Is Velvet Having A Moment?

Welcome to Fall in New England and a new outerwear project. I started this jacket ages ago; and just as I was getting ready to make my grand appearance, I was upstaged by this guy!

And this guy…

Which begs the question……..Is velvet having a moment?

Daniel Craig’s jacket is from the esteemed Anderson & Sheppard on Savile Row. I can’t even imagine “shopping” here! I assume that every visit comes with a Scotch or G & T, your choice.

My jacket is from a somewhat less opulent space!

Still, I believe that I was ahead of the curve on this trend. I had been eyeballing this camouflage printed velveteen on the Stylemaker Fabrics website for awhile. It just always sparked my curiosity every time it appeared, even though I’ve never considered myself either the camo type or a person who dresses in black. There was something about it that made my wheels start spinning. Every time.

What could it become? A pair of trousers? A blazer? A jean jacket? After a short ponder I’d wonder off to something more practical UNTIL…. a 2.5 Yd remnant ended up in the “Selvedge Yard”. Oh, Yes……I pounced!

And then it sat… It sat for a very long time.

When Summer starts to come to its end, my thoughts always turn to outerwear. I love making it. I’ve also been on a “fabric fast” lately, determined to work through my stash (most of which is shirting). So, if any new outerwear was going to happen, it was going to have to be this velveteen, the only suitable fabric on hand.

I’ve always been a huge fan of Tyrollean style jackets. I grew up in New Hampshire which was home to Carroll Reed. The store in North Conway, which opened in 1937, was a treasure trove of all things Alpine.

It was THE place to go for a Nordic sweater or a covetable Geiger boiled wool jacket. None of it came cheap, however; and it still doesn’t!

The store is long gone. But for those old enough to remember, it’s a cherished part of New Hampshire skiing history.

YES, PLEASE!!!!

Still, I never tire of this style, so I set out to make my own interpretation.

I went back to Burda 7291, which I adapted a couple of years ago for my son’s wedding rehearsal dinner. You can read about that jacket here. Most of the adjustments had already been made, but I still went ahead and did a full muslin. Always a smart idea! For this version I shortened the body and sleeves, and removed some of the ease at the sleeve cap. I found the wool knit trim on Etsy. It’s really essential to the whole look IMO.

So what tips can I pass on about sewing with velveteen?

  • Pick a simple pattern, the fewer details the better. I’m so glad I didn’t attempt a jean jacket. It would have been a disaster with all the flaps and topstitching.
  • Cut all your pieces individually from the back side of the fabric.
  • Don’t attempt to cut any pieces on the fold. Remake those pattern pieces to be full sized
  • Baste with silk thread and remove it as soon as possible to prevent any permanent marks. (Zoom in on Daniel Craig’s breast pocket. You can still see the tailor’s marks! Shocking)
  • Pins can also leave marks, so pin within the seam allowance wherever you can.
  • Splurge on a velvet pinboard if you can. It makes the whole process less stressful.

I wanted a more tailored jacket, so I added a lightweight canvas front. The edges of the canvas have been replaced with muslin to reduce the bulk when the facings are applied. You’ll find a video of this process on my YouTube channel.

The welt pockets were the biggest challenge of the project. Everything was marked out in silk thread, with the goal of completing the pockets in one sitting. The nap of the fabric made keeping things aligned damn near impossible. The pieces wanted to shift either up or down. It was a struggle. They’re not the best pockets ever, but as we all know…….There are no “do overs” when it comes to welt pockets. I’ll live with them. I added a small snap inside each pocket to keep them closed and looking neater.

I’m frequently sewing “off script”, and this is a good example. The collar was interfaced with a fusible interfacing applied to silk organza. This greatly minimized bulk at the neck edge. I don’t believe that tailoring has to be some strict traditional practice. Sometimes you just have to listen to what the fabric is telling you.

I did two videos on lining and setting the sleeves into this jacket. You’ll find them on my YouTube channel. I hope they demystify the process for you, especially if you’re wanting to up your tailoring game. None of it is difficult. BTW, here is the velvet pinboard inserted into the sleeve during pressing. It was well worth the investment. I have some wide wale corduroy in my stash, so it will get used again if I can ever perfect my trouser draft. But that’s a whole other story!

