Stretch Velvet Fulton Sweater Blazer
This post is my honest opinion using fabric and a pattern I received free of charge from Harts Fabric.
I’ve been gravitating towards more fun fabrics and prints lately, and this purple velvet Fulton is no exception! Check out my new wardrobe addition that has me feeling very “Purple Rain”, plus three tips for sewing your own velvet version.
I wanted to make the Fulton Sweater Blazer by Alina Design Co. virtually since the moment it was released, however settling on a fabric for it had me in a bit of a pickle. I eventually ordered some mustard yellow boiled wool to use, but once I had time to sew it, I was no longer feeling it. I tucked the wool away in my studio and began looking for other ideas. I hopped on to the Hart’s website and scoured their fabrics, enthusiastically deciding on this eggplant stretch velvet. Purple velvet isn’t normally a closet staple but I just really wanted to go for it!
I love how this project turned out. Its super comfortable but the velvet also makes me feel like I’ve got my stuff together. And the purple is just eccentric enough for me to feel fashion forward without feeling too self conscious. But with a pattern as excellent as the Fulton, its hard to go wrong anyway. No wonder it took the sewing community by storm!
This purple stretch velvet has more drape and stretch than is normally recommended for the Fulton, but with some compensation its certainly an option for this pattern! Here’s my three tips for sewing a stretch velvet Fulton Sweater Blazer:
Use a cushy towel when ironing
Velvet, generally, doesn’t love to be ironed, but the Fulton has some design features that rely on some pressing to get it right. To work around this, I recommend placing a towel down on the ironing board, and laying your velvet on top of it, pile side down. The loops of the towel create space for the velvet pile so that its not crushed by the iron. I used this method to attach fusible interfacing and neaten the collar with no problems.
Some might say using an iron with velvet is a big no-no, but I’m all about testing it out first. Experiment with your fabric—if you’re able to iron or mark or fold or otherwise manipulate your swatch without affecting the final appearance or feel, then you do you!
Baste. Baste. Baste.
No matter how you slice it, velvet likes to shift. Even when right sides are together, the pile of the velvet can cause the fabric to move and pattern pieces to misalign. To combat this, try basting pieces together before sewing. My machine has an integrated dual feed built in which is invaluable when sewing knits or tricky materials like velvet, but you can also purchase a walking foot attachment for your machine. Use a walking foot and a basting stitch to get your pieces perfectly aligned or better yet, try hand basting your fabric for ultimate control.
Adjust for stretch velvet
Most stretch velvets will have a higher stretch percentage than is recommended for the Fulton, so consider sizing down to accommodate the extra room stretchier fabrics tend to create. Stretch velvet also might have more drape than something like a ponte, double knit, or boiled wool, so you’ll want a sturdier interfacing to preserve the look of the iconic Fulton collar. If I were to make another stretch velvet version I would consider more interfacing to stiffen up the collar and facing because they tend to slouch in this one.
I don’t know if it has anything to do with turning thirty a few months ago, but I’ve been trying (or have plans to try) a lot of new-to-me styles lately, and I certainly didn’t shy away from that inclination with this purple outerwear. Its a good thing I like Prince because I had his songs stuck in my head the whole time I made it and every wear since! But I am all for it. And I even leaned in to the rock vibe with some leopard print booties—who knew I had it in me?
And speaking of leopard print, I already have plans for another Fulton…