This was a fun one, I had invited a co-worker to a Burlesque night in the beautiful Bush Hall, London. Folks generally dress up fabulous for these events, so Gigi & I felt we ought to make an effort. Only problem was we were working silly hours 6 days a week on a show, so I had to find something super quick to make, and warm as we were having a sub-zero winter in London. This took about 2 hours from drape to finish. I always loved ’20’s/30’s evening dresses, though I haven’t really the figure, but I thought, hey some cheap blue stretch velvet & a simple bias dress should do well enough. I’m thinking of doing a step by step for this one, as it is so adaptable (can do w/shallower cowl/boatneck, no sleeves, flutter sleeves etc.), needs no real pattern ( though a dress form is required) if anyone is interested.
Then I had a lace collar I found in local haberdashery shop which had a nice “v” shape so tacked it on under the cowl for a wee bit of Bum Bling, and to balance out the neck lace.
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.