I'm a sewing enthusiast in Beacon, New York, with a love of all things retro. This site is all about tutorials, tips, inspiration, and lots of spirited discussion about sewing as it relates to fashion history, pop culture, body image, and gender. My first book, Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, is now out from STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books! Also look for my line "Patterns by Gertie" from Butterick.
Ah, velvet. So lovely, so temperamental. I bought an amazing silk/rayon blend in a gorgeous mulberry color from B&J. At the store, all the velvets are kept on hangers, attached by the selvage with safety pins. For some reason, I never thought to wonder exactly why this was done.
And then I got my velvet home and stored it in a bin, as usual. One day, out of the blue, I was dreaming about my velvet and had a sudden panic: the nap would get crushed if stored folded! Of course! Duh. I rushed to my fabric stash, folded the velvet like an accordion, and hung it from a metal hanger by attaching it by the selvage with safety pins.
Velvet has a short pile that basically has a mind of its own. I like to think of it as one of those brush doormats that make you slip all over the place when you step on them. (I hate those things. Just try stepping on one in high heels. Evil!) If you press velvet directly, or even just look at it wrong, the pile will crush. And, of course, if the pile is flattened in a bin for months on end, it will stay crushed permanently. The only thing to do then is channel a Stevie Nicks look and crush the whole damn thing. I want my velvet to say Hollywood glam rather than "witchy woman", so a non-crushed pile is essential.
So there's a little storage tip for you, readers! Hopefully it's more of the useful variety than the "Duh, Gertie" variety.
The hard thing now is figuring out what to make with my lovely velvet. I was hoping for a peplum jacket, but darts and style lines don't look so great with the nap. I might just need to wrap my naked body in it, toga style, and flounce around the apartment wearing it. It's that fabulous.