Little Black Velvet Dress

What makes a hol­i­day even bet­ter than any ordi­nary day? Design­ing your very own out­fit for the day!

As much as I loved cre­at­ing my Easter out­fits over the years, I never attempted to cre­ate my own Christmas/holiday party dresses.  Typ­i­cally I’m swamped with work and usu­ally wear slacks because of the freez­ing tem­per­a­tures! So regard­less of those things, this year I made it my goal to start & fin­ish a dress for my all my hol­i­day festivities!


 Recently, some­one asked me to sew a cus­tom gar­ment that called for vel­vet. I’m a new­bie when it comes to sewing vel­vet, so I wanted to cre­ate a vel­vet dress for myself before I attempt­ing the cus­tom order.

I remem­ber most of the vel­vet sewing and press­ing tech­niques my past men­tors passed on to me, so I wasn’t afraid to dive in. How­ever, one of the tech­niques was impos­si­ble for me do because I don’t own a nee­dle board. (A nee­dle board is a spe­cial iron­ing board for pressing/steaming vel­vet. It keeps the nap of the vel­vet from flat­ten­ing.)

little black velvet shift burdastyle 130 dress marusya

Just before my fab­ric shop­ping trip, I received the monthly edi­tion of Burda Style
and saw this pat­tern! It imme­di­ately caught my eye, so I decided to make a short ver­sion of this dress using some of the black vel­vet I bought.

little black velvet shift burdastyle 130 dress marusya

How dif­fi­cult was it to cut the velvet?

~I didn’t find it dif­fi­cult. How­ever, I was extra care­ful with lay­ing the pat­tern pieces and mak­ing sure the direc­tion of the pile was the same for each pat­tern piece. 

little black velvet shift burdastyle 130 dress marusya

I LOVED the pleats along the neck­line and waistline

How dif­fi­cult was it to sew the velvet?

~ Vel­vet is some­times expen­sive (since they are all imported to the U.S.) and since I wasn’t look­ing for some­thing expen­sive nor long-lasting, I found this clear­ance black vel­vet. The vel­vet was low qual­ity and it cer­tainly did not feel or look as lux­u­ri­ous as some of the vel­vets I’ve seen in high-end tex­tile boutiques.

Because of the low qual­ity, I think the vel­vet was tougher to work with. First, the vel­vet did not sew smoothly through the machine and required me to use LOTS of pins (which is tedious and time-consuming). Sec­ond, the vel­vet was VERY unfor­giv­ing.  I orig­i­nally sewed a Mal­tese rib­bon along the hem of the dress. When I decided to seam rip out the rib­bon, I dam­aged the vel­vet and you can still see the stitch lines at the hem of the dress :(

little black velvet shift burdastyle 130 dress marusya

Would I sew this pat­tern again?


I love this dress pat­tern! It requires more time and fab­ric than your typ­i­cal shift dress pat­tern, but it’s totally worth it! I plan on mak­ing more dresses with this pattern!

When I first decided to use the Burda Style
dress pat­tern, I didn’t know that the top bodice was 2 pieces (+ fac­ings), so at first I was a lit­tle con­fused when I first started cut­ting & sewing.

little black velvet shift burdastyle 130 dress marusya

The top layer is not attached to the skirt. So one night, I wore the dress with the top layer rolled up! (It made the dress look less boxy and more sleek.)

little black velvet shift burdastyle 130 dress marusya

The back bot­tom black poly­ester bodice layer has an invis­i­ble zip­per, while the top vel­vet layer is open in the back. I  added a snap to the top layer at the waist­line because I wanted to add a but­ton my dad brought back from Malta.

black velvet shift burdastyle dress marusya

But­ton from the Island of Malta

How did you steam/press the vel­vet if you didn’t have a nee­dle board?

~I’m extremely tempted to buy a nee­dle board. It was awful not hav­ing one!

I skipped most of the pressing!

How­ever, I really needed to press out the zip­per because some of the vel­vet moved while sewing (even with the zip­per basted in)! I tried dif­fer­ent things to care­fully press the zip­per seams . But in the end noth­ing really worked and I ruined a patch of the vel­vet along the waistband.

little black velvet shift burdastyle 130 dress marusya

little black velvet shift burdastyle 130 dress marusya

little black velvet shift burdastyle 130 dress marusya

black velvet shift burdastyle dress marusya

8 Thoughts on “Little Black Velvet Dress

  1. Beau­ti­ful Dress. I don’t think I would ever dare to sew velvet.

  2. carriethompson on 01/30/2014 at 12:35 said:

    Beau­ti­ful dress! I’m so happy to have dis­cov­ered your blog and found your ver­sion of this pat­tern — I was also con­sid­er­ing sewing it in a short ver­sion but didn’t know if it would work out well or now. It’s so lovely and chic in black!

    • Thanks Car­rie! Oh please tell me when you make yours. I’d love to see it!
      I want to cre­ate another dress with this pat­tern in a dif­fer­ent fab­ric. I think the details are hard to see with this vel­vet fabric.

  3. Pingback: Easter Dress Marusya Mad Men Challenge Retro Babcha Bolero | Marusya Marusya

  4. nancy on 11/13/2014 at 23:45 said:

    What issue of Burda Style did that pat­tern come from? I have Win­ter 2014 but it is not in that issue. Thanks

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