Friday, 19 February 2016

Silk Velvet Devoré Scarf

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fabrics for Sale Silk Velvet Devoré Scarf

I've got another little bit of unselfish sewing to share with you today and something I'm absolutely delighted with and I hope the recipient is too! I mentioned in last month's Indie Pattern Update that the ladies over at Fabrics for Sale had just launched bundles for making your own velvet scarf. They offered to send me one in return for my review and when I looked at the selection of fabrics on offer this gem of a velvet devoré leapt off the page at me screaming that it was perfect for my Nan. I was sold. Before I was offered a kit I already thought it was a great idea; it's a gorgeous luxurious gift to give someone either made up or in kit form, plus the variety of velvets there are to choose from are to die for!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fabrics for Sale Silk Velvet Devoré Scarf

I'm a big fan of velvet (despite the tricky little thing it can be sew!) and have often pawed devoré's in fabric stores wishing I could think of a reason to use one. Working as a costume supervisor I've seen some absolutely stunning period gowns made up in devoré and can fully appreciate how effectively they can be used. It's sometimes known as a 'burn out' fabric because the designs are created by 'burning away' the pile of velvet in certain areas. Sometimes the pattern is in the raised pile (like the one I've used here) and sometimes the pattern is in the burnt out areas. The effect can sometimes be quite subtle when the base fabric is in the same colour as the pile or can be very distinct as it is here because the backing is lilac and the pile a soft mossy green. That effect can be heightened or reduced by what colour you choose to line your devoré with as the backing tends to be a sheer silk.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fabrics for Sale Silk Velvet Devoré Scarf

In the kit you get a choice of velvet, a choice of silk satin lining, a matching piece of silk habotai (china silk), wadding, the pattern, instructions and a personalised embroidered label. All for £25 plus postage! I did find it a little tricky to work out what colour satin lining would best match my velvet when looking at images on a computer screen by the staff at Fabrics for Sale gave me some great advice so I would recommend asking if you're stuck! I was absolutely delighted with the colour of my satin and habotai when the kit arrived as well as being generally impressed by the quality of the fabrics. I had thought that the habotai was included just as a backing for the sheer devorés so you didn't see wadding through but it actually serves a clever dual purpose and is included in all kits. Along with the wadding it works to trap in heat. Although you wouldn't think it about such a fine fabric the natural fibre of fine silk means it is a great heat retainer as well as being breathable.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fabrics for Sale Silk Velvet Devoré Scarf

The pattern is hand drawn onto dot and cross paper which I quite liked as it felt really personal and practical. I had envisioned it being a simple rectangular shape but the long edges are curved so the ends are wider and it can sit comfortably around your neck. Despite being a simple shape cutting out took me a fair bit of time as you need to cut it from four different fabrics, three of which are very slippery and tricky to handle! It's a real test of your shifty silk cutting skills as later on you have to lay those pieces out on top of each other to stitch around the edges and that brings you face to face with how out of shape things might have got! It's worth being careful with the cutting as if you simply pull edges to match up with each other you scarf won't lay flat when assembled.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fabrics for Sale Silk Velvet Devoré Scarf

I would have liked to have taken more care with the pattern placement of the devore so I could have had one of the motifs running down the centre but as (understandably) only just a little more than you need is provided in the kit I didn't have the choice. This bothered me when I was cutting but now it is made up it's not noticeable like I thought it might have been, certainly not when worn. I've actually just spotted that now when making your fabric selection there is a photo which shows how the scarf pattern would look laid out on that design which gives you a better idea of scale and layout but not necessarily the portion of the design that would be cut for you.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fabrics for Sale Silk Velvet Devoré Scarf

The instructions are brief but comprehensive and come with photographs which are helpful. To be honest it's a very straightforward process so once you've read them through once you're good to go! The process is basically to baste your wadding and silk satin lining together and then the velvet and habotai before bagging these out and slip-stitching the open end closed by hand. I was worried about how my machine might cope with the combination of silks and wadding running over the feed dogs but the little trooper that it always is ploughed straight through with no problem. There was no mention of seam allowance so I just used the edge of my presser foot as a guide when basting and then used a slightly larger 1cm seam allowance when assembling the two parts

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fabrics for Sale Silk Velvet Devoré Scarf

While the steps themselves are very straightforward, the fabric does provide it's own challenge! There's a lot of potential for drag lines and things to get twisted out of shape when working with these delicate fabrics. I used a lot of pins and took time at this stage to make sure that everything was lined up properly to help combat this. You don't want to pull one fabric tighter than another and end up with a weird baggy effect. I used a size 70 sharps needle and also employed my walking foot which made a huge difference as sewing all four layers together gets pretty thick. You're dealing with lots of different layers which all slide about at different speeds so I had a feeling I could use any help I could think of! Another tip I'd advise is to make sure your presser foot pressure isn't too high as you don't want to damage the pile of the velvet.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fabrics for Sale Silk Velvet Devoré Scarf

The one part of the bundle I was unsure of was the embroidered label. While it's a gorgeous touch it seemed to me to be a little chunky to be using on such delicate fabrics. Now I've assembled the scarf and can feel the thickness and structure of it with the wadding inside I actually think it would have worked out fine but I've attached mine to the gift wrapping instead! I did love the idea of adding a label though (which is something I always think about too late when making handmade gifts!) so I switched in one of my own custom woven labels. As the instructions direct, I machine sewed this on before I sandwiched the two parts together and I like how professional it looks done this way.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Fabrics for Sale Silk Velvet Devoré Scarf

I'm really pleased with the result I achieved on this when there was the potential for it to look a little slap dash. It definitely proves that taking the time to think about the best approach before ploughing on in with the scissors or machine is a good idea! I can't wait to see it on my Nan soon.

12 comments:

  1. Stunning! Love the idea of making your own velvet scarf! That fabric is amazing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! The kits are really gorgeous, top quality velvet!

      Delete
  2. Gorgeous choice of fabric. That devore is to die for. I'm sure your nan will be delighted with her gift.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's pretty happy with it yes! I've been told an outfit has already been planned to wear with it! Aren't the colours beautiful together?

      Delete
  3. Beautiful. Wish there was a pattern for that!
    Marcia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Marica, thank you! The pattern comes as part of the kit but it's a very simple shape to try and draw out yourself if you've already got some fabric to use

      Delete
  4. Your lucky Nan! though I'm certain she deserves this. I love this lilac and green combination, and was very interested in your description of the different styles of devoré.
    Baci Sallyxx
    sarsaparillaal.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sally! It's a gorgeous devore isn't it? Made my choice of fabric easy by being so beautiful! Glad I've piqued your interest in this amazing type of fabric

      Delete
  5. I love reading your review because it is so thorough! What a lovely project. As always you choose such beautiful fabric and color combinations! I'm in the U.S. so I'm sure it will be a little costly, but I would love to sew this up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! I'm glad my posts are appreciated, sometimes I feel like they are too long but I just can't stop rambling on about sewing and fabric! I'm not sure what the postage is tp the US but I'm sure you could source some beautiful velvet or devore over there and work the pattern out

      Delete
  6. What a lovely gift Fiona! I'm sure your Nan will feel very special wearing it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Peta, she's delighted with it! I'm looking forward to seeing her wearing it

      Delete

I love hearing from readers of my blog so please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you thought about this post/make! Any hints or tips to improve my sewing are always much appreciated too!