Home Blog Sewing with Velvet: Tips

Sewing with Velvet: Tips

by Pauline Alice
Velvet… Such a pretty fabric, which makes me think of princesses, gowns and softness. I’ve been dying to make a velvet dress for some times now and I thought the Seda dress would look pretty good in velvet for the holiday parties.
I’ve been collecting a few tips for you while making this dress and I’m going to share them with you today.



Tip #1
First tip about sewing with velvet is: DON’T! Velvet is a b**** so if you don’t want to get mad at your sewing machine, change the fabric for something a little bit easier to use.Tip #2
If I didn’t convince you and you still want to use velvet, then tip number 2 is the following: try to find a pattern with minimal seams. Try to stay away from patterns with lots of darts, seams, zippers, buttonholes and focus on simple silhouettes with folds or a little bit of gathers.
As you can probably guess, I had a hard time sewing the Seda dress because of all the seams and darts, so even if it looks great now, I wish I had chosen an easier pattern for that fabric.Tip #3
Velvet has a nap – direction. When you run your hand on velvet, you’ll see the pile going up or down. This means that it’s crucial to cut your pattern pieces all in the same direction.
Best way to lay your pattern pieces is to do so with the fabric fully open: place your pieces on the wrong side of fabric and trace them one by one, flipping over the ones that should have been placed on the fold.
Use tailor’s tacks or chalk to mark your fabric, on the wrong side of fabric.Tip #4
With right sides together, velvet’s naps will shift against one another so make sure you do the following to keep shifting at a minimum:
-Baste the seams together (if you can baste 2 lines, within and without the seam allowances, that’s even better).
-Use a walking foot, a Teflon foot or a roller foot (I used a roller foot but I can’t say there was a hyge difference).
-Lower the tension on your machine.
-Trim the seam allowances and slash the darts.Tip #5
Press the fabric carefully. You don’t want to leave a mark and crush the pile of velvet so make sure the iron doesn’t touch the fabric. You can use steam and open the seam allowances with our hands or place a press cloth between your iron and your fabric.Tip #6
As velvet doesn’t fray easily, you can use pinking shears to finish the seams.
Tip #7
Care: sorry but velvet is Dry clean only! Don’t pre-wash your fabric before and give it to your dry cleaner when you want to get it cleaned.

What about you? Have you sewn with velvet or any other “difficult” fabric?


You may also like


idaaidasewing 30 December, 2015 - 11:31 pm

Very useful post, I find velvet quite intimidating but am planning to make a top with it, will keep in mind to pick a pattern that doesn't have many seams! Happy Ney Years Eve!

Pauline Alice 4 January, 2016 - 3:42 pm

Yes a top would be perfect to start sewing velvet. Happy new year!

Lizzy 31 December, 2015 - 12:39 am

Thanks for the information, I have never sewn anything in velvet but it is a very pretty fabric and I would like to do somehitng

Pauline Alice 4 January, 2016 - 3:43 pm

Velvet is so pretty but really difficult to sew, maybe start with a very easy pattern 😉

Helen 31 December, 2015 - 1:14 am

I made a red velvet blazer. I think velvet is just lovely.

Pauline Alice 4 January, 2016 - 3:44 pm

Wow, a blazer! This sounds so beautiful! Velvet is lovely but I'll wait before making another dress in this fabric 😉

Sonia Fonseca 31 December, 2015 - 9:08 am

Pauline, si te digo que sueño continuamente con un Seda en terciopelo azul klein…????… pero…pienso que no me va a gustar coser ese tejido… que le tengo mania desde la infancia…vamos.. que se NO lo voy a coser…. pero no dejo de pensar en el!!.

Feliz Año 2016 Querida y Admirada Pauline!!.

Pauline Alice 4 January, 2016 - 3:46 pm

¡Feliz año nuevo guapa! Pues la verdad es que no te puedo aconsejar coser el vestido Seda en terciopelo, el mio me ha costado horrores jeje.


Leave a Comment