View Full Version : Stretchy Fabric, Hard to Sew?

01-05-2003, 08:43 PM
Heyo everybody! I'm working on a Saiyajin outfit and I've found the kind of material I want to use (it resembles spandex), but I've been informed that spandex like material is INCREDIBLY hard to sew. Does anyone have any tips? Twould be very helpful as I need to make this SOON! That and the fabric is kinda expensive and my funds are insanely limited.

01-05-2003, 08:53 PM
Its a bitch, to put it bluntly. I think the trick is to use that 'stabilizer' stuff so that it doesnt stretch out as you are sewing and causing it to be deformed and wrinkly and messy.

01-05-2003, 09:03 PM
Spandex isn't too bad to sew with. Make sure you get needle that will sew stretchy knits, and if their are any spots in the costume that will be tight fitting try using the criss cross stich so it will give the fabric some more stretch. Hope that helps! Oh yea, Lots of pins help too! and LOTS of patience! : ) if you fabric is two way stretch only, make sure you cut your fabric out the right way so it stretches right on your body! *.* I've cut my fabric wrong many times trying to save fabric : (

01-05-2003, 09:21 PM
Well then, thanx for the tips! Oh, and yeah, the ENTIRE SUIT (pants and shirt) are totally tight fitting. Like, um, this!


and this!


Soooooooooooooo yeah. Still need to buy the fabric (gotta wait till jan. 12 so I can use a cupon and save 50%! =^.^=)

01-05-2003, 09:21 PM
oh, p.s.

anyone also know how to deal w/ vinyl? i'm using it for the gloves/boots

01-05-2003, 09:27 PM
When you're sewing vinyl, use wax paper or tissue paper layered over the fabric so it doesn't stick to the foot and sewing machine.

Sewing stretchy fabrics is really not much harder than regular fabric but you should use a stretch stitch so that the stitches don't break when u put on the suit. There was a thread a while back about sewing bodysuits. You could probably do a search for it.

01-05-2003, 09:42 PM
If you have access to a serger, it's by far the best thing for sewing knits. Failing that, you may want to use a *slight* zigzag when you stitch, so that the stitches will have more give when the fabric stretches, and won't automatically break.

A Teflon foot is a godsend when sewing with vinyl and pleather.

Mei Lan Chang
01-05-2003, 09:53 PM
...and if that doesn't work, you could try sewing iron with a rubber needle, it will be equal in level of diffaculty.

Spandex and bathing suit materials are the devil.

01-05-2003, 10:00 PM
ok, first off, what the heck is a serger? Second off, what exactly is a sewing iron? and c, a rubber needle? thats used for sewing rubber right? not....an actual rubber needle (its 11 pm here, i'm becoming slow)

01-05-2003, 10:04 PM
Yea, I use my serger for knits.

Look at the seam that is in the legs of a pair of jeans. It does that "overlock" stitch.

Serging rules. It is SO much faster for big seams.

01-05-2003, 10:05 PM
but what IS a serger exactly, i'm miffed on this point

01-05-2003, 10:38 PM
never mind, i just looked it up

01-05-2003, 10:40 PM
oooooooooooooooooooooooooookay.......sergers = VERY expensive...........::sigh:: now i need to find someone w/ a serger ::tear::

01-05-2003, 10:47 PM
Originally posted by Prince_Bejita
ok, first off, what the heck is a serger? Second off, what exactly is a sewing iron? and c, a rubber needle? thats used for sewing rubber right? not....an actual rubber needle (its 11 pm here, i'm becoming slow)

I think she was joking about sewing iron with a rubber needle being about as difficult as sewing knits. By the way, you can "edit" your posts with the button underneath them, rather than piling posts on top of each other.

