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Making a velvet jacket
First big garment project with this fabric & I have questions
stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Date: 5/31/12 2:54 PM

I've sewn a little with velvet--mostly holiday decorations like Christmas tree skirts and stockings, and the occasional little bag or hat--but I've never taken the leap into making a serious garment with it before. I'm familiar with things like using the walking foot, being careful with pins, pressing with a Velva board, etc. But I have some questions about garment construction with velvet, and I'm hoping the PR mavens can help!

This is what I'm making:


I'm using Simplicity 1819, with tweaks to make it match the inspiration piece.

Here are my questions:

1. Pre-treating Do I need to? How? The fabric is a very plush poly (described as "micro velvet" on the selvage). My instinct is to steam it in the dryer, like I would with wool or other non-washables. Yes? No? At the moment it doesn't look like it needs anything, but I don't want to omit a crucial step.

2. Marking What's the best way to mark both the pattern markings and the lines for the couched trim (which I will probably be doing by hand)?

3. Stabilizing/interfacing The fabric is enormously drapey, and I'm making something with a little bit of structure to it. The woman at the cutting counter thought I wouldn't need to stabilize for a bolero (since it's short and won't have that much weight to pull the fabric out of shape), but I'm not sure. It just falls all over itself (in a lovely way).

4. Lining I splurged on some Bemberg rayon for the lining, because at almost $30/yard the velvet seemed to deserve it, and because it's a jacket & I want it to glide smoothly over the blouse beneath... but I've never worked with it before, and it seems kinda... tricksy and slippery. Is it easier to use than it looks? Or should I go with something like a cotton broadcloth, which would also have a little more body and would probably help with issue #3?

Anything else I need to know before I dive--er, wade very slowly--into this?

Thanks!!

------
~Gem in the prairie

Nikki
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Date: 5/31/12 5:17 PM

1. I wouldn't bother pretreating, although it probably wouldn't hurt to steam in the dryer if you have that capability. The risk here is damaging the pile accidentally before you even start.

2. I'm a big fan of tailors tacks in general.

3. If it acts at all like silk/rayon velvet, I'd interface it. I've made a silk velvet blazer before and I think I interfaced with silk organza. You could use a poly sheer with a crisp hand.

4. Sewing velvet onto something slippery is a beast. Prewash the bemberg, which should help a little bit. When you want to attach the rayon to the velvet, set aside a loooooong stretch of time, put on some soothing music, and stop immediately for a break when you get frustrated. Baste every seam at least once (you may be shocked at how much basted fabric can squirm) or maybe with two parallel bastings on either side of the seamline. Cotton broadcloth would be too 'sticky' and cling annoyingly to the layers under the jacket, imo.

------
mmmmm woooool

tinflutterby
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Date: 6/1/12 3:42 AM

I agree with Nikki, I wouldn't pre-treat it for fear of messing up before I started.
Tailors tacks and thread tracing is the way to mark it.
I would seriously think about underlining the entire body with organza and still interface the front opening. You can use iron on onto the organza. It would give you a stable base for your trim. Can't speak to sewing on the velvet. I've been busy mastering sheers.
-- Edited on 6/1/12 3:43 AM --

eforen
eforen
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Date: 6/1/12 10:13 AM

I will not be much help as of yet but I would be very interested in seeing the end result!

------
-Rel
"A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men." - Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder)
Check out my blog at LothTailor.com

LDT2011
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LDT2011
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Date: 7/23/13 6:23 AM

Hiya did you ever make this? I'm currently contemplating if I should delve into sewing velvet or just find material with similar colour but in something like a suiting or cotton twill?

------
'The purpose of most fashion is to be ostentatiously non-functional.'

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Date: 7/23/13 12:07 PM

Alas, no. I got a fitted muslin and I worked out the design/test of the gold couching, but then we had a death in the family that prevented me from going to the event where I was going to wear it... and also sort of sucked away my will to work on it.It's a UFO now, but I am NOT using that fabric for anything else, either!! I put too much effort into the project to give up on it completely... just need to get my mojo back.

As to whether you should go with velvet or something else... are you making THIS jacket? I don't think you'd be happy with anything else. Mine is a really thick heavy plush velvet, but cotton velvets/velveteen or uncut corduroy would be much easier to work with and still give you the impact necessary for Anna's jacket. :)

------
~Gem in the prairie

craigrama
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craigrama
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Date: 7/23/13 2:24 PM

Hope you get your mojo back.

I've used velvet once. See review here.

1. Yes, steam it in the dryer, if you can. But first test a swatch to see if steaming damages the finish. I also used my Rowenta steam pressure iron too, but had to wave it over the back of the fabric without pressing. It was a good arm workout.

2. Tailor speed tacks. I couldn't find any other way to successfully mark the fabric.

3. I would stabilize with a medium weight sew in interfacing. Fusable is a no-go with velvet.

4. Bemberg must be beaten with a stick to get it under control. I wish you luck. Basting is my only friend. But I had to use some really short stitches to control it. Which made me wonder: With all this basting work, why not just hand sew it?

LDT2011
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LDT2011
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In reply to stirwatersblue <<


Date: 7/24/13 4:04 AM

Quote: stirwatersblue
Alas, no. I got a fitted muslin and I worked out the design/test of the gold couching, but then we had a death in the family that prevented me from going to the event where I was going to wear it... and also sort of sucked away my will to work on it.It's a UFO now, but I am NOT using that fabric for anything else, either!! I put too much effort into the project to give up on it completely... just need to get my mojo back.



As to whether you should go with velvet or something else... are you making THIS jacket? I don't think you'd be happy with anything else. Mine is a really thick heavy plush velvet, but cotton velvets/velveteen or uncut corduroy would be much easier to work with and still give you the impact necessary for Anna's jacket. :)

Was looking to make the 8th doctor style jacket. Using the S&S beatrix jacket pattern.

------
'The purpose of most fashion is to be ostentatiously non-functional.'

Red Dragon
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Red Dragon
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Date: 7/24/13 5:23 AM

Under the heading of 'other', don't forget the nap - for deeper colour run the nap upwards (like stroking a cat backwards). I love velvet, and that bolero is gorgeous, looking forward to seeing the results.

------
Tracy, Canberra

Janome 7700QCP, Janome 4618QC, Husky S25 overlock/coverstitch

LDT2011
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LDT2011
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Date: 7/24/13 6:03 AM

I'll have to bite the bullet and buy online to get cotton velvet. As they only have some kind of stretch velour in the local shop.
The only other fabric I could find the right colour was a poly blend suiting or wool felt.

------
'The purpose of most fashion is to be ostentatiously non-functional.'

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