10 January 2013

Working with velvet

Oh velvet, *sigh*. I can't get enough of velvet and I'm glad you can't either! Here are some tricks I've learned for working with velvet:

  •  Cut pattern pieces out on a single layer of fabric, not folded. The pile of the velvet can cause the fabric to slip which might result in unevenly sized pieces. When you cut the second piece, remember to flip the pattern piece wrong side up so you get a mirror image of the first piece, rather than a second left/right piece.

  • This is self-evident, but I will say it nonetheless: mark out your pattern pieces on the wrong side of the fabric.

  • Do not press velvet without a pressing cloth! If you press directly onto velvet the pile will be permanently flattened. Use a spare piece of velvet or a fluffy towel as a pressing cloth. Use plenty of steam and press seams open with the nose of the iron rather than the whole plate.

  • If your velvet is creased hang it up in the bathroom after a shower. The steam should help the wrinkles to fall out.

  • Sew with the direction of the pile to avoid puckering. If you have one, use a walking foot. If you don't have one, I recommend getting one. I bought mine for sewing velvet but it has come in handy on so many other projects.

  • Most stretch velvet doesn't fray. If your chosen velvet does not fray, then lucky you! No overlocking, no zigzag stitch, no pinking shears and no French seams.

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