The hammered silk skirt was made using a placket behind the measured ruching. Inspired by the trendy cord ruching that I am seeing everywhere but wanting something a little different and more refined, I came up with a new technique that looks especially incredible rendered in hammered silk. The silk is tacked onto a placket at measured intervals, leaving a precisely measured amount of ease between each attachment that causes the fabric to evenly drape. The skirt has the measured ruching along the right side of the skirt, lifting the ankle length skirt asymmetrically to show the leg while adding volume and dimension to the skirt.
A fabulous textile like a fine hammered silk displays best when a technique is used to show the drape, pattern and weight in a way that conveys the characteristics of the textile to people other the person wearing the garment. A person wearing the garment will always know how the fabric feels, but someone walking past won’t notice the luxe nature of the fabric unless it is communicated through the design and drape. Think of a fine silk chiffon floor length skirt billowing in the breeze as someone walks past you. You’ll immediately recognize that the fabric is soft, airy and light as a feather. The same can be done with a controlled drape such as ruching or the measured ruching technique I used in this skirt. The drape captures the light and showcases the buttery softness and texture.
The skirt is kept simple other than the ruching with a desire to keep the skirt effortless. However, the ‘simple’ nature of the drape doesn’t mean it’s simple to accomplish. The mannequin needs to be prepared for the individual measurements of the client, meaning I sometimes need to pad the hips to match her individual measurements. After the measured ruching is done at the front right, the fabric needs to be hand draped on the prepared dress form to get the three back waist pleats and the lower left side pleats perfectly coifed. The reason this needs to be done individually for each skirt is because as the measurements change, the entire drape shifts in ways that wouldn’t work well in a pattern grading.
After the skirt hand draping is perfected, the skirt is completed with a one inch waist belt and matching silk charmeuse lining. An invisible zipper is installed at the left side, completed with a black hook and eye at the waist belt. Finally, the seams are all finished and the labels are hand sewn into the belt and seams. After the garment is carefully checked for errors, fit and quality, it is carefully wrapped in tissue paper and shipped out to the special client.
Skirt: Hammered Silk Ruched Skirt by Kate Stoltz
Sweater: Designer’s Own
Shoes: Halo by Sacha London ($160.00)