When we think of elegance, velvet is among the fabrics that come to mind. The fabric has gained this reputation due to its unique softness and lustrous appearance. Velvet also tends to drape very beautifully. Originally, velvet was made from pure silk. However, this has become extremely expensive today. Hence, the rise of synthetic velvet.
Most of the velvet fabrics that you will find in the market today are made from materials such as nylon, polyester, viscose or rayon which may be combined with some silk. Due to the variety of materials and methods that can be used to make velvet fabric, there exist different types of velvet. Among them is the stretch velvet fabric. This type of velvet usually has spandex added onto it to give it flexibility and stretchiness. Here are some tips you can follow as you start your stretch velvet fabric sewing project.
Choosing the Pattern for Your Stretch Velvet Fabric
The velvet stretch fabric is a great choice when you are looking to make a statement. For this, you may want elaborate patterns and designs too. However, velvet, with its shiny look, is already attention-seeking on its own. Therefore, a pattern that you are likely to consider basic may still end up being transformed into a statement. It is therefore advised that you for the stretch velvet fabric with simple lines and fewer intricate designs.
Simple patterns and designs for stretch velvet fabric are also recommended due to the stretching aspect of the fabric. This is because, as the fabric stretches, the design as well gets stretched and it may interfere with the style lines and other design components such as packets.
Cutting Your Stretch Velvet Fabric
Stretch velvet fabric shares the same cutting process as other fine fabrics such as silk. One of the most critical rules to follow with these types of fabric is to do the cutting single layer. Although it is tempting to cut the velvet on the fold, this is a technique that should be avoided in this case.
Another thing that you should bear in mind when cutting stretch velvet fabric is that it has a directional nap. This refers to fibres that follow a certain direction in a fabric. Visually, this can be hard to ascertain. Nonetheless, you can do so by using your hands. You can do this by running your hand down the length of the velvet. Doing so in one direction will feel smooth while the other will be rough. Ideally, the cutting direction should be such that the nap runs down the garment. However, whichever direction you choose, it should be consistent for all the pieces.
Pressing Your Fabric
Pressing is an important step in sewing. However, when working with velvet fabric, you need to be a bit more careful with this. This is because you do not want to end up ruining your garment by pressing the velvet hairs flat. You can first try how the velvet will react to different steaming techniques using some scraps. While iron is a popular choice when it comes to other sewing projects, it may not be so ideal for velvet. You can go for steam instead.