December 19, 2016

Holidays On Trend: A Velvet Upton Dress


I’m not a huge one for trends (no asymmetric hemlines or culottes for me, thanks!) but even I couldn’t help but notice the surge in velvet recently. I’ve been totally inspired by all the amazing stretch velvet Appleton Dresses popping up in my Instagram, and I thought I would try my hand at creating a velvet Upton Dress, my woven fit-and-flare sewing pattern.

Velvet Upton Dress

I picked a really deep forest green velvet from Mood which is a little hard to see in these photos, but it’s has a really gorgeous glimmer when it catches the light. As it happens, this is exactly the colour velvet I wore to my high school dance! Oh, 90s nostalgia.

Velvet Upton Dress

I went with the V-neckline on the front and back (there’s also a scoop option for the front and high neckline for the back), which is my personal favourite combo on the Upton (I know you’re not supposed to play favourites, but I can’t help it!). Sewing with velvet is always somewhat challenging, but with hand-basting, pressing on another piece of velvet, and my best pal Wonder Tape, it turned out pretty well.

Velvet Upton Dress

To glam it up, I lengthened it to a just-past-tea length, and I think with the sweep of the pleated skirt, it has jus the right amount of swoosh. I am considering shortening it by a few more inches, but I’m not sure… what do you think? I’m sure a petticoat underneath would also make it ball-worthy… Now I just need a ball to go to!

Velvet Upton Dress

I definitely feel tres chic wearing it, and I think it’ll be my dress for my family’s visit to a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London, just after Christmas. I haven’t quite figured out what jewelry to wear with it yet, but as it’s a statement dress in itself, I think it even looks pretty great on its own.
Velvet Upton Dress

Where do you stand on the velvet trend? Are you a big fan or running rapidly in the other direction? I’m not sure I’m keen on “day velvet” yet, but for the evening, I’m sold!

23 thoughts on “Holidays On Trend: A Velvet Upton Dress

  1. Rachel says:

    Jenny this is so beautiful! The colour is wonderful on you; I wouldn’t shorten it, I think the length gives it that evening glam feel. I hope the concert lives up to your lovely dress 🙂

  2. Louisa says:

    What a beautiful dress! I like the idea of velvet but it always makes me sad that it isn’t warm and cozy where it touches my skin. I am all about the cozy!

  3. Debbie Cook says:

    You look gorgeous, and green velvet is my favorite! I’ve had a few GV dresses over the years (being a redhead and all). As for jewelry, diamonds of course. Real or fake, but definitely the sparkle is the perfect pairing with green velvet.

    1. Janet says:

      I’m with Debbie – diamonds all the way!

  4. emcclure2010 says:

    This is lovely!! I, too, am totally sucked into this velvet trend…now if only I could actually get something sewn. As far as jewelry…either something super rhinestone-sparkly and shorter or i actually think a long pearl strand could be really pretty. I’m a fan of the 20s-style knotted pearl necklace myself. Or just skip the necklace and go for statement sparkly earrings and a pretty clutch…maybe in a metallic? Lol omg I love acceasories!

  5. Tanya Maile says:

    This is such a stunning dress, Jenny! It’s definitely ball worthy! As far as jewelry goes — maybe just some drop earrings and a bracelet? Or studs and an exquisite pin? This is just so lux and gorgeous, that it doesn’t need much! And yes, I can definitely get on the velvet train, especially as I was riding it already! I have three velvet dresses, a velveteen coat and a velveteen blazer in the queue! 🙂

  6. Anne Shaw says:

    Gorgeous colour – I’m hankering after a jewel velvet and I adore the length.

  7. Marianne says:

    Fabulous! The length is perfect!

  8. Elle says:

    Love the length–and the color is perfect on you.

  9. Addie says:

    This dress is very beautiful on you. Green velvet for winter evenings is perfect. I used to have a vintage black velvet blazer I wore for day and evening but generally prefer velvet for evening.

    As for the length, in my eyes the current longer length feels more traditional (perfect for a holiday concert in London), whereas a length just below the knee would be more current but still classic. Maybe also it’s because this gives me a slightly early-60’s vibe that I am seeing that length. Gold-colored jewelry is always a stunner with dark green! Merry Christmas to you!

  10. Cynthia says:

    You made it? It looks a million dollars on you. The proportions are just right. Lovely a

  11. Abbey says:

    This is fabulous, Jenny! Love the colour on you too. I’m a big statement earring fan, so I’d say some chandelier earrings with an equally beautiful cuff bracelet, maybe.

  12. Clair McLaughlin says:

    Gorgeous!!! As for jewelry, a great cuff bracelet will work and small earrings – let the dress do the talking 🙂

  13. PsychicKathleen says:

    This is SO beautiful Jenny! Stunning 🙂 I think the length is just perfect!

  14. knitmo says:

    What a stunning evening dress. I love the green velvet. I agree with others, simple sprakly — drop earrings and/or bracelet.

    I am generally anti velvet as I, too, had velvet in the 90s. Pair the velvet with an unfortunate princess seamed dress with a very curvaceous teenager unsure of herself and it just brings back all sorts of social anxiety.

    However, now that I can sew a princess seamed dress, that actually has enough material and can fit my bust, I will definitely consider it. Now to have an occasion to wear a velvet dress.

  15. Kat VanB says:

    LOVE IT! 💚 I’ve got another velvet Appleton cut and ready to stitch away right now and you may have convinced me to get the Upton pattern too, great choices.

  16. erniek3 says:

    Thanks for the reminder re: pressing on another piece of velvet (vs the flat cotton ironing board cover). I am hell bent to make my sister the Poiret cocoon coat of her dreams, and it would be just like me to forget that detail and screw it all up.
    Babe-tastic as ever!

  17. Jan Elmore says:

    I believe this dress is simply stunning. You look awesome!

  18. Jewel says:

    I just finished hand sewing the hem on my Christmas dress last night- a Colette Laurel shift dress in the exact shade of green stretch velvet. I feel so very glamorous in it- but also kind of like I am wearing a costume one would wear to a Renaissance Festival! I haven’t blogged in many months but I plan on doing a post on it soon.

  19. Meri says:

    Love this! Did you decide to hem it or leave as is?

  20. tinygoldenpins says:

    I adore velvet for anything. I was a teen/young adult in the 70s and had a green velvet blazer and a vintage black velvet bed jacket that I wore every day and with everything (mostly with my patched and embroidered jeans). I still think about a midnight blue velvet dress that I passed up in Nordstroms 30 years ago. Seriously. Why haven’t I ever made anything in velvet? What’s my problem?

    I adore that green on you and you look stunning. That you’ll be in London wearing it seems absolutely perfect. Just perfect!!!!!

  21. Hi Jen – at which point do you lengthen it? I am planning on an ankle length Upton myself!

    1. At the shorten/lengthen line on the skirt piece

Let me know what you think!