Sewing with Spandex: Tips & Tricks

Spandex is a soft elastic fabric that is often blended with woven fabrics to provide more comfort and flexibility. It has the ability to stretch up to 500% and still recoil to its original size and shape.

Fear_No_Fabric_ Spandex _01_Cover_Photo_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_1200x1200px_FNF Banner

You will find this fabric in swimwear, activewear, and many other garment types. You might like working with spandex, so let me tell you more!

Fear_No_Fabric_ Spandex _02_Spandex_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_470x317px

Fabric Characteristics of Spandex

  • Spandex is a lightweight, soft fabric that is very elastic and durable.
  • There is a wide variety in stretch value and fabric weight.
  • It is often added to woven fabrics to offer comfort and garment ease.
  • May stretch in length, width, or both.

Care and Use of Spandex

  • Spandex is used in swimwear, active sportswear/exercise apparel and foundation garments, as well as everyday garments, like jeans, skirts, and jackets.
  • It is machine washable, but avoid chlorine bleach.
  • Before cutting a pattern, lay spandex flat for 24 hours. Do not hang.
  • Spandex is easily damaged by dull needles and heat.
  • Use ballpoint pins or Clover Wonder Clips.
  • Use a stretch stitch or very narrow zigzag stitch

Recommended BERNINA Presser Feet for Sewing Spandex

A BERNINA Dual Feed Foot such as Reverse Pattern Foot #1D is a great choice for sewing on spandex. This will assist with the even feeding of the fabric.

Fear_No_Fabric_Spandex_03_Reverse_Pattern_Foot_1D_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_400x400px

BERNINA has several presser feet designed for sewing with fabrics like spandex, which may stretch as you sew. The Roller Foot #51, which has rollers on the bottom to move easily over the fabric as you sew is one such foot.

Fear_No_Fabric_Spandex_04_Roller_Foot_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_400x407px

Tips for Sewing on Spandex

  1. Decrease the Presser Foot Pressure on your machine

    This is to prevent stretching the top layer of fabric. Be sure to test sew to decide what setting is best for your fabric type.

Fear_No_Fabric_Spandex_05_Presser_Foot_Pressure_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_900x565px

  1. Use a Ballpoint Needle size 80

Fear_No_Fabric_Spandex_06_Needles_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_570x855px

  1. Use Stretch Thread

    Mettler Seraflex is a new stretch thread that will be a great option for sewing on spandex fabrics.

Spandex Fear_No_Fabric_Spandex_07_Thread_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_570x684px

  1. Narrow Zigzag of Stretch Stitch

    A narrow zigzag or a stretch stitch on your machine will allow for the fabric to give and not “pop” the seam

Super Stretch Stitch

Fear_No_Fabric_Spandex_08_Super_Stretch_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_100x112px

Stretch Stitch

Fear_No_Fabric_Spandex_09_Stretch_BERNINA_WeAllSew_Blog_100x122px

BERNINA Overlockers

An overlocker is a great accessory machine for finishing seams on a project that you used spandex or a spandex blend.  The BERNINA L 890 and L 850 are new overlockers in the BERNINA line and offer more size and space, as well as easy threading with the One-step BERNINA Air Threader. Check out BERNINA Overlockers here.

Fear_No_Fabric_Spandex_10_Overlocker_BERNINA_WeAll Sew_Blog_570x448px

Creating tops and skirts is so easy with spandex-blend fabrics. Learn these new skills to expand your sewing knowledge. Choose an easy project and be sure to test sew before you begin. Enjoy!!

Check out these blog posts on WeAllSew:

Fear No Fabric!

Leave a Reply