Sewing with Velveteen

Sewing With Velveteen

The holiday season is just around the corner and with it comes the opportunity to use specialty fabrics. Velveteen is a wonderful fabric for so many holiday sewing projects. From dresses to gifts bags to quilting, velveteen is relatively easy to sew and wears well.

Velveteen is usually 100% cotton. Like all 100% cotton fabrics, it will shrink. Before sewing, prewash the fabric using the same washing instructions as you intend to use for regular care later on. If you plan to warm wash and dry your project after it is complete, prewash the fabric the same way.

Velveteen contains a nap. Having a nap requires special care when laying out your pattern pieces on the fabric. All patterns pieces must lay in the same direction. If the pattern is not laid out properly, your finished project will look as though you have used different fabrics. For an item that will be durable and offer the richest color, place the pattern pieces with the nap running down the pattern - that is from top to bottom. How can you tell which way the nap runs on the fabric? Rub your hand across the fabric. If your hand is running in the direction of the nap, the pile of the velveteen will be smooth and lay down. If you are rubbing you hand against the nap, your hand will make the pile push against you. You will not feel the same smoothness as you did rubbing with the nap. Once you have determined which direction the nap runs, place you pattern pieces on the fabric, all laying in the same direction. When working with velveteen it is best to cut the pattern out flat on a single layer of fabric. If you do need to fold some of the velveteen for cutting, be sure to fold the fabric with the wrong sides together for cutting. Velveteen can become marked by pins very easily. To protect the fabric, it is best to use only fine pins and to place pins within seam allowances.

Now you are ready to sew. When sewing with velveteen, use a fine sharp needle. Stitches should be 10 to 12 stitches per inch, using light pressure on your pressure foot. Use a polyester or cotton wrapped polyester thread. When sewing with velveteen, be sure to always sew in the direction of the nap - this allows the fabric to run smoothly through your machine. If you experience difficulties with the fabric not feeding properly through the machine foot, you might wish to switch to a roller or walking foot for better results. If the feed dogs are leaving marks in the velveteen, tissue stitch seams. This involves using tissue or toilet paper between the feed dogs and the fabric. The paper helps to feed the fabric through the feed dogs without marking the fabric. Once the seam is complete, the paper can be removed.

Velveteen does contain a pile (this means there are looped or cut fibers on the fabric, like terry cloth). Pile fabric tend to shed at the cut edges and velveteen is no exception. Unfinished or raw edges are best finished with a serger stitch or encased with a seam or binding.

Velveteen can be pressed using the heat and stream from an iron. Be sure to test with a small sample first. Place the fabric on your ironing board. Place a thick towel on the board for added thickness. Place the velveteen on the towel, with the right side down. Never press on the right side of the fabric as this will flatten the pile of the fabric. With the iron about ½" away from the fabric, apply stream or heat from the iron. Once you are finished pressing an area, hang to cool. Do not touch the pile until the fabric is both cool and dry.

Once garments are complete. Wash inside out in a method of your choice. If the velveteen just needs to be "refluffed" and not washed, place it in the drier with several damp towels for 15 to 20 minutes. All garments and unused or uncut fabric should be hung for storage. Folding the fabric or the finished garment can crush the pile.

Velveteen is a wonderful fabric to work with. It can be used for everything from party dresses and outfits, to tree skirts, gift bags, quilts, and so much more.

Try sewing with some today!

Last modified: 13:16:22 Thu, Aug 9 2007