Burnout velvet is, quite simply put, beautiful. The fabric is created by cutting away surface pile from velvet in specific areas, leaving a sheer backing visible behind the outer velvet design. The velvet design of the fabric may be floral, geometric, or abstract. This fabric has many properties of sheers; be sure to read the guide regarding silk sheers for additional information that may be pertinent to your piece of fabric.
Dry-cleaning is recommended for this fabric.
Use a universal 70/10 needle for stitching this fabric. Silk thread is an elegant choice, but may be difficult to find. Use an all cotton thread labeled "embroidery cotton" for construction. You may use a rayon or wooly nylon for special seam finishes or decorative designs.
Think small. Use a 1.5 or 2.0 length for standard seams. Seam finishes are best if they are small and unobtrusive. Use a small French seam for most of your construction for the most elegant seam finish. If you have a serger, you can use a 3-thread balanced stitch for seam finishes; adjust the width of your serged finish to be as small as you can easily handle. For hems, use a rolled hem on the serger, using decorative threads if you like. If you do not own a serger, make your hem a bit deeper than you would use for a non-pile sheer. If using a folded hem of this type, I like a 1 inch hem, and I prefer to bind the hem edge with rayon seam binding or bias-cut thin fabric strips. Another good hem treatment is a facing made from a coordinating sheer. This will eliminate the possibility of show-through from the inside of the garment. Use the same sheer you use for interfacing to make this facing.
Sew-in interfacings are the best choice for burnout velvets. Use silk organza or cotton organdy in a compatable color for interfacing, or, in a pinch, you can use a synthetic sheer cut on the bias.
Tunics, shirts, blouses, tops, shirred or gathered details, ruffles, flounces, draped details, dresses, skirts, evening pants, formalwear, scarves.
Add beading or sequins to dress up your burnout velvet for formalwear. Pair your burnout with other fabrics of a similar weight, such as sheers, for interest in your garment. Use the burnout for the body of the garment, then use a coordinating lace or sheer for the sleeves.
Use a light touch when working with delicate silks. If you have difficulty controllling this fabric when stitching, use a layer of lightweight tear-away stabilizer between the fabric and the feed dogs. Gently pull the stabilizer away after stitching.