Swim style sewing tips
Tips on sewing stretch fabrics
Stretch fabrics have a few dos and don’ts just like woven fabrics .If you have never sewn with stretch before, than all I can say is why?
Stretch fabrics offer a whole new world in the choice of designs on offer !Not to mention it can be a lot less complex than sewing traditional woven styles ,which include zippers ,open seams ,facings –shall we go on !
Stretch fabric produce a beautiful fit without panels, darts & so on.
Sewing stretch fabrics
Most of the seams in stretch sewing are sewn on your overlocker ,or stretch stitch from the basic sewing machine .They are generally closed ,not pressed open like woven seams .Necklines are finished with binding most of the time .
Most stretch fabrics do not fray like woven so this also make the sewing process easier.
The stretch factor is varied, low stretch, medium and high stretch fabrics such as lycra.
Some low stretch fabrics only stretch across the fabric (weft) ,to the high stretch fabrics which generally stretch both ways .
You often have to use your own common sense here depending on what you want to make ,feel the fabric test the stretch fabric .The more you work with these fabric the more accustomed you will be with the variations of stretch fabrics. Just like woven fabrics one stretch might suit a style better than another. You will learn to use this to your advantage.
Use a stretch stitch
Use a ball point needle
Use patterns designed for stretch fabrics
A basic machine with a zig zag stitch will get you started.
Over locker /serger machine is a great investment for stretch sewing.
Ok you get the message always use a stretch stitch unless otherwise stated on pattern directions .Most machines have at least 10 different stretch stitches .Have a play with each stitch type .I find the simple zig zag stitch works the best .You will have different widths on your machine in zig zag stitches which are all useful depending on the seam or hem.
Zig zag stitch ,when using this stitch as a hem or top stitch make it a close zig zag (smaller stitch length ) this will give a more professional look .
Over lockers /sergers are invaluable in sewing stretch fabrics; you can often sew almost the entire garment with this machine .It will save you heaps of time also.
If you are lucky enough to have a cover stitch machine, you will know how this machine turns your creations into professional works of Art!
Stretch designs are very different to woven styles in cut and sewing techniques.
Don’t use a pattern for woven designs.
Don’t use a standard needle.
Don’t use the woven methods of sewing seams.
Sewing tips from Swim style!