How to Sew With Stretch Velvet

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Stretch velvet looks like traditional velvet but acts like a knit fabric.
Stretch velvet looks like traditional velvet but acts like a knit fabric. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Stretch velvet is unlike traditional velvet. It has many of the same properties as a knit fabric but with the texture of real velvet. Because stretch velvet is so stretchy, it is possible to ruin the fabric while cutting or sewing. The best way to sew with stretch velvet is to treat it like a knit. For example, do not pull at the fabric while sewing or the seams will not align. Stretch velvet is appropriate for many sewing patterns. The fabric does not show seams as much as traditional velvet and is less demanding on sewing machines.

Things You'll Need

  • Weights
  • Rotary cutter
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • 12/80 needle
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine

Preshrink the fabric by washing and drying before sewing.

Fold the velvet in half with wrong sides facing. This prevents the velvet from sticking to itself and causing problems while you cut out the pattern pieces. Weigh down each side of the fabric. Use a rotary cutter to prevent stretching the fabric and ruining the pattern pieces.

Mark all pattern pieces with tailor’s chalk on the wrong side of the fabric. Use a 12/80 weight needle in the sewing machine with all-purpose thread in a color matching the velvet.

Sew the pieces 1/4 inch outside the seam line using a medium-sized stitch. After sewing the first seam, sew a second seam directly on the seam line. Cut the fabric between the first and second seams after sewing. Sewing two seams like this helps stabilize the fabric and prevents stretching at the seams when you wear the finished garment.

Sew any hems in the garment using a blind hem stitch on the sewing machine.

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