Getting the Hang of Velvet

When I think of a winter wedding I immediately think of velvet. I love velvet, just going to put that out there. It’s so decadent! I have a vintage velvet jacket, which is one of my all time favourite items of clothing. When I’m really good at sewing I’ll have to recreate that jacket because I couldn’t live without it. I tried to get a photo, but it’s black and you couldn’t see any of the detail – I’m going to get better at photography on this journey as well, I hope! Anyway, so I went to a winter wedding this year and I knew I had to wear velvet. This berry coloured crushed velvet immediately drew my eye and the drape is gorgeous. I decided to go with this knot front dress from, which is a pattern I’ve had my eye on for a while. The pattern is “tall”, which I did not notice when I bought it, so I had a LOT of altering to do to the pattern, but once altered it fit really snugly and I’m so pleased with it. There’s a bit of stretch to the material, so I had a bit of leeway there.

One thing I would change if I made it again is to reduce the amount of material hanging down the middle. The pattern is for lightweight material and using this heavier material meant that there was a heavy drape down the centre. I think this would be easily corrected though. I found velvet a bit of a slippery character to work with, but once I started pinning and basting like crazy I managed to tame it and it hasn’t put me off using it again. I made this whole dress on my Singer Featherweight, but I bet a walking foot (or the IDT system on my new Pfaff) would help out as well.

As for the wedding, it was really lovely and I had a great time, but would you believe it, someone else turned up in a red velvet dress (okay, winter wedding, not too surprising) that was also handmade! It was in a pattern that I very nearly made as well, so I’m very glad I didn’t use that in the end. Sadly I was too busy enjoying myself to get any pictures of my outfit on the night! I’ll have to make more effort to get pictures if I’m going to keep up this blogging thing.

So I just enrolled in a course on pattern cutting and garment construction at a local college, which I’m very excited about. I really enjoy getting a bit of formal training and I also really like the geometry of patterns, so I think this should be really interesting and hopefully I’ll come away a bit more confident that I can get the perfect fit. I bullied the boyfriend into getting all my measurements yesterday, so I’m ready to go!

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