I inherited three yards of nice black velour from the same stash I got the fabric for this blue dress. I was waiting to sew it up into something awesome, even though you can’t turn three yards into an epic ball gown, and then it hit me that it was the perfect amount for something super simple. Because I have a pattern buying problem, I just happened to find just the thing in my pattern collection – Simplicity 1018. I chose view A with the shorter sleeves since I had only three yards anyways, and it was clearly the best choice.
This was the quickest I have finished a project in a while. From threading up my serger to finishing up the binding edge on the neckline, this dress took maybe six hours. But that’s only because the binding edge took a couple tries. Doing binding edge isn’t hard, the only tricks to it is to pin it down so it’s perfectly even all the way around, and stretch the binding as you are sewing it in. I messed up because my binding ended up being about two inches too short the first time around, probably because my velour wasn’t as stretchy as they were thinking for the pattern, and I did a little bit more than the 3/8 inch seam the pattern allowed on it.
Before I started cutting out the dress, I was extra nervous about the inevitable fuzz explosion that you get when you sew courderoy, velvet, and velveteen, but honestly this stuff wasn’t even half as bad as I was expecting. Only a minor dust cloud, even when with the serger and knife blazing. I made every seam overlocked, and the hem and sleeves are sporting coverstitches. That makes this the most indestructible fuzzy fabric thing I’ve ever sewn. By the way, if you were on the fence about buying an overlock machine: YES they are worth it.
The description on the pattern is pretty accurate, “This comfortable and stylish knit pattern can be worn while lounging around, running errands, or for a night out on the town. ” Although it’s almost too stylish for work or the grocery store, because hello little black velvet dress, but it is so comfortable I might forget and wear it everywhere anyways. Oh and by comfortable I mean, SUPER comfortable, because the velour is irresistibly soft and it’s in my most flattering color ever. The black velvet is rather formal though, and if I do forget and wear it to work, I might need a jacket or something to tone it down a little ironically enough. As a software developer, I have certain dress standards to adhere to, ya know.
I managed to get the nap going the right way all the way around too. The fit is dead perfect too, and not just because knits are so forgiving.
I want to make a few more of these dresses for the summer since it turned out to be fast, comfortable, and extra cute. Probably in something with an adorable print, or a bright color. Next time though, I think I might interface the neckline a tiny bit, just to get it to lay a little flatter. The velour has enough body to get away with it, but anything a little lighter will need a bit more support.
Verdict: This dress is awesome. It has the perfect neckline for 95% of my necklaces. It fits perfectly and is comfortable, so I see this dress becoming a regular in circulation. Although, I might be playing the “is it too formal?” game a bit, because right after my husband took these amazing photos, he insisted on taking me out to a fancy dinner because I was “all dressed up”.