Advice sewing with Corduroy & Velveteen
Hello! I am a novice sewer & recently sewed my very first garments (playtime tunic & leggings). Surprisingly, all went very well (which I attribute to the excellently written Oliver + S pattern). Next, I would love to tackle the Music Box Jumper & the Sunday Brunch Jacket. One I would like to do in corduroy & the other in velveteen. After reading about both materials, my understanding (and concern) is that pressing is not recommended. I felt the key to my success when sewing the playtime tunic was due in a large part from all the pressing I did throughout the sewing process. For those of you who have sewed with these, are my concerns unfounded? Any advice on sewing with these materials would be much appreciate. Many thanks!with love Heidi @with love Heidi
I haven’t sewn with velveteen but I regularly use courduroy and I press each seam. I try to use a press cloth with the cord and sometimes I remember to use it between the seam and the front. If you are really worried maybe use a towel and press with the textured side down. Hopefully someone with a more precise pressing technique can also give you some help. Good luck.Nicole @motherof5
Ooh, I am a pressing FOOL!
I love to press when I sew. I agree with Heidi plus avoid the ‘shot of steam’, it can leave imprints on the fabric.
Also, pay attention to grain direction. Press with the pile.
I work with corduroy a lot and I always press it. I find it very nice to sew with. I have sewed two items out of velveteen (including a Sunday Brunch). It gets a little bulky so grading the seams is a good idea. If I do another velveteen Sunday Brunch I actually might just finish the hem edge and then fold it over once (instead of twice) before stitching it – I broke several needles hemming the last one!Sarvi @Sarvi
Ditto all the above. I have no trouble pressing corduroy, it seems happy to fluff back up. I made a velveteen Sunday Brunch and it just shredded like mad, I’d try to handle it as little as possible.meleliza @meleliza
Cord will be fine if you press it. Best practice is, I think, to use a scrap of the cord or velveteen as your press cloth. Place them right sides together and the pile won’t flatten.
I had a devil of a time last year with velveteen too. Perhaps it wasn’t as high a quality as I thought, but it fell apart. I mean it just shredded before my eyes. I recommend overlooking/zigzagging all edges before you even start sewing. I recommend not trimming seam allowances unless absolutely necessary. Grade them, but not too short. Also, do not trim corners as usually directed, fold them instead. Velveteen can be slippery, you may need to decrease the pressure under your pressed foot or use a walking foot. I had to hand baste pieces together before sewing them so they wouldn’t slip. I wouldn’t do buttonholes on velveteen again. In short, I wouldn’t really recommend velveteen as a beginner fabric. But if you’ve got your heart set on it and are confident, it’s really up to you.Maggie @Maggie
Fine wale corduroy is easy to sew. I find the thicker stuff can shift a little. Try the thicker corduroy before you try velveteen.
I’m glad you asked this. I have two pieces of velveteen. I’m hoping to make a couple skirts for the holidays.Elizabeth @Ekmcnally
I’ve never used velveteen but I had good luck using uncut corduroy for the Sunday Brunch jacket. It was very easy to work with so might be a good alternative. I was inspired by this great coat- http://probablyactually.wordpress.com/2011/11/10/sunday-brunch/
And I’ve used Robert Kaufman 21 wale corduroy a few times and really liked it. Thin, soft, holds up well, and handled ironing fine. Good luck!!Florabell @Florabell
Thank you all so much for the comments! It has really helped my decision. Think I will get the corduroy for the Music Box Jumper & hold off on the velveteen. Perhaps I will try a nice cotton tweed or even corduroy (if I enjoy sewing with it) for the Sunday Brunch Jacket. I really appreciate you all sharing your experiences sewing with these materials.Lightning McStitch @LightningMcStitch
Good on you for asking first. I tend to just leap in and start cutting 🙂
I’m a bit shady on fabric terms, but I’ve sewn with corduroy, stretch cut corduroy, velour and velveteen. I’m yet to use the expensive velvet (and doubt I will) and confess I don’t do anything special…
As the others have said, cut in the same direction, be careful of fraying, and maybe decrease the iron temp a little but I still press everything.
Don’t be afraid, it’s kid clothes right? And If you muck something up beyond repair, small bits of velveteen make great soft toys!
I recently made some ruffled pants from corduroy. I had two big time fails. First DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT fold your fabric up and then cut. Basically you have to make sure your corduroy is always cut in the same direction. It’s so easy to get a piece flipped and not realize it until you have already sewn. My first pair of pants looked like clown pants. On one side the corduroy was going one direction while the other side was going the other, which makes the pants look totally different colors. UGH!! On the next pair I cut my piece (and when I needed another) I flipped the pattern over and then cut the other piece. I also marked every piece with a down arrow so that I knew which direction the cord should be running. My second fail was ironing too HOT! I set my iron on cotton and ironed away. OOPS!! My ironing board has a cover, but under the cover is a metal, sort of waffle frame. When I picked up the fabric I could see the imprint of the waffle frame on the corduroy. FACE PALM!! For future pieces I turned the iron WAY down and used a pressing cloth (just an extra piece of quilting cotton I had lying around). After that everything was great. I love using corduroy!! Good luck!!Sarvi @Sarvi
Oh, I have been there with the waffle pattern! I feel your pain!with love Heidi @with love Heidi
I have a woolen blanket folded double under my ironing board cover to prevent the waffle pattern and give me a more padded surface. I picked this trick up from my grandfather who would put a doubled up wool blanket straight on the dining room table to do his ironing!Ava @fitdoc
Where do you purchase fine corduroy that could be used for dresses/jumpers? I’m not having any luck especially in a print.Tamara @justsewit
Hi @fitdoc Ava
May I suggest Farmhouse fabrics http://shop.farmhousefabrics.com/stores_app/Browse_dept_items.asp?Shopper_id=773110202142467731&Store_id=198&Page_id=17&categ_id=31&parent_ids=0&name=Corduroy,+Prints
And Fabric.com https://www.fabric.com/find?SearchText=Cool+cords
Robert Kaufman has a fantastic range of soft beautiful quality corduroy in both solids and print that I am certain you will find something that will pique your interest.
Hopes this helps
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