Spandex is an excellent fabric for your clothes as it stretches with your body. Also, it is easy to care for and thus has stood the test of time since it came to the market in the 1950s. Therefore, Spandex has been ideal for various outfits such as skating costumes, gymnastics and exercise wear, dance costumes, and swimwear. But, there is a point to note_The material requires a little finesse to stitch. So, let’s discuss how to sew spandex with a serger.
Sewing spandex with a serger is not a difficult process. However, it would help if you had the right tools and techniques to deliver perfect stitches. In addition, sewing spandex with a serger is probably one of the best ways to stitch the fabric. Therefore, whether you are making a superhero outfit or simple wear-at-home garments, using a serger is a perfect choice.
Additionally, this guide provides all the relevant information you need to get started on Spandex. Therefore, please read it carefully and improve your sewing techniques on the Spandex.
What Needle Do You Use to Sew Spandex?
A needle is one of the tools you need to sew Spandex. Pretty obvious, right? But, you need to invest in a size 11 or 14 and ensure that it is compatible with your sewing machine. On top of that, it would be best to get a stretch needle as it prevents skipped stitches. Again, be sure that it is a size 11 or 14.
In addition, ensure that you have patience as you sew stretchy materials. Pause occasionally and readjust the raw edge’s alignment. So, don’t rush it_put the needle down and make necessary adjustments to the edges.
Now that we are talking about the needle to use with Spandex, we should also discuss the most suitable needle plate for the job. Spandex pulls into the feed dogs, and you may want to get a straight stitch needle plate. Hence, since the small needle hole on the plate prevents fabrics from pulling down into them, the needle plate works perfectly for delicate materials.
However, if your sewing machine does not work with straight stitch needle plates, or you can’t access one, place small tape pieces at the needle hole’s back and front. This move will reduce the plate’s size and, you can have a smooth sewing session.
Can you sew spandex fabric?
A successful spandex sewing session must have the correct supplies. Below are the essential accessories for the job.
The needle you choose for any sewing project directly affects the stitch quality. Thus, get a needle that works for the serger machine and fabric.
- The Thread
Spandex is a delicate fabric, and it would be best to select a polyester thread. However, if you have a serger, you can use any good-quality thread. But still, a normal polyester serger thread will do the magic.
Also, mind the thread color and ensure that it rhymes with the spandex material. Thus, if the fabric has a solid hue, sew stitches with the same color.
- Sharp scissors
Sharp scissors are a perfect way to get precise cuts and maintain the fabric’s shape. So, dull scissors are out of the question for spandex sewing.
- Teflon foot
This accessory is optional. But, even so, it helps during the finishing sews. Therefore, it would be best if you have it for the job.
Now that we have the most important tools let us dive in!
- Prepare the material for sewing by pre-washing it. Also, please note that spending on the material blend, the fabric may shrink during the first wash. This move will ensure that the garment is in check and does not shrink after washing.
- Once the fabric dries, choose the correct needle for the project. Ballpoint, jersey, and stretch needles are ideal as they prevent Spandex from tearing. They also avoid drop stitches.
- Get a rotary cutter or a sharp pair of scissors and cut straight edges. Also, ensure that you place the material on a cutting mat if you use a rotary cutter.
- Pin the fabric with ballpoint pins and secure the seam allowance. These pins also do not sever the fabric threads and slide between the material effortlessly. Therefore, even if you damage the fabric, the holes will not be visible.
- Check if the material’s most flexible part wraps around the body. Spandex comes in a four, and two-way stretch_the four-way stretch material expands horizontally and vertically, whereas the two-way stretch expands horizontally.
- Use an all-purpose polyester thread as it helps you to optimize the stitch setting and allows the fabric to stretch.
- Set up the serger unit to a narrow zigzag stitch. The stitch is suitable for spandex fabric and delivers a slack that allows the material to stretch. In addition, ensure that the stitch is within 0.5 to 1.5mm.
- Avoid pulling the fabric during stitching as it causes puckering. Also, don’t leave the material hanging over the work surface’s edges.
As we discussed earlier, sewing spandex requires a certain expertise level. So, let me give additional tips that will make your work easier.
- Always use a new needle, and if your machine can work with a stretch needle, the better!
- Use scrap spandex to test the stitch quality and make necessary tension and stitch length adjustments.
- Also, remember to keep it slightly stretched to prevent puckering.
What Is the Best Stitch for Stretchy Fabric?
The best stitch for a stretchy fabric should hold firmly on the material. Also, it should stretch with the fabric to prevent breaking and puckering.
There are a variety of stitches to adopt for these delicate fabrics, and they are as follows.
- Narrow zigzag. Go for a narrow setup and ensure that the stitch length and width are equal.
- Overedge stitch. It locks the fabric’s edge and ensures that you stitch and finish in one pass.
- Straight stretch stitch. The stitch looks like three straight stitch parallel rows.
- Twin-needle stitch. It would help if you had a twin needle to deliver this stitch_because the bobbin thread gives a zigzag design, whereas you have two parallel stitching rows on the fabric’s right side.
