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Worst experience sewing

Jena | Posted in Fabric and Trim on


A friend and I sew capes of silk: satin, brochade, taffeta, and velvet. My worst experience sewing is a project we are involved in currently over a 2 year period.  We needed to construct a silk, gold velvet cape.  Since we could not find gold velvet, the manager of the silk store where we customarily purchase our silks suggested that we purchase white velvet and have it dyed gold at a company that dyes fabric for the studios of Hollywood, CA.  Since he was familiar with the company and the process, we trusted his advice. We purchased 6 yards of white silk velvet and had it dyed at the company suggested.  When we picked up the end product the velvet was limp and stretchy.  My friend had sewn on silk velvet before without incident.  I had no velvet experience. 

Our difficulty is that we cannot seem to get a smooth seam, one or both sides of each seam ripples.  We have basted, pinned, hand sewn as well as machine sewn, still unable to get a flat seam.  We have ripped out seams numerous times. Does anyone have experience with a problem of this nature and how did you solve it?

Thank you



  1. Teaf5 | | #1

    One of the few sewing disasters I have ever given up on involved a single seam on a stretch velveteen dress. I'm looking forward to other people's solutions to this one!

  2. mygaley | | #2

    Dear Jena:  Have you tried sewing with paper or tear-away stabilizer on both the top and bottom of the seam?  Also, you probably know how to stabilize a neckline with a strip of selvedge or some other non-stretch product.  Sewing a fabric stabilizer to the wrong side seam line of each piece, then sewing your seams together would prevent all stretching.  This is probably your best solution.

    The situation you have described is one of the joys of working with velvet and why it commands a prime labor price.  By the way, is your name pronounced Jean-uh or Ja-nay? God bless you.  Galey

    1. Jena | | #3

      Dear Galey,

      Thank you for your suggestion and how to apply the stablizer to the seams. I will try that. 

      My name is pronounced with a short e and a, as if written jenna.  It is a soft sound.

      Sincere appreciation,


  3. AndreaSews | | #4

    Some recommend using a roller foot to keep the two pieces lined up nicely.  The nap (and presser foot pressure) causes the top to creep away from the bottom, and trying to hold them together can lead to puckers.    check out:  http://www.creativeneedlemag.com/newdloads/velvetsewingjul88/velvet2.html 

    1. Jena | | #5

      Thank you for your suggestions.  That helps greatly.  Jena

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