Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Sewing with Velvet: Handling things Differently...

I'm working on a second version of McCall's 5795. This second dress is in the children's size range and the sleeve and armhole are teeny tiny. The challenge here is to manoeuvre around the armhole opening using that big clunky walking foot

I could use the much more dainty roller foot for this section of the dress but that would be too easy. And besides velvet is prone to all that shifting and sliding around and the walking foot has proved to be the best option. To prepare for this challenge there was a whole lot of hand stitching using a diagonal basting stitch.  

First, I hand-stitched the lining to the sleeve along the cap line.

The next step was to hand stitch the lining to the velvet along the armhole opening on the bodice.  

The final step was to hand stitch sleeve to the opening and through the four layers of fabric. Again, I used the diagonal basting stitch.  

Now that everything is basted in place I can take it to the sewing machine and machine stitch. On the first dress I hand-stitched the sleeve but pinned it to the bodice and then machine stitched. The problem that I had to deal with afterwards were an imprint that the pins left on the velvet. Hopefully, handling things differently with this dress will produce a better result. But first, I need a something for this sinus headache that won't quit. Wish me luck? There are only two more sleeps to get this done.  

Happy Sewing!


  1. Years ago I had to make prom dresses lined with satin and after trying every trick in the book, I put the seam allowance in the serger and it worked like puckers...just did the most beautiful seam using a 3 thread. It might be worth a try with a sample of the 4 layers and widen the stitch width and see what happens.

    1. What a great idea! I didn't see this in time but I hope this tip will help another reader. Thanks for sharing this!


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