Friday, 15 May 2015

Warts and All

I started on sewing velvet with the walking foot yesterday and that was fine and the waistcoat lining also worked fine. It is after all cotton. And then the trouble started. This pattern for a waistcoat was a big mistake in velvet or at least using a cotton lining with no give in it. It was extremely difficult to sew the velvet nicely to the cotton lining. I have managed something but it is not good. The pattern is one of the 'sew the made up lining to the made up outer, pull it right out through a shoulder seam, stitch up the sides and complete with hand sewing'.  Not a good idea. I had intended to use bound buttonholes and to practise on scraps of velvet but no way. 
What look like creases are not actually there, I just did not smooth it out enough before photography. I hate it. The only thing nice about it is the lining. The problem is the colour. This is a piece of velvet which I carefully dyed. What was I thinking about when I choose grass green?

But all is not lost because it has served its purpose well. Perhaps I should explain. Two years ago I bought some black velvet printed with an Art Deco design in grey and gold to make a jacket. I did not want to venture into velvet making on that lovely length of fabric so I decided I would make up the same jacket pattern in some remnant lengths of velvet I had. So I dyed the remnants red and purple (that is very nice) and then I thought that maybe I should make up something smaller to start with - hence the green waistcoat.

What have I learnt? That the walking foot is great for sewing two pieces of velvet together but that it is not a good idea to try sewing velvet to a non-stretchy fabric. And in any case it will be a bad idea to use a pattern for a very fitted jacket (my usual type of jacket). So my next job is look for a jacket pattern which specifically states it is suitable for velvet and make up the red jacket in that. Oh and use silk for the lining!

I'll get there in the end, though not wearing a green velvet waistcoat. I can't even give it away because it is too badly made. Bah!!

As you might imagine, nothing else has been accomplished today.


  1. Replies
    1. That did cross my mind but the beautiful lining would be wrecked. But maybe a dip in an indigo vat? I shall think about it some more. As it is I will never wear it.

  2. Turn it inside out!? Rosie

  3. I rushed off to the wardrobe when I read the last comment and yes that is very nice! So today I will take the fastenings off the velvet side and transfer them to the zigzag cotton side!!! That has made my day, Rosie.



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About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.