The fashion world fabrics are categorized into different groups for easy identification, with synthetic and natural being the primary classification. However, there are also some sub-categories like stretchy and non-stretchy fabrics.
These two sub-classifications can take the form of synthetic or natural or even be made of both materials. In essence, as a sewist, there’s no way you can avoid working with any of these two materials (stretchy and non-stretchy) because, basically, they are the two major sub-classifications.
In fact, on some occasions, you may have to deal with both to construct a particular style or design (joining Garment trim to fabrics), which many find quite challenging. For this purpose, I will be discussing extensively on how to make non-stretch Trim to stretch fabric in this helpful article.
How do you sew non-stretch Trim to stretch fabric?
- Wash both the Trim and the stretch fabric before you start to sew. This is an important step, especially when you are working with materials that shrink a lot. Doing so will help prevent the garment from ruffling.
- Position the Trim on the top of the fabric to allow you to determine where to start and also have absolute control over the direction your sewing is taking. To prevent the Trim from shifting, you can hold them with pins.
- Pin the Trim around the fabric and ensure that they are evenly aligned. Also, make sure that you can see the edge of the stretchy fabric when you peep through the Trim. After finishing the edge of the material, this process will have a fine edge.
- Fold the trim end into the fabric by tucking it in. That’s why it is often recommended to always leave about 1/2 inch over the Trim outside the material. The folding should be done in such a way that the fold line will align with the fabric’s vertical edge.
- Hand-baste the Trim before using the sewing machine to help hold the stretchy fabric and the Trim in place. However, ensure that the basting is not super tight so that it can be easy for you to remove the hand stitch after using the sewing machine. You should also remove the pin during the process.
- Sew over the border of the Trim to secure it further. An excellent way to do this is by making a zigzag stitch on the hem using a satin stitch.
- Take out the basting with scissors, and you are done!
How to make the non-stretch fabric stretch
- Wet the fabric to get it damp but not soggy by sprinkling water on it or running it under the sink. Then lay it flat on a towel.
- Pre-wash the fabric according to the care required to pre-shrink it and make working with it easier.
- Cut the fabric in the shape or pattern of your desire.
- Sew a zigzag stitch close to the fabric edge and make sure to backstitch both at the beginning and the end of each line.
- Pull the thread as gently as you can in each direction and stretch the fabric along.
- Do not stretch too hard because the fabric may tear.
- Get rid of the excess thread, and your fabric should be stretchy henceforth.
What’s the best stitch for stretchy fabrics?
The best stitch you can use for stretchy fabrics is a zigzag stitch. With this stitching style, you can stretch the material, and it will retract with the thread. In this kind of stitching, 2 rows of zigzag stitching will be made, giving your project a more secure stitch and a professional finish.
What needle do you use for stretchy fabric?
The best needle to use for stretchy fabric is a ballpoint needle. This needle is also known as the jersey or stretch needle. This type of needle is ideal because sewing stretchy fabrics with regular needles can cause them to tear.
How do you sew stretch lace trim?
- Make sure the edge of the fabric is finished before you attach the stretch lace trim. After that, fold the fabric edge at the point of attaching under twice and hold it in place by stitching it with a sewing machine.
- Organize the lace trim on the fabric to your desire and pin the lace to the material. If you are working with tough fabric like cotton, you can use a pin, but if the fabric is delicate, like silk, use a tap instead to hold the lace.
- Put your sewing machine on to narrow zigzag stitch. This setting is usually labeled differently, but the most common is “stitch width.”
- Set the sewing machine stitch length selector to one. Usually, the stitch length selector has settings from 0 to 5, where 0 is the lowest, and it means the fabric will not be propelled forward, alleging you to stitch nonstop on the same spot.
- Sew the lace trim edge to the fabric in a zigzag motion and tight stitch. This will ensure that it is attached firmly to the material even if the needle misses some spot on the lace because of the holes.
- Cut all loose threads and check the lace trim. If necessary, sew the bottom and the top of the lace to the fabric to secure them more.
Do I need a special thread for stretchy fabric?
No, you do not need a special thread for stretchy fabrics. You may need a special needle for your stretchy fabrics because regular needles can cause them to tear.
But the case is different with thread: you do not need particular thread as the regular thread will also stretch when you pull the fabric. However, you may want to avoid using cotton thread though because it may break when the material is pulled.