Useful Sewing Tips for Working With Spandex or Lycra

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Stretchy fabric is often a trendy and hot commodity. Spandex is an incredibly flexible material that anyone should learn to work with. You can create swimsuits, workout clothing, dance costumes, and more.

While stretch fabrics are more challenging fabrics to work with, don’t let them intimidate you. Keep reading to discover useful sewing tips for working with spandex or Lycra.

What Is Lycra?

Lycra and spandex are the same material. Lycra is the brand name for spandex that DuPont manufactures, and spandex is the generic term.

Like many fabrics, Lycra fabric has a rich and vibrant past. It’s been around for many decades, and once it became popular, it stayed that way. Tailors use it for garments where elasticity is key.

Use the Correct Needle

You must ensure you use the correct needle when working with spandex. The best needle is a stretch needle, but not every sewing machine has this option. The second best is a jersey needle. Both of these will reduce friction and eliminate skipped stitches. You can also use a twin needle to create professional-looking hems on stretch fabric.

Let’s Talk Thread

One thread type you won’t want to work with is any cotton thread type. Some avid sewers swear by a polyester thread when working with spandex. Polyester is incredibly strong and will work well in your sewing machine. Others appreciate wooly nylon thread because of its stretch.

Ensure You Cut the Spandex Correctly

No matter the location of the grainline, cut the pattern to ensure the most significant amount of stretch goes around your body.

Paper Makes an Excellent Stabilizer

Sandwich the fabric between two pieces of paper as you work on it. The paper keeps the feed dogs and presser foot from stretching the fabric too much. You can also use the scraps when you cut out the pattern.

Pin Inside the Seam Allowance

You must pin the material before you begin stitching due to the stretchiness of the Lycra or spandex. Stay inside the seam allowance as you pin it to avoid creating holes in the fabric.

Don’t allow the stretchiness and complexity of spandex to deter you from working with it. Utilize the above sewing tips to help you master Lycra or spandex. Once you brave this sewing frontier, you’ll enjoy what you can create.