Nicki LaFoille

Sewing with Velvet

with Nicki LaFoille

Often it seems that the most luxurious and beautiful fabrics are the most difficult to work with. Velvet falls decidedly into that category. In this course Nicki LaFoille takes the fear out of sewing with velvet by demonstrating practical tips for working with this tricky fabric.

Not all velvet varieties play by the same rules. There are a wide variety of velvets made with a variety of fibers, and a lot of different finishing techniques used to create different effects. Nicki will show some of these velvet varieties and talk about the differences between them.

The 3-D structure of velvet affects everything about how it’s handled, including how a pattern is cut out and the marking techniques that are appropriate. The shifting of the velvet pile is never greater than when sewing velvet to velvet. In this course, Nicki demonstrates stabilizing techniques to ensure even seams.

Pressing also requires specific considerations to avoid crushing the beautiful pile that gives velvet its soft texture and organic shine.

There are certain tools and techniques that make sewing velvet smoother and easier and ensure the fabric isn’t damaged. Nicki explains the best needle and thread to use, pattern types that suit velvet best and hem techniques that work best on velvet.

After learning all these great techniques for sewing velvet, Nicki will show you how to sew a velvet circle skirt. This easy project is a great intro to sewing velvet, plus you get instructions on how to draft a circle skirt to your measurements so you can sew it in any fabric you choose.

Velvet can seem intimidating because it’s so different from standard woven or knit fabrics but those differences are what makes it beautiful and unique, and what’s going to your velvet sewing projects noticed.

  • 7 Sessions
  • 1h 42m
Nicki LaFoille

Nicki LaFoille

Nicki LaFoille is a mom of one human and two dogs, who travels with her small family around the country, finding creative inspiration for her sewing and writing. Her novel, Nautical Miles, is available in paperback and for the Kindle. Find out more about Nicki at

Bonus materials available after purchase

Class Resource: Half Circle Skirt Pattern Drafting

Download this PDF for detailed instructions on drafting your pattern for a Half Circle Skirt.

Class Resource: Velvet Varieties

Download this PDF for a complete list of the varieties of velvet along with descriptions of each.

Meet Your Expert

Download this video to hear Nicki share her history of design and learning about different textiles.

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