There was quite a bit of fraying as I worked along on this jacket, to the point where it was making me nervous. The safest path was to stop construction and get the trim on before the seam allowances completely disintegrated. It’s been my experience that the best way to do this is by hand with a simple fell stitch. If you have one hand stitch in your arsenal it should be the fell stitch. It’s easy, quick and good practice for that authentic kilt that you’ve been planning to make! I machine stitched 3/8″ from the edges in a slightly contrasting thread which I then used as a guide. I stitched the trim to the outside first along the guide, then folded it over to stitch the back. Yes, it takes some time; but as they say… “God is in the details”.

Speaking of details. The buttons are vintage Austrian and feature Emperor Franz Joseph. Thank you, AlpineCountryLooks on Etsy! They’re perfect.

Credits

As always I am so grateful for all the encouragement and support I receive from the sewing community.

Be well, continue to stay safe, and most of all …

Happy Fall Sewing!

20 thoughts on “Is Velvet Having A Moment?

  1. Great post! So well photographed and detailed! YOUR velvet jacket is the best! (I thought DC’s was too small for him). You 100% nailed the right fabric/ right pattern formula. The print, the trim, and the buttons take it to an even higher level!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Superb in every way! So happy to see a new post by you, I know I’m in for a real treat and you didn’t disappoint. Very handsome in your new creation!!! Get some more jacket fabrics in your stash. Great fit.

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  3. That looks great. As always the work is beautiful. Thanks for posting this. I was considering a red velvet overcoat a la the 12th Doctor Who’s burgundy velvet coat which he pairs with a purple velvet waistcoat. But, the more I studied sewing velvet, the more I appreciated the work involved. Decided that it was probably beyond my skill level to do it well. Kenneth D. King has an excellent Craftsy tutorial called the Velveteen Blazer where he also employs a few couture sewing techniques as well.

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    1. I think if you take your time you can totally do it. Finding the right pattern will be key. It will have to be as simple as possible, the fewer details the better. I would splurge on the velvet pinboard just for the peace of mind. You can press without worrying that you’re going to ruin all your hard work.

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  4. Two things. First, I think you are far more handsome than the competitors! Second, I would never, ever wear camo. You made me change my mind with your jacket. And, as always, it is a pleasure to read your posts as well as see your work.

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  5. Fantastic!!! Looks so wonderful to wear. love the use of the velvet. and thanks for sharing the tip of fusing the fusible to the silk organza, I often use both on collars but never thought of applying it that way – clever. Also I know how much work this type of post with all the photos can be and thanks for that too.

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  6. So excited to see another post from you…and with all your lovely detailed work. I love the detail, in particular, of adding a muslin edge to the canvas interfacing ( and the fusible to the silk organza). A genius idea! I notice this jacket is not interlined; will it be warm enough to wear outside at all? You must show it off to all your neighbours!

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  7. Amazing project – as usual! I always learn so much from your posts, thanks so much.
    I’m wondering if you’ve ever tried laundering cupro lining material? (Mood is noncommittal, lol.) I’m considering lining a boiled wool jacket, and the wool is hand washable… I also don’t know if any thin insulating material is washable. (I walk several miles a day, and usually pile on the sweaters and coats in the winter. Makes me feel like a toddler in a snow suit who can’t move!)
    I’m also wondering if you’ve made a kilt, or considered one, Mr. MacLeod? Having lived in Scotland as a child I think of it occasionally (I last ordered one my teens) but the thought is daunting. If so, have you investigated patterns?
    Thanks again for sharing your expertise and valuable time. As others have commented, it’s always a pleasure to see a post from you!

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  8. Another excellent piece of sewing, looks great on and thanks for the tips also your you- tube videos which I enjoy and have found helpful. Until these I realised now the importance of basting by hand.
    So thanks again and look forward to your next updates, best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Turns out you’re a guy who does wear camo and does wear black. This is stunning on you. Very well made and beautifully styled.

    Can I admit to feeling slightly relieved that even Saville Row slip up occasionally?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. As always, gorgeous work, and so inspiring. I have relatives in Maine, and wonder at your beautiful wardrobe in a place where people are hard pressed to wear a suit for a funeral.

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  11. It looks GORGEOUS! You like like the majordomo of Halloween itself – luxe with an edge. And I hope velvet is having a nice, long moment, because I have some velveteen waiting to become event pants, but I can’t sew it until my washer is fixed and I can prewash it! Slow down, velvet moment, I want to catch up!

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