How to sew stretch fabric without falling into despair

Update:10 May 2021

Stretch fabric is a generic Knitted Interlining term fo […]

Stretch fabric is a generic Knitted Interlining term for any textile; knitted or woven, that has a greater amount of recovery and stretch than is normally expected. These textiles can be stretch-woven fabrics, single knits, some double knits, and even bias-cut fabrics.Most stretch fabrics are knits. Jersey fabrics make up a large percentage of this group. The most prominent feature of these fabrics is their 4-way stretch. This means they stretch both crosswise and lengthwise. There are some stretch fabrics  usually heavier ones  that only have a way stretch.


Therefore, it is vital to make sure you check you are using the right kind of stretchy fabric for your project.People love wearing stretchy materials thanks to their innate ability to move and grow with us. They are soft and comfortable and are perfect for keeping up with an active lifestyle.A common misunderstanding about how to sew with stretchy fabrics is that you need to serger. Overlockers or sergers are wonderful at handling stretch fabrics and creating a polished finish, but are they always necessary?


Although a serger can make it quicker to sew with stretchy knits, it is a costly addition to your sewing machine. It is also not imperative for sewing with stretchy textiles. A zigzag stitch on a standard sewing machine can be used as an alternative to a serger.The difficulty some people might find with sewing stretchy fabrics comes from the amount of stretch that certain materials might have. It is important to factor in the percentage of stretch in your chosen fabric, and that it matches the pattern you are working with.


By following a few simple tricks and tips, your knowledge of how to sew stretch fabric will skyrocket. Ensuring the finished seams lie neatly and flat and at the same time don’t break when the garment is used is your endgame.If you are planning on stitching buttonholes in a stretch fabric, we recommend sewing in the direction of least stretch. This can be difficult with a 4-way stretch fabric, but test all sides to see if one has slightly less give. Stabilise the wrong side of the fabric first with fusible interfacing. This should give you a beautiful and stable buttonhole.