The White Velvet Jacket - Part Five
I'm still working the the white jacket. I'd be much further on the whole thing, but I haven't a lot of time to work on it recently and I'm working on the beading (which I'll show you tomorrow) and that just takes time. I'm not upset about it - slow sewing seems to be the catch phrase these days.
Whenever you sew anything, eventually, you're going to have to press it. Beside making stitching samples, it is a good idea to make an ironing sample. Yes, an ironing sample. I've melted and glazed too many fabrics unintentionally, not to try out various ironing techniques on a scrap of fabric. You might not have to do this with 100% wool, but with fabrics of "various" or "unknown" fiber content or fabrics you've never sewn before it is a good idea. You know what I mean by "various" fiber content: those fabrics that you've pulled out of the flat fold clearance bin and really had no clue as to what it was, but you liked it and it was a bargain, too.
Velvet cannot be pressed like other fabrics or the nap (the fuzzy surface) will be crushed. Too much heat and pressure, and you've just permanently embossed your fabric with the shape of your iron. Not pretty on the front of a bodice, or anywhere for that matter. To press velvet, you will need either a needle board, a velvaboard (shown below) or a scrap of velvet. Needle boards are really nice and are what the professionals use, but can be pricey. Velvaboards do an decent job, but they can be crushed, too! I speak from experience. A scrap of the same velvet actually works really well and is a cheap alternative. I've actually considered sewing up an ironing board cover made entirely of velvet, just for when I work with velvet. I do love velvet and use it enough to warrant such an idea.
As you can see below, the scrap works very well when pressing seams from either side. It can be moved and placed where needed. Press only the seam line with the tip of the iron. Do not rest the iron on the fabric. An ironing sample may show that you can use light pressure, but do be cautious.
To remove small, light temporary marks and restore the nap, consider the following tool:
Yes, it is a toothbrush. A new, soft bristled one. All you need to do is steam the surface of the velvet - do not touch it with the iron - and gently use the toothbrush to fluff up the nap. This method won't remove permanently crushed nap, but can do a lot to restore minor temporary mars such as pin marks and sewing machine foot tracks to the surface.
Tomorrow: stitching tips for velvet.
Q/A: Dilly wanted to know if the sweater I was wearing while picking the names from hat box was the one I dyed a while back. Yes, it is! I usually wear it with chocolate brown and white.
Parting Shot: Ski Slopes! We're right in the middle of ski season. The students (my children included) have six weeks of ski lessons, and I'm a chaperone. Basically, that means I get to ski for free all day, every Tuesday for six weeks each winter. This is the view of a few of the lower slopes at Waterville Valley, as you go up the stairs to the lodge.