Sewing Stretchy Fabric

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NSC Question

Hi – many thanks for your regular updates! I have been having problems sewing Lycra or any fabric that stretches. Do you have any advice on how to sew stretchy fabrics?

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NSC Answer

When sewing with stretchy fabrics, one of the most important things to consider is your needle. Using the correct needled will make all the difference. For Lycra or any other stretchy fabric, you should sew using a “jersey” or “stretch” needle.

Check out these videos for some more tips on needle selection and sewing with stretchy fabrics:

Choosing the Right Sewing Machine Needles

How to Sew a Swim Skirt

How to Sew a Knit Pencil Skirt

Happy sewing!


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16 Responses to “Sewing Stretchy Fabric”

  1. Caroline

    Wat is a jersey needle ? Do you mean a ball point needle ?

  2. DONNA

    ‬ Hello, I am trying to make a cape/wrap out of a rayon fabric that I like a lot, however it is uncontrollably stretchy. Is there a way to tame it down long enough to add a lining to it. I have thought about a iron on interfacing but wondered about the rayon not holding up to the iron. Thank you for any advice.

  3. Diane

    Hello How do I sew a collar that is stretch tissu

  4. Mary Ann Wiley

    I purchased some beautiful very stretchy fabric which I want to make a dress for our granddaughter. I is necessary for me to have someone to walk me through this project.

  5. Stella

    Learning to see stretch fabris

  6. Yvonne


  7. Dolores Matias

    Is there such tool, sewing machine pressed foot to sew Barbie clothes?

  8. Erlinda Reyes

    I'm sewing a knit long pencil skirt. Do I need to sew the front and back tucks or just attach the elastic band to waist measurement.

  9. Theresa Mahaffey

    In addition to using a stretch, jersey or ball point needle add a roller pressed foot. I find more often than not that the presser foot presser and friction is pushing and the feed dogs are pulling in opposite directions which causes these stretchy k it's to waffle or curl. Not every machine allows the user to adjust the presser foot pressure to balance the push and pull. By switching the presser foot out and using a roller foot, the presser foot stops fighting with the feed dogs and it rolls over the fabric smoothly. Another useful foot is a walking foot. My number one favorite machine to use for sewing knits of any kind is a serger. My Bernina allows me to adjust the feed dogs and the presser of the pressure foot. The seam a serger creates also allows for the stretch and give a knit garment needs, preventing popping or breaking the seams.

  10. Betsy Johnson

    Hello, I made a t-shirt quilt for my daughter. I stabilized the squares before sewing but she said that she sometimes hears the thread breaking when she's using it. Is there a specific kind of thread that should be used when sewing stretchy fabric?