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Unread 09-22-2013, 05:41 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 16,411
Which method to use for sewing? (Stretch velvet)

I'm working on a Princess Luna gijinka from MLP, which I designed with a medieval-esque dress (So, sorry, not reference photo, not that it's particularly needed for this). I ran into a bit of a conundrum, though, when I bought stretch velvet for the fabric (it wasn't my first choice, but all the non-stretch velvet I could find, and I went to twelve stores, was either $50+ a yard silk velvet, or the wrong colour). It stretches on the crosswise grain, just for reference, but not lengthwise. The pattern I'm using doesn't call for stretch material and it'll be lined with a non-stretch bemberg lining (mostly bag-lined, so putting two and two together will only be at the sleeve cuffs, neck, waistline, zipper and skirt hem, and most of those are going to be decorated with trim anyway, so little stretch ability for the velvet there), but the fit of that isn't really the concern I have, as I'm not sewing it with the ability to stretch in mind.

My biggest concern, is what technique do I use for stitching all this together? I've read that stretch velvet can be a real pain in the ass to sew, and usually requires a stabilizer or a walking foot, and I've heard both straight and zigzag stitch types used (and I didn't intend to make it actually stretchy, so I don't know what one is better). I'm honestly not even sure what a stabilizer is, as I haven't had to use it before (all the stretch I have worked with, went fine through my machine). I don't have a walking foot or teflon foot on my home sewing machine and the usual foot tends to press down pretty hard, but I'm in fashion school and the worklab does have a machine with a walking foot, but only straight lockstitch.
So, help? I really don't want to ruin this by using the wrong stitch style, this is one of the fanciest projects I've done.

Oh, and as an extra that I could stand to know- am I dreaming at the thought of being able to press stretch velvet seams open or can it actually be done? I DO have access to industrial steam irons and a needleboard. If no, what's a good way to finish them that won't add bulk?
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Originally Posted by Moofingham View Post
There's a vibe here that says "We're in this together!Through thick and thin fabric! Through cold water washes and burning hot irons! Though we might super glue ourselves to our projects, cut holes/gashes/oh-god-mom's-gonna-kill-me into the dining room table, we will stand strong together. Unless there is a 75% off sale at the Fabric store. Then you're on your own. And get the hell out of my way."<3
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