How to Sew Stretch Fabrics – 3 Simple Steps for Success!
Although there are some difficult stretch fabrics, just as there are some difficult woven fabrics, if you follow three simple steps (choosing needle, thread, and stitch type), you can confidently sew with stretch fabrics every time.
Simple Step #1: Choose a Ballpoint Needle
The sharp needles we use for woven fabrics will tear holes in the knit fibers, so start with a ball point needle if you’re knitting or crocheting – it’s best to start with one.
Simple Step #2: Choose Polyester Thread
When sewing knits, replace cotton thread with polyester thread (which many quilters prefer). Polyester thread has a tiny bit of stretch, making it more resilient when stretching that t-shirt hem. Cotton thread has no stretch at all.
Simple Step #3: Choose a Stretch Stitch
If you’re using polyester thread, a straight seam won’t stretch enough to accommodate the fabric’s stretch; instead, look for a’stretch stitch’ or ‘lightening bolt’ stitch on your machine. A double needle hem is extremely stretchy; I’ve never had one pop.
That’s enough to get you started but if you want more, here are some extra tips:
If you’re new to knitting, there are a few things to look for when purchasing fabric for your first project: pay attention to the ‘direction of stretch,’ and lay your pattern pieces accordingly. When sewing with knit fabrics, some people swear by using a sewing machine walking foot.
What stitch should I use for stretchy material?
A zigzag stitch is the best stitch for stretchy fabric because we need a flexible stitch that can stretch with the fabric. There are different zigzag stitches depending on the fabric and its intended use.
How do you stabilize stretchy fabric?
Clear elastic, starch spray, or stabilizing products like knit stay tape can all be used to secure the cloth before sewing, depending on what you need. Ballpoint pins are a unique technique that can also be used to secure the cloth before sewing.
Can you use straight stitch on stretch fabric?
Stretch the fabric slightly (and gently) as it passes under the presser foot when sewing knits with a straight stitch; to do so, apply equal pressure on both sides of the needle by slightly pulling the fabric.
What is the best stitch for hemming?
Stitch down the hem with a straight stitch in the center needle position; the default stitch length of 2.5 mm works well in most cases, but can be lengthened for heavier/bulkier fabrics.
Why is my fabric puckering when I sew?
Tension pucker occurs when a seam is sewn with too much tension, causing a stretch in the thread. After sewing, the thread relaxes, and as it tries to reclaim its original length, it gathers up the seam, causing the pucker, which is not immediately visible but may become visible later.
What is a 90 14 needle used for?
90/14 u2013 suitable for medium weight fabrics, such as slightly heavier weight cotton, polyester, linen, and lightweight upholstery fabric; lighter weight fabrics, such as silk (chiffon, organza, crepe-de-chine), will require a smaller needle.
What tension should I use on my sewing machine?
So we’ll just talk about the top thread tension because that’s where you’d usually make the adjustments: the dial settings range from 0 to 9, with 4.5 being the ‘default’ setting for normal straight-stitch sewing and most fabrics.
What does a stretch stitch look like on a sewing machine?
It looks like a lightning bolt and works similarly to a zig-zag stitch, except the needle goes back a little to overlap the previous stitch, giving the stretch stitch a more straight-line appearance while remaining just as stretchy.