Skip to main content

Made by A Fabricista: A Little Black Velvet Dress For the Holidays!

Poly/silk black velvet dress made with pattern New Look 6049

Hi everybody! I hope you are having wonderful Holidays, taking some time off and spending quality time with family and friends (and sewing too, of course)!

For me, the Holidays also mean that there must be some sparkle in some way, somewhere, and when I saw this fantastic poly/silk velvet on FM's website I knew it was my ticket for that little black dress!

I ordered this fabric as soon as I saw it and created this dress for my December 25th gig I had in a very nice hotel in the beautiful region of Charlevoix, Quebec. I was there to perform a set of jazzy Christmas classics, and the audience is mainly tourists, couples as well as families with kids; they all gather in the restaurant and enjoy the jazz while having a drink or having dinner by the fire. I thought a little black dress would be unfussy to wear, and would be chic without being too formal.


The pattern

When it comes to special occasion fabrics, I think that simple lines are the best, so that's why I chose New Look pattern #6049, a shift dress. I made view A (sleeveless version); that dress features bust darts as well as front and back bodice darts and it closes with a CB zipper.




I made a size 10, and my alterations were the following: took off 6/8'' at the outer shoulder and gave it back at the inner neckline seam to keep the width of the shoulder intact, redrew the waistline 5/8'' higher 'cause it was too low for me, and added two small back neck darts to deal with a gaping CB seam. I also added 6/8'' at the hem, and still this dress is very, very short!


I added two back neckline darts to solve a gaping neckline


The fabric:

This fabric is an unusual mix of poly and silk (in unknown proportions) and it is a bit like rayon/silk velvet, although I think the poly makes it less fragile. It is just gorgeous, has a liquid drape like rayon/silk velvet, and a wonderful shine. I think it qualifies as a lamé as it has metallic thread woven in. It is now sold out, but this rayon/acetate velvet would be an excellent choice to make a similar dress.

One word for this fabric: challenging! Which is alright with me 'cause I always love a good challenge, you learn something and it improves your sewing.

The main difficulty with this fabric is that it shifts like crazy when you sew it. The vertical darts were reasonably easy to sew, but the horizontal bust darts were surprisingly difficult to sew as the 2 layers of velvet only wanted to shift. I probably could have used tissue paper in between the fabric layers, but I didn't have some on hand. The invisible zipper was also something to sew, as you have to pull the velvet every couple of stitches otherwise it shifts against the zipper and forms puckers, which just looks horrible (ask me how I know!).


This picture captures well the beautiful shine of this velvet/lamé. I cut the fabric with the pile going down.

I decided to line my dress with some Bemberg lining I had on hand, not because the fabric is sheer, but because A) a lined dress is so much more fun to wear, B) it looks better and C) it wrinkles less!





Cutting, finishing and pressing the seams

That fabric is the messy type! This is just from manipulating the fabric on the ironing board...


Here a couple of tips regarding working with this fabric if you have it, or a similar type:

1- Cutting single layer is better; serrated shears (like Kai 7240AS scissors) work great in this type of fabric.

2- Use fine pins, like silk pins, and a sharp needle like a Microtex Schmetz needle.

3- That fabric ravels and is very messy! Yes, there will be black and silver specks all over the place, on your sewing machine, on the floor, on the ironing board, on the serger and even on your face! 

The vertical seams will ravel so you can choose to serge them prior to assemble the garment and press them open, or you can serge them once the seam is sewn. I recommend using fine serging thread like Gutermann Mara 120 to avoid bulk, you want to keep the seam as light as possible. Test the differential feed on your serger to keep the edges of the fabric very flat.

4- It is difficult to unpick a seam (sometimes impossible) in this fabric, and unpicking a seam can mean creating a hole. Choose a pattern you have tested before as this is not a 'fit as you go' type of fabric!

5- I found it was easier to sew the seams with the pile going up than with the pile going down. You can always put tissue paper in between the fabric layers to minimize the shifting.

6- This fabric can take a good steaming. The pile is very, very flat - if you rub your hand against the pile it feels rough - but I found that you can steam the seams lightly (the iron must never touch the fabric), on the wrong side as well as on the right side,  and in fact steaming the fabric actually lifted the pile a bit and made it look better!









I will leave it there for now; I will probably wear my little black dress again tonight for my New Year's Eve gig!


I wish you a very Happy New Year and lots of sewing in the year to come!


Virginie
from

Comments

  1. Very cute - perfect in it's simplicity.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That is a lovely dress on you, and such a unique fabric too - a perfect match!

    ReplyDelete
  3. The shine on the fabric is so perfect for a LBD! What a fabulous cocktail dress!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment! All comments are reviewed before posting to help us eliminate spam. Your comment will be posted within 24 hours.

Popular Posts You Might Like

Made By A Fabricista: College Inspired Cardigan

Happy Monday All! It has been a while since I wrote a blogpost and it feels great to be back! Today I am excited to share my daughter who hasn’t graced the blog for quite sometime. Now that my children are older, I have to always get their permission to take photos and share. It took a lot of convincing to get my daughter to rock this FAMU (Florida A & M University) inspired cardigan. I originally planned to make the Blackwood cardigan using the orange and green ponte knit for myself to represent my alma mater FAMU but then realized I cut the wrong size.  I was a bit disappointed at first that I cut a medium instead of a large but knew my daughter would rock it. Additionally, even if I wanted to squeeze in the cardigan, it just could not even pass my elbow when I tried it on. It was definitely a learning experience because I now know that you cannot add a non stretch ribbon around a fitted knit garment sleeve. It must be added to a loose sleeve as the ribbon stops the fabric from s

Made By A Fabricista: An Outfit for First Snow

We had a marvellous autumn in western Canada with warm dry days and just a couple of hints of frost. When I was perusing Fabric Mart Fabric's site in October, I was tempted to focus on pretty florals for blouses or dresses but part of me knew that ... (da dah dum ... ) winter is coming . Fortunately, Fabric Mart was stocked with a huge selection of fabrics that are perfect for winter or holiday sewing. Over the past several months I've been planning my sewing projects so I have pieces that work together. To stick with that theme, I decided to pick a print fabric for a top, and a solid for pants, using navy as the neutral. Pants For the pants, I selected Navy Poly/Nylon/Spandex Stretch Corduroy. This fine 14-wale corduroy is warm enough to wear outdoors but will be especially comfortable indoors. It also has a bit of drape which makes it nice for trousers. And who doesn't want some stretch?  I selected Vogue 9181 (Custom-Fit Bootcut Pants) because it is designed for stretch

Made By A Fabricista: Velvet for the Holidays

Are you getting ready for the holidays?  I am.  From past years, it gets so busy in my household around this time of year, so it is never too early to start my holiday sewing.  This year I decided to sew velvet, a fabric I had not sewn for many years but I think it is luxurious.   As luck would have it, FM’s poly rich black velvet flashed on my computer screen and I bought lots.  I thought it would be pretty for a one-shoulder gown, which I had never worn before but admired on others.  The following week FM’s multi-colored one showed up.  It was a poly embossed Bohemian print velvet with jade, yellowish, and crimson colors; it screamed fall and family get-togethers.   I just had to have it!  When the fabrics arrived, the deep colors did not disappoint. I chose Butterick B6557 for both dresses, View B for the knee-length printed dress and View C for the maxi dress. It was perfect for velvets; the front was one whole piece and so was the back.  I cut the fabrics with the nap going down