How To Sew Stretchy Fabric?

Sewing stretch fabrics is difficult for its flexibility. It’s too tricky, especially when you are new to this task. If you don’t know proper techniques of sewing stretchy fabric, we fear you could ruin the fabric too fast.

In this article, we'll discuss everything you need to know about how to sew stretchy fabric. Let's dig deeper without any delay!

What Is Stretch Fabric?

Stretch fabric is a synthetic fabric that can stretch. These are either two-way stretches or four-way stretches. Two-way means it's stretched in simply one direction, selvage to selvage. Otherwise, four-way means its stretch in both directions, such as crosswise and lengthwise.

Stretch Fabric

Therefore, it's important to use the proper kind of stretchy fabric for sewing projects. People love stretch fabric for its soft and comfortable wearing. These are perfect choices for keeping an active lifestyle.

How To Sew Stretchy Fabric – Step-By-Step Guide

The basic trick is to use the right needle and stitch to keep stretch on the fabric. There's another technique that you need to know, and then set to sew! Here are the steps for sewing stretch fabric.

How To Sew Stretchy Fabric

Choosing Sewing Machine Needle

Firstly, you need to select the right needle for your sewing machine. These are-

Ball Point Needle: Ballpoint needles come in rounded tips to go between knit fibers. Opt-out a ballpoint needle for loosely woven knits. Its sharpened needle can tear holes on woven knit fabric. If you’re worried about any damage to your stretch fabric, simply go for the ballpoint needle.

Stretch Needle: Stretch needle also called a scarf, is another option for sewing stretch fabric. By the way, ballpoint and stretch both needles have rounded tips. This needle is suitable when the ballpoint needle skipped stitches. These are also best on lightweight, tightly-woven knits.

Choosing Sewing Machine Needle

Universal Needle: Universal needles come in a variety of sizes, so you can use them on sturdy or heavy knits. But, you can avoid this sewing machine needle on lightweight knits. If you're unsure about the size of the needle, you can go for the mid-range needle.

Twin Needle: You can consider a double-needle for a professional finish on hems. A twin needle can create a double zigzag stitch with the hems. Check the sewing machine’s manual for instructions to install the needle.

Sewing Seam Setting Selecting

There are two ways to sew seams on stretch fabric. These are-

1. Zig Zag Stitch:

Firstly, zig-zag is the best stretch stitch on any sewing machine. Zig Zag stitch allows the fabric to stretch after sewing. You can adjust the stitch length and width of the zig-zag according to the weight of the fabric.

Zig Zag Stitch

2. Serger/Overlocker:

Secondly, a serger or overlocker machine is another option to sew the seams on knits. Most have 1or 2 needle options but two needles are best for seaming knits with stretch.

  • Baste Before Sewing: You have to baste before sewing a stitch to avoid mistakes. Go to the sewing machine’s baste setting and select the area of stretch fabric you want to sew.
  • Stretch Stitch Setting: You have to select the stretch setting, it provides the best result with stretch fabric. Most sewing machines have this setting, so check out your machine. If you find the stretch stitch setting, baste first and then sew carefully!
  • Zigzag Stitch Using: Zigzag stitch is an alternative to the stretch stitch. It allows the fabric to stretch and keep hems and seams secure. Check your sewing machine’s manual for the set to stretch or zigzag stitch setting.
  • Overedge Stitch Setting: Some advanced sewing machines have overedge stitch settings. If you have this sewing machine, then you can set it to overedge stitch setting. It helps stretch to the hems and seams.

Edge Finishing

Zig Zag With No Finish: No need to finish the edge unless it's loosened woven fabric. It's one of the cool features of stretch fabrics. If it's lightweight knit, then the edge will curl itself with a cute finish.

Edge Finishing

Zig Zag And Trim: You can trim the excess fabrics when you use a zig-zag or stretch stitch on the sewing machine.

Zig Zag With Overlock: No need to neaten at all if you use a serger to sew the seams.

Hem Finishing:

Let's discuss folding the hem-

  • Single Fold: Most of the knit fabrics are folded under simply once. You can keep the single fold with an unfinished edge. Also, you can choose the finish with an overlocked edge and fold under one.
  • Double Fold: Most knit fabrics are hemmed with one fold. However, you can fold them twice, such as with a woven hem.
Hem Finishing

Further Tips

  • Prewash your stretchy fabric before sewing and dry it after sewing. Follow the laundry instructions carefully. If the fabrics need to dry clean, then do so accordingly.
  • Ensure that your cutting of the fabrics is fitting according to your body. Otherwise, you aren't able to go on it! That's disappointing!
  • Don't pull on the stretch fabric when you cut with the edge of the pattern. Place the fabric under the pattern to make sure they don't pull on it.

Final Thoughts

This was all about how to sew stretchy fabric. Right use of needle and stitch is the key to keep stretch on the fabric.

Hopefully, this step-by-step guide will help you to sew stretch fabrics on your own. Let's do it. Happy Sewing!

Editorial-Team
 

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