Originally I purchased this fabric to make a peasant style maxi skirt. You know the kind with the gathered tiers. Since the fabric was only 45" wide I bought six yards of it. It was inexpensive because I bought it during Chic Fabrics "moving locations" sale.
It was purchased prior to making the Deer & Doe dresses. I love all three versions that I've made and each was worn several times during the summer and early fall.
When I was moving some fabric I touched this velvet and knew it needed to become a long sleeved maximized version...
Supply List ~
5 yards of polyester tie dyed velvet from Chic Fabrics
A scrap of coca brown ponte for facings
Blk & printed piping from Joyce Trimmings
5/8" 4-hole buttons from the button collection
Interfacing from Steinlauf & Stoeller
1. I chose to leave the collar off this version and make it true to the pattern. I added piping to the collar edge and the front edge of the bodice.
2. Ponte facings were used to add interfacing to the collar stand and front facings. That made it easier to apply the fusible interfacing and the piping.
3. I also lengthened the sleeves so they were full length. Then I added cuffs. The cuff pattern was taken from my TNT shirt pattern.
4. Care had to be taken because the velvet handles differently than other fabrics.
5. I used my needleboard and silk organza pressing cloth to press seams open & flat.
6. Typically, I use tailor tacks to mark darts and markings on garments from velvet. Though with this one I did mark with tracing paper and a tracing wheel because the fabric is crinkled and absorbed the tracing markings.
7. Used my straight stitch food and straight stitch throat plate on my sewing machine when I sewed the dress, it made sewing the seams a tad easier.
8. Also added seam tape to the shoulder seams to stabilize them since the fabric had a little give.
9. I wavered back and forth over adding piping to the sleeve cuffs. Since I had a lot of piping left (because I typically buy 5 yards at a time) I decided to have fully piped cuffs. Adding the piping to the cuff is explained in this post.
10. I thought for this one that I would make a longer cuff but it didn't work out - see below...
11. Made a shorter cuff and I handstitched the cuff to the sleeve. It's a little tight and I didn't want to squeeze it under my sewing machine needle. I think it will be okay since this dress won't be worn much. However, I'm so happy I chose to make the cuff tighter and smaller. It works perfectly with the sleeve and dress proportions.
12. I added piping to the waistline seam to take the piping all the way through the garment.
13. The last thing is that I basted the bodice and skirt together before I sewed the waistline seam. That way I could make any needed adjustments without ripping out seams in the velvet and possibly marring it.
I know there's a lot of information here but in case anyone is thinking about making a version of the dress, I hope this will help you.
A few pictures ~
If you've never sewn with velvet before there are a few things you should know to make the sewing journey easier. May I recommend Sandra Betzina's book, "More Fabric Savvy" for instructions and a guide on how to handle sewing with this fabric.
Cause I broke all of the rules/suggestions.
- I used fusible interfacing on the cuffs.
- I marked the fabric with a tracing wheel and tracing paper.
- I did not use a walking foot.
However, I did baste a lot and I did cut the dress out using a "with nap" layout.
Also, this was sew slowing...some ripping out and replacing and A LOT of piping with hand basting. As with all projects I get neck deep in and start to wonder if I should have waded in with all those special touches on a difficult fabric. Then when it's done I'm almost always glad I went for it.
This dress turned out so much more luxurious than I imagined it. It's comfortable while having a "Tudors" vibe! BTW, I originally dreamed up this dress with a leather collar, collar stand and cuffs and no piping. The only reason I didn't go that way is because the two pieces of pleather in the collection, didn't match the fabric.
I have no idea where I'm going to wear this beauty. However, I'm glad I made it! Also, there will definitely be more of these added to my spring/summer wardrobe. I finally understand why some sewists made 3-4 of these right away. I will be joining their ranks next spring.
...as always more later!