NB: You can consider a different presser foot for the stitches. A walking foot accessory or a dual feed foot will help keep one fabric layer stretching out during stitching. However, ensure that you get a compatible one for the sewing unit.
How Do You Sew Spandex Pants?
First, free the Spandex from creases by letting it rest for a while. So, lay it flat for some hours and allow the creases to fall out. Then, cut the material with a sharp pair of scissors. Also, you can get an electric cloth cutting machine.
Ensure that the Spandex does not stretch as you make the cuts as it compromises the measurements and ruins the fabric. In addition, cut one piece at a time to allow for accurate cuts.
In addition, if you want to keep the material as flat as possible during the cutting process, it would be best to pin it down.
Then, consider the stretch’s direction and go all around the pants you want to make. Also, measure the waist and ensure that you match the stretch. Please note that if it does not match, even the best thread will not deliver accurate results.
On top of that, ensure that you match the stretch quality to keep them from breaking. Therefore, check the stretch’s quality and match it with the pants’ fabric.
It would help if you also considered the available sewing machine. For example, if you have a serger that seams the edges without additional stitching, good for you! However, brace yourself to make more stitches for finishing purposes if it does not have such capabilities.
Additionally, as you sew the seams, stretch the fabric to get the Spandex’s maximum stretchiness level.
On the other hand, if you use a sewing machine, first check the stretch quality. Then, begin with one corner and move slowly but surely towards the other end. Also, be sure to stretch the material as you would do with a serger to help get the highest stretchiness level.
How Do You Sew a Hem On Spandex?
As you already know, Spandex shrinks during the first wash. Therefore, be sure to wash it before you begin stitching. Also, do not panic when the material loses its shape slightly because of the polyester component.
That said, avoid heat and use cold water for maximum benefits.
You also know that ballpoint pins are ideal accessories to keep straight edges and preserve the material. Therefore, take time to do this process.
Once the pins are in place, set the presser foot pressure to one and get a polyester thread. However, if you do not have a polyester thread, use any other high-quality stretchy thread. On top of that, a zigzag stitch pattern will serve you well.
Remember, the secret to successful spandex sewing is not to pull the material during stitching. The process stretches the fabric and ultimately ruins the look. In addition, place the fabric’s edge on the sewing table as it helps to preserve the material.
How Do You Hand Sew Spandex Material?
Hand sewing spandex is challenging, but you can easily learn and enhance your skills if you have a stitching passion. However, be ready to spend some time working as hand sewing takes a longer time than having a sewing unit.
The following steps will help you deliver the right stitches.
- Get the correct needle, preferably a size 11 or 14.
- Select the most appropriate thread that allows the stitches to stretch with the spandex material. Also, select a color that matches the fabric’s hues.
- Then, secure the thread to the material and put the needle through from left to right.
- Move to the right and sew the thread once more. However, this time you will proceed from right to left.
- Pull the thread gently to keep the stitch from tightening.
- Finally, repeat the above steps until you have a finished hem.
Although hand sewing spandex is tedious and time-consuming, it has numerous advantages. For example, the process gives you better brain, hand, and fingers coordination. So, it is the perfect skill to keep your body and mind healthy.
In addition, hand stitching offers portability and flexibility as you can do it wherever. Also, all you need is a pair of scissors, the fabric, a thread, and the needle.
On top of that, the process is appropriate for delicate fabrics such as Spandex. Hand sewing allows you to take care of the fabric better than a sewing machine.
How Do You Stabilize Spandex Fabric?
Use paper as a stabilizer as you sew spandex fabric. It keeps the feed dogs and the presser foot from stretching the material excessively. Also, save scraps as you cut the pattern and sandwich the material between two pieces during stitching.
Does Spandex Fray When Cut?
It seems that Spandex is a complicated fabric to sew. But, fortunately, it does not fray when cut. Moreover, it is one of the few fabrics that do not need finishing after cutting.
On top of that, once you have a rotary cutter or a sharp pair of scissors, you will deliver clean and straight edges. However, it would help you pay attention at this stage because the minute you get it right, you are good to go!
Can You Use Straight Stitch On Stretch Fabric?
A straight stitch will not deliver accurate results for your stretchy fabric, but it can help if you already have stretchable stitches.
Stretch fabric is delicate, and you need stitches that do not break, pucker, or harm the material. So, a zigzag stitch is an excellent choice.
Nonetheless, if you must use a straight stitch, be sure to hold the fabric tightly without pulling it.
How Do You Sew Stretchy Fabric Into a Serger?
Sewing stretchy fabric into a serger is quite simple, especially if you are ready to follow the correct procedure to the last detail. Moreover, a serger will get you results in a matter of minutes.
In addition, the section on how to sew spandex fabric gives us the tools and the procedure in detail. So, since Spandex is an example of stretchy fabric, the hows and whats are the same.
However, let me give you a summary to get you started.
- Ensure that you get a size 11 to 14 stretch needle, ballpoint pins, sharp scissors, and a polyester thread.
