This weekend I found a copy of The Best of threads Party Dresses and inside there was the perfectly timely article that came to my rescue. "Velvet Indulgence" written by Linda Lee first appeared in threads magazine in 2009 as "How to Sew Velvet like a Pro" which can currently be found online here.
Despite all the tips found online and reading vintage advice from Sew A Fine Seam, I felt that I needed this Winter 2014 threads magazine issue. Instead of sewing yesterday, I spent the day reading and planning. And I have to say that it was worth every penny and minute I spent.
Stitching velvet proved to be a challenge whether it was sewing two pieces of velvet together or sewing the lining to the velvet. Lee offers several tips for tackling this task. I can't review all of her suggestions but I can say that I did hand stitch my pieces with diagonal basting before taking it to the sewing machine and it work out beautifully!
Lee suggests a little trick for gathering velvet fabric, use heavy cord in the bobbin. I didn't have cord but I did have a heavier weight overlock thread that worked like a charm! It was brilliant.
Lee also suggests that details like zippers could be hand-worked instead of machine sewn. Her reasoning is logical as a preventative measure to avoid ripping out seams but I was feeling brave, or maybe a wee bit foolish.
I inserted an invisible zipper using basting tape to hold it in place and then took it to the sewing machine.
Thankfully, the invisible zipper turned out great. Even though I have four days to finish these dresses I don't regret taking a day off from sewing to read Lee's article and gather up some courage.
There is still some work to do on the first one (hand-stitching the bodice lining in place and hemming the skirt) along sewing up the second one. I should feel panicked, shouldn't I? But I don't. What's up with that?
Well, I should get back to work. Happy Sewing!