The velvet was not hard to come by, with all the sales going on, and I really loved the hand-dyed look of this purplish blue.
It’s rayon – fortunately this one was marked – and has a luxurious weight and soft drape.
At the beginning, I enjoyed working with this velvet because of its extreme softness and cool, slippery feel. However, by the time I had hand-basted every dart and seam, sewn the zipper crooked, and taken three tries to get the hem tape on straight, I was starting to have unloving feelings toward it. It was shifty, unpredictable, and oversensitive, and at times I thought it was possessed by demons. In the end I managed to get a skirt that looks very nice on the outside, and all the little messes on the inside will just be a reminder to me that velvet is, after all, a serious undertaking.
The extra 12 inches were utilized by folding in three inches on each side of the center front to the midpoint to create the wide center pleat. With the pleat basted in place, I sewed up the side seams and fitted it, adding the necessary darts.
The velvet is delicate so I lined it with this pretty blue. The lining is polyester, and I'm hoping it behaves itself. The hem is bound with rayon tape. Next time I might consider using either a wider hem tape or a cotton bias tape to reduce the slipping and sliding.
The finished product (slight color difference in sunlight/indoor light). I LOVE the pleat – it adds visual interest as well as walking ease.
This was a nice conclusion to my velvet sewing binge; I think I’m over it until next year!