I’m your Venus.

So named because this pink monstrosity very nearly became another lost in space UFO in the ‘What was I thinking?’ category.

You may remember that I was planning on making an athleisure style dropped shoulder sweatshirt out of this neon pink velvet. So far, so… good?

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Well, here’s problem #1: It appears people aren’t making athleisure style tops out of neon pink velvet – for very good reasons I might add. A dropped shoulder slouchy top may look great in grey marl or beautiful in black or natty in navy. However, in neon pink velvet it sort of headed into a not so desirable flash back to Juicy Couture or something out of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory *RIP Gene Wilder you genius*

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Problem #2: I don’t try on RTW clothes any more so I have no idea what shape in the althleisure oeuvre would suit me, or if this is even a cut that I should consider.

So after much tweaking, snipping, re-cutting, researching and head-scratching I ended up with this little number. Sort of Barbie meets Reality Bites. I haven’t given it a press yet (see neckline) because the internet scared me about ironing velvet – any tips appreciated.

The jury is out on this one – but at least I have a salvageable garment.  Which does look marginally better IRL than in photos. And lesson learned for the time-being: no more impulse stretch velvet purchases.

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On the other hand, wins with my first ever attempt with a twin needle. My stretch hemming woes are over!! Hallelujah.

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34 thoughts on “I’m your Venus.

  1. I am always impreased by your bravery when it comes to making new garments- even uf they are not a smash hit you seem to be always trying something new and not playing it safe, and for that I commend and envy you!

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  2. Very pretty, Naomi. I like the detail of neckline gathering, or tiny pleats, and from what I’ve observed of fashion on TV it is currently en vogue. The sleeve hems are very nice. I have two books that I seem to remember were recommended by EmilyAnn of https://retroglam.wordpress.com/.
    “Sew Any Fabric, A Quick Reference to Fabrics from A to Z”, 2003 edition, and “Fabric Sewing Guide, Updated Edition” 1994,1989 edition. Both are by Clarie Shaeffer and each is about $5 used.
    She seems to prefer dry-cleaning for velvet in the older book, but in the Sew Any Fabric 2003 edition she relents a little and allows machine wash/dry for “casual designs” if the fabric had been pre-shrunk. In order not to crush the pile, pressing is from the back over a towel. I have seen other ways to care for velvet in older books, one I think showed the velvet being held by one person and another was steaming with an iron. Needleboards are very expensive so I purchased an inexpensive small carding brush for cleaning files at the hardware store that is only wide enough to press seams open, but haven’t tried it out yet. Of the two books, I think “Sew Any Fabric, 2003 edition” is a very nice quick reference. Happy sewing!

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    1. I happily machine washed the velvet before sewing with no consideration whatsoever!!! So we can safely assume it’s been pre-shrunk! I am not a fan of dry-cleaning because of the harmful chemicals and we have no ‘green’ dry cleaners in our area. As my neck gathers may be accidentally ‘on point’ I won’t worry too much as that was the part I wanted to iron 😉 All it takes is one positive comment, and now there’s no need! Thanks Carol.

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  3. I would suggest testing out any experiments in laundering or pressing on a sample. Another issue with some brightly colored fabrics can be bleeding of the color. You would want to avoid getting that in your washing machine. Hand washing of a sample will give you an idea of how to proceed.

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  4. I’d probably just do like Winona there and cut off the neckband altogether. I mean, who’s got the time to iron their athleisure wear?
    If you must, though, use a scrap of the same velvet. The fibers will mesh into each other, less risk of flattening the velvet. It’s not perfect though, a needle board (or just not ironing, see previous athleisure) is the better option.

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  5. I’ve only ever sewn with velvet once and I think I just steamed rather than pressed it. I have seen those needleboards but I think you’d need to be a regular user of velvet to make it worthwhile having one. What I didn’t like was all the tiny little filaments of fabric that I was clearing up for days afterwards! I think you carry off that pink really well, it looks great on you.

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  6. Naomi, the fit is excellent and so is the style. If you can make it in a different knit that’s great. I think I’d call this color Bazooka Bubblegum Pink. That was a brang of gum way back when.

    Before I invested in a needleboard I steamed velvet from the inside out and placed the pile side against the surface of two white towels that were fluffy and clean. That was the advice I read somewhere. It wasn’t such a great idea. The towels were flattened by the steam so they did not support the pile of the velvet. I don’t recommend trying this.

    I also tried hanging the skirt in the bathroom after a shower, but that did little to get out all the wrinkles. The benefit of investing in a needleboard is that you can position the velvet flat and hold the steam iron above is so that the steam is evenly distributed. Then you press section by section. I’ve read that some people press over a hairbrush but that’s such a small surface and it’s also curved. It would be interesting to see photos of that process to see the results.

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    1. Yes – bubble gum pink! That is exactly it. I will try with some spare fabric first and see what results I get. Watch this space! I feel like I would want to invest in a pressing ham before a needle board as it would get so much more use… And an overlocker, a self healing cutting matt, a rotary cutter, every Named pattern ever made… There are so many items on the list I feel like the needleboard may have to fight!

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  7. Aren’t you just loving that twin needle! They are brilliant, and open a whole new world of stretch!
    I just finished making a velvet coat, and because I got the 5m of fabric for £5 I was feeling brave! I steam ironed it as normal and this velvet was fine? There is a velvet board at work, and I’ve never used it. If you have extra fabric, try a test piece!

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  8. It looks really pretty AND super comfortable. And the comment section here was very informative! (Velvet jacket lined up for sewing next week, and it will be my first velvet experience too… I did not even think about the pressing issues until I read here!)

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  9. The neckline looks like a deliberate style to me and I think it’s a very wearable top.
    I’ve been on holiday so I’m a bit late coming in on this, but I use plenty of steam & then finger press seams. Some velvets don’t worry at all about being pressed and for those that do, a towel with plenty of pile seems to work ok.

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  10. Really cute top! I think the shorter sleeves are perfect. Your post is very timely for me, as I have a new craving for velvet. I think the neck line of your top looks like a purposeful design element, LOL, so who needs an iron? I haven’t sewn enough of velvet to have any tips to share, but you’ve inspired me to put a nice piece on my fall wish list. I love my twin needle too by the way.

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