Hello! Well, it’s that time of year when you start making resolutions to be or do things better in your life, whether that is lose weight, save money, travel, or love more. Your resolutions may work out for the entire year or it may last for one month, nevertheless, a new year always brings the opportunity for a fresh start. At least that is how I see it, so I always look forward to my 365 (or 366 leap year) restart of days, whether I am successful at my promises to myself or not. Each year, I like to make vision boards for the things I want to accomplish during the year. If there is something I didn’t accomplish but still aspire to do, I roll it over to the following year. Last year, I started jotting down steps for achieving the things on my vision board and I continue to build on how I do them each year. One of my goals this year is to really sew things that I love and are true to the things I envision myself wearing. Though I made things this year I love, not all things were a winner for me in my closet. So to get an early start on this goal, I decided to make an outfit that I would wear to ring in the New Year! I chose this beautiful wine velvet from Fabric Mart to make this look. The sun was directly in my eyes, so pardon my somewhat squinty/frowny face in ALL of the pictures (smile).
Okay, before I get started on how I made my outfit, I must provide the disclaimer that I am not necessarily giving tips on sewing or working with velvet, because my velvet sewing skills are not refined. I made the outfit without researching things like cutting it, nap direction, marking, pressing, etc. My schedule has been jam packed and I needed to make sure this project was done. However, I do feel it is important to understand techniques for sewing and working with velvet, so I have included a few links to resources that offer tips below.
For the cardigan, I played around with sizes XS to M to get the fit I was going for. For example, I cut the shoulders at an x-small, the upper portion of the jacket in a small, and eased into a medium towards the hips. I made the sleeves a little wider to give them a slight flowy feel.
My biggest mishap with this cardigan is I used the hot iron to press down a few places on the shawl
collar, BIG MISTAKE. I scorched my fabric in two places, one is not seen but the other is right in front. I knew better, but you know how sometimes you have moments where you think you are invincible and “it won’t happen to me”, well it did. So now I have a reminder on my cardigan not to use a hot iron on velvet. In the picture below, I am pointing the yardstick to the spot that I scorched (ouch).
Now on to the leggings. Prior to receiving the fabric in the mail, I had every intention on creating a pair of velvet pants. Once I felt the fabric, I realized it had too much stretch and drape for pants with pockets and a zipper. Pants would have been more suitable for a stiffer fabric such as a velveteen. I still wanted to create the style and look of Butterick B5895 View B with the high-waist pants and pockets, so I decided I could accomplish the look by making them as leggings with faux pockets.
Most of the times I cut a size 16 in pants, but since the pattern was not designed for leggings and stretchy fabric, I cut a much smaller size (size 12), which gave me the proper fit for leggings. I did not add a zipper in the back, because I had enough stretch to pull the leggings up. I used the waistband pattern piece to cut out the waistband, but I used 1-inch wide elastic to make it, adjusting the size according to my waist. Even though these are leggings, I still added the darts for a nice fit. Despite having a fitted look, these leggings are very roomy and comfy. The stretch in the fabric is also very generous.
Hope you enjoyed and until next year...be safe and have a Happy New Year!
Yours Truly, Tee from Maggie Elaine
Click the link for tips on sewing with velvet...