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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Amazing "quilted" silk shantung

This is a very unique fabric! One side is a grey on grey stripe silk shantung.

 The other side of the fabric is a green shantung that has been quilted creating a lot of depth and textural interest.

 One of my clients brought me this  beautiful and expensive fabric.  Fabric like this really requires thoughtful planning. I thought about the party that my client would be attending in this garment (New Years Eve), I thought about her figure, and I thought about how to make the most of the fabric. I left the fabric sitting out in my sewing studio, and let it "speak" to me. Both sides of the fabric were incredible, so rather than choose a right side I decided to create a two piece outfit that featured both sides of the fabric.
 I designed a  vest with extended shoulders to balance her figure, and a narrow wrap skirt.
I put the vest front opening facing on the outside of the vest to introduce the grey stripe. This is an easy technique that asks the question.."why do facings always have to be on the inside"? I used a  bias band on the inside to finish the armholes. The focal point of the vest is a narrow bias tie threaded through a unique vintage abalone buckle that I had in my collection. I made a jewel neck grey silk chiffon blouse to wear under the vest.
 One of the interesting features of the fabric was that one selvedge had a fringe of bright green silk fibers, and the other selvedge had a 3" border of just the grey striped fabric. My fascination with selvedges helped me to design a skirt that I could embellish by combining the two selvedges.
 I made a false wrap skirt set on a shaped yolk. The opening of the "wrap" is embellished with the narrow bright green selvedge sewn over a pleated band of the grey silk selvedge. This creates a lot of textural interest, and makes the skirt very slimming with the pronounced vertical line. The skirt has an invisible zipper at the center back.
 I like to write posts about the design process  because I frequently hear from students that it is a challenge to decide what style garment best suits a special fabric. This fabric is quite crisp. Two layers of  closely woven fabric laminated together meant that the fabric was not at all drapey. One of the challenges of sewing is to make flat fabric fit around the curves of a body. The shaped yolk at the top of the skirt was a way to address the waist to hip curve and make this stiff fabric flattering to my client's figure.
  Creating a beautiful garment from this special fabric was pure joy!

1 comment:

  1. I'm sure your client would have absolutely loved what you did with this fabric.... the fabric and the outfit is simply stunning! Thank you so much for sharing :)