Friday, 20 December 2013

Velvety velvet

I love velvet - smooth one way, slightly rough the other way; soft, elegant and lovely. That said, it can be tricky to sew because the 'nap' means when the pieces are right sides together they want to move in opposite directions. Velvet is not a slidey fabric!

This week I've been busy making more velvet purses. I designed the pattern and applique for these over a year ago, but still have lots of un-used purse frames. These might make last-minute Christmas presents, and some are going into my Etsy shop. As well as for coins, I think these would make a lovely jewellery case - for a necklace, bracelet or rings, for example.

The machine embroidery on these is done with the feed dogs down, so I can trace around these flower petals by moving the fabric in any direction under the needle. It takes a bit of getting used to, but for designs like this it's essential - this would be so difficult to sew using straight stitching!

In the centre of this flower (and the one on the blue purse) I've added a small shell button and tiny seed beads, by hand. All of this embellishment is done before I stitch the two pieces of velvet together to make the purse outer.

Once the lining is made I press the seams, place the lining inside the outer, press the top edges inwards and oversew them together. Then it's time to glue the purse into its frame, which takes a bit of patience! I like to glue the front in first, because it's usually slightly easier to get a neat and tidy glue-free finish on the first side you do. And if there's going to be glue on the velvet, I'd rather it was on the back (although you can remove tiny bits with nail polish remover).

If you like these, please do look in the shop!

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