ribbon and then sewn to the outside of both fronts. On the pattern envelope, it almost looks as if the decorative zipper is inset into the front, but it is not. It is laid on top and top-stitched in place.
  • The pattern is drafted so that the corners of the asymmetric front hem are mitered for you.
  • There is a single welt pocket on the right side of the jacket.
  • The jacket is lined. This would be a non-trivial pattern to create a lining for, so it's nice that one is provided.

My friend Heather sewed this pattern last November. Originally, she tried to narrow the cut-on sleeve, (as designed it is fairly wide), but she wasn't happy with the resulting drag lines. Instead, she cut it off and converted the jacket to a vest. She told me that she gets a lot more wear out of it as a vest than she would have as a jacket. I asked Heather if she would mind if I copied her great idea. (It's not the first time that Heather has inspired me!)

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I silk screened some black lining fabric to use for the pocket welt and the zipper tape. I was inspired by Dixie's beautiful silk screened pocket.

The pocket welt, cut out and ready to interface and sew.
Completed welt.
Zipper ready to be attached.


  • Quilted fabric from Fabrix. This is a very malleable quilted fabric.
  • Scraps of black ponte used for the armhole ribbing.
  • Scraps of black lining that I silkscreened using Marcy Tilton's medium-sized Tiger Stripe screen and using Lumière paint (by Jacquard) in Pewter.
  • Black fleece for the lining. A local sewing friend (hi Luanne!) was de-stashing most of her black fabrics and I ended up with a generous piece of Polarfleece-style fleece. This is a fairly thick fleece, (I don't know what brand it is), so I had to do lots of grading and trimming from the seam allowances.
  • A substantial 12" separating black zipper from Fabrix.
  • Black snap, size 10.

Alterations and Modifications:

I started with a size 16. (This is a new size for me.) After checking the finished pattern measurement at the bust, I did not do an FBA. (The pattern is somewhat roomy through the bust and the hemline is designed to be asymmetric, so I let it slide.)

My changes included:

  • Converted it to a vest. As mentioned previously, the original pattern has cut-on sleeves with an underarm gusset. I pinned the paper pattern together and held it up against my body to determine where to cut the armhole for the vest. I was pretty fast and loose with this step - a real hot dog. I later decided that I cut the armhole too large, so I created an ad hoc "ribbing" using scraps of black ponte, to fill the armhole in a bit. I really like the result.
  • Narrowed the side seam at the hip by 1/2" - for a 2" total reduction.
  • Narrowed the welt on the welt pocket to 1-1/4".
  • The position of the welt pocket didn't work on me. It would have landed on my bust in an unflattering location. I lowered it and moved it closer to the side seam. I also re-positioned it so the angle of the welt matched the angle of the zipper. As a result, I had to shorten the pocket pouch.
  • There is a CB seam on the jacket, but it is not shaped, so I eliminated it.
  • I included little pleats in the armholes at the bust level. This was the extent of any changes to accommodate my bust.
  • Used my silk screened fabric (instead of ribbon) to cover the zipper tape. Narrowed it to 1-1/4" wide – another great suggestion of Heather's. The narrower proportions of the welt and the decorative zipper treatment worked better.
  • I did not sew the left side of the zipper using the suggested pattern location. I knew that it was critical for the zipper location to be perfect to fit my bust, so I changed the order of construction and attached both halves of the zipper almost at the very end - just before I closed up the hem/lining.
  • Added a snap to the front closure below the zipper. Without the snap, it gaped open a bit.
  • The pattern is designed to be lined with a conventional lining fabric. Since I used a thick stretchy fleece, I removed the CB pleat in the lining (which tapers to nothing at the hem) and I also removed the pleat at the bottom of the hem.


I've been going to the gym almost every day. I have been wearing a couple light jackets that I made previously and neither has pockets! This vest will be a welcome addition to my "to the gym" wear.

Gung Hay Fat Choy!!

More Pictures:

Zipped up
Inside out.
Collar closeup