- Pre-wash the fabric before stitching to prevent shrinking. Also, ensure that the fabric does not hang or drape from the machine to keep it from excessive stretching.
- Consider stitches that work best for stretchy fabric, such as the barrow zigzag stitch, straight stretch stitch, overedge stitch, and twin-needle stitch.
- It would be best that you set your stitch to 0.5 to 1.5mm.
- Lastly, avoid pulling the material as you sew to prevent puckering.
How Do I Sew Stretchy Fabric Without a Serger?
What if I do not have a serger_Does that mean that I cannot work with Spandex or stretchy materials? You may ask. It is possible and easy to sew these materials without the serger. Check out the instructions below.
- Use a home sewing machine, but ensure that you employ the proper methods and techniques.
- Get a walking foot to keep the seam from getting wavy or puckering. The fabric’s top layer may not feed fast through the unit and thus, may stretch. On top of that, the attachment helps you to deliver perfect stitches on slightly sticky fabric such as faux leather.
- Sew the panels but ensure that you adhere to individual designs. Also, regardless of the outfit you want to deliver, assemble the fabric’s back and front completely before sewing.
- Finish the raw edges such as the cuffs, ankles, neckline, and armhole by creating a hem around it. This stage is easy because you fold the fabric’s edge and sew. Also, you can use any stretch stitches on your sewing machine. However, a straight stitch works best to create a visible stitch design on the material’s exterior.
How Do You Cut and Sew Spandex?
Spandex is usually harder to sew as it is stretchy. Thus, if you are not careful, it is easy to damage it during cutting and sewing. However, just like any stretchy fabric, ensure that you pre-wash it before sewing. Also, use sharp scissors or a rotary cutter to get your desired pieces.
The next step is to pin the fabric with ballpoint pins and set the pressure foot on light pressure. Then, set the sewing unit on a narrow zigzag stitch and begin sewing with an all-purpose polyester thread.
Let me break down the sewing process further.
- Set up a ballpoint needle in the sewing machine_Would you, please avoid regular needles as they may cut through the fabric fibers and ruin them? In addition, ballpoint needles have rounded tips that glide through the fabric effortlessly.
- Adjust the presser foot attachment to one. Ensure that you balance the pressure as too much of it would pull on the material and cause puckered seams.
- Thread sewing unit with an all-purpose polyester thread that matches the fabric’s color. However, it is not compulsory to use a special stretchy thread because you can always use a stitch setting that allows the material to stretch during stitching.
- Set the machine to a narrow zigzag stitch as it is the most suitable for Spandex. The stitch also allows the material to stretch, and thus it remains in good shape until you finish sewing.
- Don’t pull the spandex fabric during sewing. Also, keep it from hanging on the working surface.
How Do You Fix Spandex?
Spandex material provides various merits to the user. They include comfortability and durability. However, when the material tears, rips, or frays, you may struggle to fix it. A simple darning job appropriate for non-stretch fabrics does not apply to stretchy fabrics.
Therefore, follow through the next paragraphs to get an accurate strategy to fix this delicate material.
Once you notice an unwelcome change on your spandex clothing, do not panic. Remember that although Spandex is a ‘stern’ material, it still goes through wear and tear. So, before you get rid of it, why not try some repair strategies?
For instance, if you have a hole in the fabric, an easy way to handle it is a simple sew-on patch technique.
You need to have a size ten stretch sewing needle, a pair of scissors, polyester thread, pins, and spare Spandex. Then, follow the following steps.
- Cut out a ¼ inch patch bigger than the hole’s diameter from the excess fabric.
- Use a zigzag stitch and sew the patch. Also, if you have a large hole, it would be best to sew around its diameter to keep it from fraying later. On the other hand, if the hole is too small, run it over from different directions.
- Cutaway the excess material, and there you go!
NB: It would be best if you keep old and unwanted spandex clothes. They will come in handy during these spandex fixing sessions.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why Should I Use a Serger To Sew Spandex?
Although many people prefer a sewing machine for most sewing projects, a serger comes in handy if you want to deliver excellent stitches on spandex material.
For example, a serger makes the fabric more manageable. Therefore, the sewing session becomes easier than if you had a home sewing machine. In addition, the serger will deliver the stitches in no time.
Spandex fabric provides numerous benefits to users more than fingers can count_Clothes from the material are adaptable, comfortable, and easy to wear. In addition, Spandex will help you showcase your pro sewing skills as it is a sophisticated-to-sew material. Therefore, if you haven’t used a serger on Spandex or worked with the fabric at all, it is about time you engage in the topic;
How to Sew Spandex With a Serger.
Spandex is easy to sew with a serger if you have the correct procedure and tools. For example, you should always remember to pre-wash the material to keep the final product from shrinking. Also, be sure to use a stretch needle as it preserves the fabric, and don’t let it hang on the work surface.
It is pretty simple to work with Spandex, and with the guidelines in this article, guess what your next project should be? A spandex garment!