Sewing on Velveteen

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The Velveteen Jacket

(or How Clothes Become Real)

I recently purchased a pair of leggings.   I know leggings have been popular for a while now, but sometimes I am slow to warm up to current fashion.  Lots of women wearing  lycra and let it all hang out, but I’m not really comfortable with that, so I decided I needed something with a bit more coverage.  I thought about making a long tailored jacket (and I still may do that), but I have been short on time lately so decided to work with a relatively simple pattern that would be quick and easy.  With that in mind I decided to use my tried and true Tribeca jacket pattern with a few inches added to the length.

1.  I started with some printed black velveteen that I had in my stash. I found a nice black shimmery satin for the interior and a complementary rayon-acetate to use as a bias binding.  The rayon-acetate is quite subtle, although it looks less so in the photo below because of the flash on the silver threads.

2.  The Tribeca jacket has a neckline that opens back on itself and it is perfect for two-sided fabrics, but not so suitable to one-sided fabrics like velveteen.  Because of this feature, I had to find an interior fabric to face the velveteen with.  That is where the shimmery satin comes in.

3.  To secure the face fabric with the interior required careful basting of the two pieces so that they could be handled as one piece of fabric.  This step has to be done with care to ensure that the two pieces lie flat with no wrinkling occurring.   It’s not hard, just time consuming.


4.  Once the interior was secured to the face fabric, the darts were sewn in and French seams applied on all seams.  French seams are not the usual technique for most jackets t but I really like this finish for an unstructured jacket… it’s very clean.  Even the sleeve is inserted with a French seam application which not only looks great, but also provides structure along the seam line much like a mini-shoulder pad would.

French side seam application

French seam on set-in sleeve

5.  Once the jacket was constructed, I created a bias seam binding to apply as a finishing detail.  To find the bias of a fabric you fold a straight edge back on itself at a right angle; the folded edge is on the bias.  Bias is used in bindings because it shapes more easily around curves and contours.

6.  Apply bias to edge with raw edges of garment and bias together, mitering the corners.  Basting stitches remain in place until after the bias binding is applied.

7.  I applied the binding with machine stitching and hand stitched it into place.  I take the time to stitch by hand (and it does take quite a bit longer) because it allows for more control over the fabric, but this is optional, it can certainly be stitched down by machine if you prefer that look.

8.  I then made decorative buttonhole patches, and hand stitched them into position.

9.  I recycled buttons I had used on a coat I made serveral years ago.  They are a dark gray and silver combination and work perfectly for this jacket.

The loose style and all the handwork gives this jacket a certain Bohemian feeling that works well with leggings.  This jacket gives me good coverage, but still feels fashionable which is what I was trying to achieve.

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12 responses »

    • Oh good… glad someone “got it.” It was a little obscure, I suppose, but I like that kind of wordplay. The Velveteen Rabbit is one of my all time favorite children’s story. Thank you for the “like” on my jacket. 🙂
      Happy Turkey Day!

    • Thank you, Jayne. I was thinking along the same lines… maybe a black slim skirt with dark stockings (nylons) for Christmas Eve service… or maybe a Christmas plaid??? Lots of possibilities. 🙂

    • Yes, it is an unusual piece of fabric; I don’t think I’ve ever seen printed velveteen quite like it before. I’ve had it in my stash for years waiting for inspiration to arrive.
      Thanks for your nice comment… and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Thank you! I am thinking I may start doiing all my sleeves this way, or at least the ones that don’t require shoulder pads… it’s so clean and simple.

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