For elegance in your Handmade Wardrobe, sewing Velvet is an excellent choice! Make it romantic for a special occasion or wear it for everyday joy – the “queen of fabrics” always creates a statement. With a bit of knowledge and a few tricks, you’ll love the magic and luxury of sewing and wearing Velvet. I’ve gathered sewing tips and a progression of projects for you below. Start with the tips, then try an Infinity Scarf and you’ll be ready to move on down the list and create your royal Velvet Wardrobe!
Tips for Sewing Velvet
- Velvet is a low-pile fabric with a nap, aka direction, to the pile. It will feel and look differently from one end of the fabric to the other. Pick a direction for the nap (up or down) and use it throughout your garment.
- Knowing the fiber content of your velvet will help you to care for it properly. Traditionally made of silk, you’ll also find beautiful velvets and velveteens made of rayon or blends of fibers. Velveteen is generally cotton, while Stretch Velvet may be polyester.
- Plan to cut Velvet from the back one layer at a time. A rotary cutter will help to keep the Velvet from shifting around while it is being cut. Insert a layer of tissue between the cutting mat and the fabric to keep it from creeping.
- Choose a sew-in interfacing or organza to stabilize facings and other pieces rather than a fusible interfacing.
- Test your thread and presser foot tension, plus your stitch length on a swatch of fabric before beginning your garment. A Microtex needle is best for Velvet, while a Jersey or Stretch needle is needed for Stretch Velvet since it is a knit.
- Use steam rather than pressure to iron your Velvet. To protect the pile, iron from the wrong side with a Velvet Board or terry towel under the fabric.
And, there’s more! The Seamwork Beginners Guide to Sewing Velvet provides more extensive knowledge and tips. On the By Hand London site, you’ll find Nerdy Sewing Tips – Sewing With Velvet including a discussion of the types of velvet available. Both well worth checking out!
Start with a Velvet Infinity Scarf
If you’ve never sewn with Velvet, this beautiful infinity scarf is the perfect place to start! It’s simple design consists of patches and strips of velvet that turn it into warm, cozy gorgeousness around your neck. Designed by Beth of the Mermaid’s Den blog, you’ll find some great tips for sewing Velvet along with easy directions in her post. Choose four different colors or shades of Velvet in a synthetic or silk blend, stitch them up with Beth’s steps and admire! Click here for the Velvet Infinity Scarf tutorial.
Self-Draft a Pleated Velvet Skirt Pattern
Pattern designer and teacher, Ana offers a marvelous, trendy tutorial for a Pleated Velvet Skirt on her CocoWawa Crafts blog. The ease of sewing Velvet for this garment comes from the pre-pleated fabric and self-drafted pattern. It’s a fairly quick sew with stunning results! Ana’s post details how to measure and make your skirt pattern and add pockets if you’d like. Her clear images easily illustrate step-by-step how to assemble this lovely skirt with it’s comfortable, elastic waist. Click here for the Pleated Velvet Skirt tutorial.
Layer on Magic with a Velvet Duster
Tabitha of the Tabitha Sewer blog has a love for sewing Velvet and the fabulous prints that are available. Her stunning Duster is simple to sew and a fashion statement you’ll love. Start by choosing a heavier weight fabric and a basic coat or long jacket pattern like the Burda pattern Tabitha chose. To lead you through your Duster, Tabitha’s post includes a link to her video tutorial where she discusses the fabric, jacket styling and how she assembled her fabulous Duster. Click here for the Velvet Duster tutorial.
Dress in in Velvet Boho Dress Luxury
Designed specifically for Stretch Velvet, this Boho-look dress is fresh and fabulous! Guest blogger, Sara, created this amazing dress for the Fabric.com blog and outlined excellent sew-along style steps for you. You’ll begin with an existing pattern, then adapt the fit, neckline and length for her design. Sara leads you clearly through multiple steps to create your pattern and successfully sew your frock with ease. Follow her closely and you’ll thoroughly enjoy sewing Velvet in this beautiful project! Click here for the Velvet Boho Dress tutorial.
The Grand Finale – Sewing a Velvet Frock Coat
Once you’ve made several Velvet projects, you’ll be ready to create something truly awesome! Well-known for his amazing Frock Coats and masterful fabric upcycling techniques, Kenneth D. King shares his wonderful tips on the Threads Magazine blog. As a designer, author and teacher of very technical and amazing methods, Kenneth has a wealth of skill to offer! This is a marvelous way to learn from a Master and you’ll gain a tremendous amount of knowledge from his posts. More a discussion than a step-by-step tutorial, you’ll enjoy Kenneth’s professional understanding of techniques for sewing Velvet. From selecting fabrics to construction and pressing techniques, this post is packed with great information! Click here for the Frock Coat blog post.