Can You Hand Sew Spandex? Tips and Techniques

Fabric is an essential tool in the world of fashion and design, offering a vast array of possibilities for creating unique and stunning garments. Among these materials, spandex stands out as a versatile and stretchable fabric that’s widely used for activewear, swimwear, and other form-fitting clothing. While sewing spandex using a sewing machine is commonly practiced, hand sewing this particular material can present it’s own set of challenges and complexities. By understanding the unique characteristics of spandex, employing suitable tools, and employing specific techniques, individuals can successfully navigate the intricacies of hand stitching this supple and elastic fabric, ultimately turning their creative visions into tangible and tailored spandex creations.

Can You Sew Spandex Fabric?

Sewing with spandex fabric may seem daunting, but with the right techniques, it’s absolutely possible to work with this stretchy material. While owning a serger makes the task easier, you can still sew spandex on a regular sewing machine. The key lies in understanding the fabrics unique properties and making the necessary adjustments.

Firstly, when sewing spandex, it’s important to use the correct needle. A ballpoint needle or stretch needle is recommended, as it helps prevent snags and skipped stitches. These types of needles have rounded tips that glide through the fabric without piercing and potentially damaging the delicate fibers.

Another crucial tip is to use a stretch stitch or a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine. These stitches allow the fabric to stretch without breaking the stitches. The zigzag stitch is particularly useful as it mimics the fabrics stretchiness and prevents popped seams. Experiment with different stitch lengths and widths to find the one that works best for your particular spandex fabric.

Furthermore, using a walking foot attachment can make a significant difference when sewing spandex. This attachment ensures even feeding of the fabric and prevents it from stretching out or puckering. If a walking foot isn’t available, you can also achieve similar results by placing tissue paper or a layer of lightweight interfacing between the fabric and the presser foot.

Ensuring proper tension on your sewing machine is crucial when working with spandex. It’s recommended to test stitch on a scrap piece of fabric before sewing your actual project. Adjust the tension accordingly to avoid loose or tight stitches. Remember, spandex should be sewn with a slight amount of tension to maintain it’s elasticity.

Lastly, it can be beneficial to use a fabric stabilizer or a strip of tissue paper around the seams, especially for curves or hems.

Take your time, practice on scraps, and don’t be afraid to experiment. Soon enough, youll be creating beautiful garments and accessories with this versatile material.

Tips for Sewing Different Types of Spandex Fabrics

When working with different types of spandex fabrics, it’s essential to keep a few tips in mind to ensure successful sewing results. Firstly, always use a ballpoint needle, as it prevents skipping stitches and reduces the risk of fabric damage. Additionally, using a walking foot or a stretch stitch on your sewing machine can help prevent the material from stretching or puckering during stitching. It’s also advisable to test the stitch length and tension on a scrap piece of fabric before starting the actual project. Furthermore, using a quality polyester or nylon thread will provide better stretchability and durability. Remember to avoid ironing spandex fabrics directly; instead, use a pressing cloth or low heat settings to prevent shrinking or melting. Lastly, consider stabilizing seams with elastic or clear elastic tape for added strength and to prevent excessive stretching. By following these tips, you can confidently sew various types of spandex fabrics with ease.

When it comes to sewing spandex, the choice of thread plays a significant role in ensuring quality and durability. Unlike cotton thread, polyester thread is highly recommended for it’s stretchability and strength. This article will dive into the reasons why polyester thread is the ideal choice for working with spandex, discussing it’s properties, benefits, and techniques for sewing success. So, let’s explore how polyester thread can elevate your spandex sewing projects to the next level!

What Kind of Thread Do You Use on Spandex?

Polyester thread is the ideal choice for sewing spandex fabric due to it’s unique properties. Unlike cotton thread, which tends to stretch and break easily, polyester thread offers excellent elasticity and strength. This makes it perfect for handling the stretch and recovery of spandex, ensuring that the stitches remain intact and durable.

When working with spandex, it’s important to consider the fabrics ability to stretch and move with the body. It allows for comfortable wear and ensures that the stitches don’t pop or snap under pressure.

In addition to it’s stretch and durability, polyester thread also offers great colorfastness. This means that it resists fading or running when exposed to sunlight, chlorine, or other chemicals.