Space Invader
01-05-2003, 10:56 PM
Spandex isn't that bad to sew on, you just have to make sure you don't pull on it as you feed it into the machine, or it will get all wavy and ugly. DON'T PULL ON IT. If you don't do that, you'll be fine. As far as stiching vinyl and pleather, do what AJ said. My first experince with sewing pleather = evil. I didn't know about the tissue paper technique, and OH BOY. I had fun. The pleather likes to go down INSIDE the machine and get all caught up in your bobbin and needle, and basically gets destroyed. Ick.

Mei Lan Chang
01-05-2003, 10:56 PM
You must learn never to take me seriously, Bejita. There is no such thing as a rubber needle.

01-06-2003, 04:13 AM
You still haven't told us what a rubber needle is >:( ^^ From my experience, stretchy fabric is just hard to cut, but my first time ever using a sewing machine (apart from destroying it with my brother when I was 3) I used this stretchy fabric that looked kinda like satin and it came out ok.

Mei Lan Chang
01-06-2003, 11:57 AM
Originally posted by Alanna-chan
You still haven't told us what a rubber needle is >:( ^^

Please see my last post, statement two for clarifaction of the matter.

Then proceed to laugh and drop it.

01-06-2003, 01:24 PM
well i said i was tired mei :p due to the X-Mas break, i was staying up till 5 in the morning playing DDRMax and uh, I'm pretty out of it by now. well i can't get my fabric till the 12th anyway cuz i have 50% off coupons that arent useable till......the 12th.......yyyeah.....anyway, the reason i made this thread was because my mom was all "spandex is very hard to sew" cuz she used to work for a clothing store and is very experienced in um, sewing. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnywho, thanks for all the advice guys! now all i gotta do is wait for my hair to grow out........and find purple and yellow hair dye........OH! anyone know where to get that?.....i should probably search the forums...........hmmmmmmmmm......................

note: No, I'm not on any illegal substances..............

01-30-2003, 02:04 PM
Prince_Bejita - Hey, when your done with your costume, I'd love to see it ^_^ (big bejita fan right here)

01-30-2003, 07:53 PM
i hate sewing machines. Everyone that i try, i have to fix the bobbin every 2 minutes. I sew like they would in 1699, by hand. if there's strechy material involved, i sew it together while i wear it, or put it in a wooden quilt ring thing stretched out and sew it like that. it's not as fast as a machine, but it gets the job done.

01-31-2003, 05:58 AM

everyone is saying don't pull, but with spandex or knit, or any stretch fabric, your *supposed* to pull it a little if you are only sewing with a straight stitch. Otherwise the seams will pop or ripple when you put it on. Don't overstretch it while you sew, just stretch it a bit (anywhere in between and stretch) as you feed it through. Afterwards, without putting the iron directly on the fabric, and using a press cloth, steam the heck out of the seams. If it's steamed right, the waves should come right out (also granted you didn't overstretch the fabric while you where sewing) Also, 'straightening' the seams should help too; this is when you pull on either end of a seam to even out any gathers that may have happened in sewing.

01-31-2003, 06:10 AM
stretchy fabrics are TERRIBLE. atleast they have been for me, since i use a really old, really stupid sewing machine that supposedly can do a stretch-stitch... but it refuses to. it always eats the fabric when i try it.... i have no clue about spandex really, but ive had a tough time with stretchy fabrics in past costumes

01-31-2003, 08:38 PM
For me,
sewing with stretchy fabric = ripped fabric

edit: My hand sewing machine is my new love. ^_^

02-02-2003, 08:26 PM
Where did you get the strechy fabric? I need it, too...but I dunno where to find it.

02-02-2003, 10:09 PM
I got it from JoAnn Fabric. It's a lycra/spandex blend and I think it was labled as swimwear or something. I got it in blue, but unfortunetly they sold all the black (my friend needed black) and they don't just get like regular shipments of stuff. They just get what they get.

02-02-2003, 10:13 PM
stratchy fabric*.* goooooooooooooooooood luck with that XD like maryssa said, its a bitch to work with XD lol