Mastering How to Sew With Velvet and Velveteen

Last Updated on February 26, 2024

Hello and welcome to The Sewing Stuffs! In this comprehensive tutorial, we’ll dive into the intricate world of sew with velvet and velveteen. While these fabrics exude luxury, they can be a bit challenging to work with due to their unique characteristics, especially their nap.


  • Pay attention to the nap direction in velvet and velveteen fabrics to ensure consistent color and texture.
  • Opt for patterns with fewer seams and details to enhance the softness of velvet garments.
  • Check fabric tags for width, content, and care instructions, and avoid storing folded velvet for extended periods.
  • Employ hand-basting or temporary spray adhesive to secure fabric layers before machine sewing for even seams.
  • When pressing seams, utilize steam and finger-pressing techniques to maintain the plush appearance of velvet.

Let’s explore some essential tips to ensure your velvet sewing projects turn out as soft and elegant as you envision.

How to Sew With Velvet and Velveteen

How to Sew With Velvet and Velveteen

Sewing with velvet and velveteen requires attention to the nap direction, careful pattern selection, and techniques like hand-basting to prevent uneven seams. Use sew-in interfacing, avoid ironing directly on the fabric, and employ a hand-blind hem stitch for a professional finish.

Understanding the Nap

Velvet and velveteen fabrics have fibers that protrude from one side, creating their distinctive texture. This characteristic is known as nap. Following grain line rules when working with these fabrics is crucial to prevent mismatched colors and ensure a cohesive look.

Always pay attention to the fabric information tag, noting the width and content of the fabric, as well as any specific care instructions.

Handling and Storing Velvet

Avoid storing velvet and velveteen fabrics folded for extended periods, as this can result in unsightly fold lines. Instead, roll them to maintain their plush texture.

Be mindful of the fabric’s content and care instructions, especially if it’s dry-clean only. Investing in these luxurious fabrics requires proper care from the start.

Choosing a Pattern

Choosing a Pattern
Choosing a Pattern

Selecting a pattern for velvet projects requires careful consideration. Opt for simple patterns with fewer seams, pleats, and darts to ensure a softer look, as ironing velvet can be challenging. Pay close attention to the nap direction when laying out your pattern pieces, ensuring a uniform appearance.

Determining Nap Direction

Before cutting your fabric:

  • Determine the nap direction by running your fingers over it in different directions.
  • Choose the smoother side for the top of your pattern, ensuring the fibers lie flat.
  • Mark the nap direction with chalk and use it as a guide when laying out your pattern pieces.

Cutting and Pinning

How to Sew With Velvet and Velveteen - Pinning

When cutting velvet, work with single layers and use fine pins placed close to the fabric edge to prevent holes. If cutting multiple pieces, ensure they all have the same nap direction for a cohesive look. Hand-basting or using a temporary spray adhesive can help keep pieces together before machine sewing.

Sewing and Stitching Techniques

How to Sew With Velvet and Velveteen
Sewing and Stitching Techniques

Sewing velvet requires specific techniques to prevent uneven seams. Hand-basting or using a spray adhesive before machine sewing can help keep fabric layers in place.

Use a walking foot for even feeding and silk thread for a seamless finish. Adjust your machine’s tension and practice on scraps before tackling your project.

Interfacing and Pressing

Opt for sew-in interfacing as fusible options are unsuitable for velvet. Baste around the interfacing to secure it in place. When pressing seams, use steam and avoid placing the iron directly on the fabric. Steam lightly and use your fingers to press the seams open, preserving the fabric’s plush appearance.


How to Sew With Velvet and Velveteen

Allow your garment to hang before hemming to ensure an accurate length. Use a hand-blind hem stitch for a clean and discreet hem, ensuring your stitches are nearly invisible on the right side. This method maintains the softness and professional appearance of your velvet creation.


Why is it essential to pay attention to the nap direction when working with velvet and velveteen?

The nap direction determines how the fibers lie on the fabric, influencing the overall appearance. Failing to follow the nap direction can result in mismatched colors and a less cohesive look in your finished garment.

Can I use fusible interfacing with velvet?

No, fusible interfacing is not suitable for velvet. Instead, opt for sew-in interfacing to avoid any damage to the delicate fibers of the fabric.

 Why is it recommended to let the garment hang before hemming?

Allowing the garment to hang overnight helps it settle, ensuring an accurate length for hemming. This step contributes to the overall professional appearance of the finished piece.

Can I use an iron directly on velvet for pressing seams?

No, it’s not advisable to use an iron directly on velvet. Instead, use steam from the iron to lightly press seams, preserving the plush texture. Always avoid direct contact with the iron to prevent crushing the fibers.

What type of pins is best for working with velvet?

Using fine pins, such as silk or pleating pins, is recommended when working with velvet. Place them close to the fabric edge to minimize the risk of creating holes in the delicate material.

How should I store velvet and velveteen fabrics?

Avoid storing these fabrics folded for extended periods, as it can result in unsightly fold lines. Instead, roll the fabrics to maintain their luxurious texture.

Can I use an ordinary sewing machine needle for sewing velvet?

While a universal woven needle works well for mid-weight velvets, investing in a walking foot for your sewing machine is beneficial. The walking foot helps feed the fabric evenly, preventing layers from sliding apart during sewing.

Why is choosing a simple pattern when working with velvet is recommended?

Simple patterns with fewer seams, pleats, and darts are preferred for velvet projects because ironing velvet can be challenging. A simpler pattern ensures a softer look and easier handling of the fabric.

Is it necessary to let the garment hang after cutting before sewing?

While not mandatory, letting the garment hang after cutting allows the fabric to settle, ensuring a more accurate fit during the sewing process.

Can I use a regular thread for sewing velvet?

While regular thread is acceptable, using silk thread is recommended for a more seamless finish, as it blends well with the fabric and minimizes visibility on the right side of the garment.


With these tips, you can confidently embark on your velvet and velveteen sewing projects. Remember to take your time, practice on scraps, and enjoy the luxurious results of working with these exquisite fabrics.