It’s ability to adapt to the stretch of the fabric ensures durable and comfortable seams that can withstand repeated use and washing.

How to Properly Thread and Set Up Your Sewing Machine for Sewing Spandex

  • Make sure to carefully read your sewing machine’s manual.
  • Start by selecting the right needle for sewing spandex fabric. A ballpoint or stretch needle is recommended.
  • Thread your sewing machine with high-quality polyester thread that matches the color of your spandex fabric.
  • Insert the needle into the needle holder and tighten it securely.
  • Place a spool of thread on the spool pin and guide the thread through the machine’s threading path, following the arrows or numbers indicated on the machine.
  • Thread the thread through the tension discs and the take-up lever.
  • Insert the end of the thread through the needle eye from front to back.
  • Lower the presser foot lever to hold the thread taut.
  • Hold the thread end with your left hand and turn the handwheel toward you to lower the needle into the fabric, then back up again. This will catch the bobbin thread.
  • Pull both thread tails toward the back of the machine and position them under the presser foot.
  • Ensure that the presser foot is properly positioned and lower it. The spandex fabric should be sandwiched between the presser foot and the feed dogs on the machine.
  • Set your machine to the appropriate stitch length and tension settings for sewing spandex.
  • Start sewing slowly, guiding the fabric with both hands and ensuring it remains flat and taut.
  • Backstitch at the beginning and end of your sewing seams to secure them.
  • Take breaks as needed to prevent your sewing machine from overheating.
  • After sewing, trim any excess threads and inspect your seams to ensure they’re secure and even.
  • Clean and maintain your sewing machine regularly to keep it in good working condition.

Hemming spandex or any stretch fabric can be a bit challenging, but with the right techniques, it can be done easily using a sewing machine. One effective method is to place the fabric wrong side up on your work surface and fold the edge over to achieve the desired length. Then, using a proper hemming stitch designed for stretch fabrics, sew along the edge of the fold. This technique will give your stretch fabric a clean and professional finish.

How Do You Hem Spandex With a Sewing Machine?

When it comes to hemming spandex with a sewing machine, there are a few steps you can follow to achieve a clean and professional finish. Start by placing the fabric wrong side up on your work surface. This will allow you to see where the hemline should fall and make it easier to fold the fabric over to the desired length.

To sew the hem, use a sewing machine with a hemming stitch specifically designed for stretch fabrics. This stitch will allow the fabric to stretch without breaking the thread. Guide the fabric through the machine, sewing along the edge of the fold. Take your time to ensure accuracy and even stitching.

If youre not familiar with hemming stretch fabrics, it’s always a good idea to practice on scrap fabric first. This will help you get a feel for how the machine handles spandex and allow you to make any necessary adjustments before working on your final project.

Remember to trim any excess fabric and finish the edges to prevent fraying. You can use a serger or a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine to achieve this. Just make sure that the finished edges are secure and won’t unravel over time.

It may take a bit of practice to get it right, but with patience and the right tools, youll be able to tackle any stretch fabric project with confidence!

What Hand Sewing Stitch for Spandex?

When it comes to sewing spandex, choosing the right stitch is crucial to ensure a strong and flexible seam. One popular hand sewing stitch for spandex is the stretch stitch, often referred to as the herringbone stitch. It’s unique structure allows for added elasticity and durability, making it ideal for working with stretchy fabrics. Unlike a straightforward stitch, the stretch stitch prevents the seam from popping or breaking when sewn on knit fabrics, ensuring a reliable hold.

Quilt making is another area where the stretch stitch can excel. Spandex can be used as a quilt backing, providing a unique and modern twist to traditional quilts. By using the stretch stitch, the backing will have the elasticity needed to endure the tug and pull of the quilt layers, preventing any damage or puckering. Whether youre working on a classic or contemporary quilt design, the stretch stitch will be your trusty hand sewing companion.

To create the herringbone stitch, start by anchoring the thread on the fabrics wrong side. Bring the needle up through the fabric, approximately a stitch length away, and then take a diagonal stitch in the opposite direction. Repeat this process, alternating the direction of the stitches, until the desired seam length is achieved. This stitch creates a zigzag pattern resembling the bones of a fish, hence the name “herringbone.”

Source: SEWING BY HAND | Most Important Stitches to Know