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Sewing Tip/Trick of the Day, Velvets/fake fur/shag

Tricks of the day-A Nappy Issue-velvets, shaggy & fake fur

A friend had a question about dealing with sewing other fabrics onto velvet, running into problems with velvet nap/cushiness, shag and slipping, so here’s a few thoughts on dealing with velvet, fake furs and yarn shags. ( yes I know there is a bad joke in there about slippery shags in there somewhere ;)

1. SHAVE!- if you are sewing flat/appliqué onto these, a good trick especially on edges is to shave the fabric. (For yarn/big shag/long fake fur, clip down w/scissors instead). Then you can use good old fashioned men’s hairclippers, or for more delicate areas/silk velvets; a lady bikini clipper ;) to shave down the area you are sewing onto. This takes down the bulk in all seams whether top/flat or for standard face to face sewing. A cheap disposable razor works well on fine velvets, or if you are very steady of hand, a plain shaver razor/box cutter razor.

2. ZigZag- I like to go over long seam/edges with a tight wide zigzag stitch, this tamps/holds down the nap/yarn/shag and gives a better gripping surface for stitching onto.

3. Hairspray- Good old fashioned Elnet is one of my favorite tools, non marking, low tack, non staining on most materials. If I’m stitching on rightside of fabric I may spray just a bit on the edge to better hold the top fabric, or the underside of the top fabric. Hair spray doesn’t seem to gum up my needles overmuch, though I still recommend passing needle through the sand filled “strawberry” on most tomato pin holders, or changing the needle after.

I also use it if I am backing a slippery fabric or ribbon with cotton, much less sticky than a fusible to hold cotton to slippery fabric just long enough to sew.

4. iron on lace binding/interfacing fusible- on top/right side just at seams,/edges to hold down cushiness/excess. Not my favorite as is tacky/sticky & expensive.

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About dreamsewing

From Victorian/ Steampunk clothing, Asian inspired hair ornaments to simple alterations, I am an addict to learning new crafts. I've spent now 20 years traveling over the world and touring with various theatre companies, from Shakespearian, to ballet, to Cirque du Soleil. This blog is mainly for talking about current projects & sharing tips & tricks of the trade. Hoping to learn new things from from others and also sharing resource lists. If you have any sewing questions/quandaries, please do ask me, I may have an answer or a new way to fix. I love exchanging ideas on new ways/tricks of stitching! (Small self-plug: If you'd like to discuss a commission, need to hire a professional seamstress or wardrobe person, please feel free to contact me via email: dreamsewing@gmail.com )

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