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How to sew on stretch poly velvet?

Tenny68 | Posted in General Sewing Info on


I have been asked to fix a hidden zipper in an evening dress of stretch velvet. The zipper pokes out at the bottom of zipper in the back of this dress.

My questions are: 1. What techniques should I use in working on this fabric? 2. My friend would like the zipper removed and a seamed sewn in it’s place since the zipper is not needed to get the dress on. Do you think this is possible? 3. Should I just decline to fix this problem for my friend. I don’t usually do alterations except on my own clothing. 4. Is there any articles that anyone can point me to about working with stretch velvet?

I do a lot of sewing for myself and have for years working on many different types of fabrics from wools to ultrasuede to cotton knits, etc. Any help/advice would be most welcomed.

Many thanks,



  1. CarolFresia | | #1

    If your friend can get the dress on and off without the zipper, I'd vote for simply removing the zipper and sewing up the seam. Zippers are slightly incompatible with stretch fabrics to begin with, although you can improve the situation by fusing a lightweight interfacing along the area where the zipper will be sewn; this stabilizes the fabric so you don't get weird ripples when you sew the zipper in. The bottom end of an invisible zipper is often a tricky spot, even on stable woven fabrics, but perhaps more so on stretchy fabrics--and I'd imagine all the worse with velvet. Sometimes a little bit of hand-sewing is needed there to get everything to behave properly. But again, the easiest fix, I'd say, would be to replace the zipper with a seam.


    1. Tenny68 | | #4

      Carol thanks,

      I think you are right. The more I look at this the less likely any more sewing on the zipper is going to work. I'll sew the seam with a small zigzag like Sandy suggested. Then as my friend performs her solo she won't have to worry about accidentally turning toward the audience with her back side!

      Thanks again,


  2. FitnessNut | | #2

    I'm with Carol....get rid of the zipper if its unnecessary. As for sewing the seam up in the stretch velvet - this fabric is fairly easy to sew, I've found. I used a slight zig zag on a garment I made, pressed open the seams and serged the edges to keep that pesky fluff at bay. You can also use a 3 or 4 thread serged seam, but that requires more testing to get the tension right and I'm assuming you have no scrap fabric to test on. I would sew the seam up with a narrow zig zag.


    1. Tenny68 | | #3

      Thanks Sandy, I'll give it a try with the narrow zigzag for stretch.


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