Looking for some handy tips for sewing with stretch fabrics? Sewing with stretchy fabric can be a little different if you haven't sewn with it before. You may find some of the tips for sewing with stretch fabrics below helpful. 

  • Always pre-wash your fabric before sewing. If possible, leave it to dry flat so it retains it's shape.
  • Select a polyester thread (cotton thread can break when pulled). 
  • If using a sewing machine set your machine to a basic zigzag stitch. This is the most popular stretch stitch and recommended for beginner sewers, in addition is offered on virtually every modern sewing machine. Other stitches that are good for stretchy fabric include the lightning bolt and three step zigzag. Test out on some scrap fabric which is going to work best for your project.
  • walking foot on your sewing machine when sewing with rib knit fabrics will help to evenly feed the fabric through the feed dogs, thus preventing it from stretching out as you sew.
  • A stretch or ballpoint needle. For more info on needles read my blog post "Know your needles" here.
  • If your finding your fabric is 'wavy' when sewn, try adjusting your differential feed (for an overlocker) or adjust your presser foot tension (for a sewing machine). Ensure you test out the adjustment on some scrap fabric first.
  • If you are planning on stitching buttonholes in a stretch fabric, sew them in the direction of least stretch. Stabilise the wrong side of the fabric first with fusible interfacing or tissue paper. 

I hope you find the above Tips For Sewing With Stretch Fabrics useful. Happy sewing!

The best sewing machine stitches for stretchy fabric explained
Melanie Coultas