Stretch fabric is the coziest of all textiles available in the market. You only need the needle and thread in your hand, a pair of scissors, a stretchy material, and then you can sew different patterns and stitches on it. Read on to know how to sew stretch fabric by hand.
How To Sew Stretch Fabric By Hand
Even though you are used to stitching with a sewing machine, some stitches need to be hand-sewn for immediate purposes, like a popped out button of a shirt. And sometimes, it can also mean following your passion. It would help if you knew which stitches would suit best for a piece of stretchy fabric. Stitches that stretch are the ones you will use for sewing a knit fabric.
What Is A Stretch Fabric?
The name itself is self-explanatory. A stretch fabric is a synthetic textile type that stretches more than any other regular material available in the market. It is so because of the presence of the elastic fiber in it. These stretchy cloth materials are also popularly known as knit or woven fabrics. Elastane, spandex, lycra, etc. are categorized under this type of cloth.
The stretchy material can either be a 4-way stretch that can be stretched horizontally and vertically and a 2-way stretch. The materials with only 2-way stretch ability are comparatively heavier fabrics.
Garments made of stretch fabrics are in trend and are preferred for several other purposes like active wear, sportswear, etc. People prefer this material because they like the comfort these fabrics have to offer and the softness they bring along with them. Also, these materials take the body’s shape and are a favorite choice for those who want to flaunt their assets.
Steps To Sew Stretch Fabric By Hand?
Hand sewing on a stretch fabric can be challenging, but if you have a passion for stitching or sewing a garment for yourself or your loved ones, it will not feel like one. Either way, hand sewing will take a longer time than using a sewing machine. We have rounded up a step by step process to help you understand how to sew a knit fabric with your hands. Without much ado, let us take a look at the steps below.
Step 1: You have to take a needle of the correct size and type for the fabric you are about to start stitching on. The needle matters a lot because your stitches’ quality will depend on it, and also, it will affect the material. A fine needle should do just fine for a knit fabric.
Step 2: After you have chosen the needle, you need to pick the appropriate thread type. Although there is no specific type of thread that has to be used for a piece of stretchy fabric, a regular polyester thread will do the trick for you. This type of thread has elasticity, which will make the stitches stretch along with the fabric. It would be best if you also selected a color that would match the material’s hues.
Step 3: Now, we will begin the action. First, you have to secure the thread to the fabric in your hand.
Step 4: Next, put the needle through a few threads of the material from left to right.
Step 5: Move to the right and insert the thread again. But, now from right to left, through a few threads of the garment’s hem.
Step 6: Gently pull the thread, but you have to be cautious not to tighten the stitch. The tightness should be enough to secure the stitching and that the thread does not come in the way of the other stitches. It would help if you kept in mind that the stitch’s tightness does not curl up the fabric or prevent it from stretching.
Step 7: Keep repeating the steps 3,4,5 and 6 until you have completed the entire hem.
Voila! You have made it. It was not that tough, after all. The stitch gets easy once you get the rhythm of it. Such a stitch can also be utilized to join two fabrics in a fancy way.
Benefits Of Hand Sewing
Though it may seem tiring, hand sewing has its perks. We have listed down a few of the benefits of sewing with your hands below. Let us take a look.
- Better Coordination
There is no denying that when you are sewing with your hand, you use your fingers and brain, and only the equal coordination of these two body parts will deliver the results you desire. This skill is also valuable for children to hone their developing skills and keep their minds and bodies healthy. Sewing with the hand is also known to keep dementia at bay in the long run.
- Better Control
Stitching with your hand provides better control over things. While sewing in a machine, at times, you cannot control certain things like breaking a needle by forgetting to remove it from its place, or some mechanical problem, etc. But if you hand sew, you never have to worry about all such issues and be more cautious of the things’ whereabouts.
Stitching with your hand offers you the option of better portability. You can take it anywhere you want and keep sewing in any position you like. The things you will need by your side are the needle, the thread, a pair of scissors, and the material to stitch on. You would be rid of the burden of taking out your machine and sitting in a fixed position until you are done with the stitching.
- Good For Delicate Fabric
If you plan to stitch on a delicate knit fabric, then hand sewn is a much better option to go with. These fabrics are prone to stretching or curling up or warping and can be taken better care of when dealt with your own hands. A sewing machine with its edges and the accessories may harm the material for good and ruin your garment.
The beneficial feature of stitching with your hands is the fact that it is less expensive. It will cost you less than half the cost of what it requires to buy a sewing machine, the accessories it needs, like a table, etc. and the price for its maintenance. On the other hand, sewing with your hand will only need a pack of needles, scissors, and threads.
What Is A Stretch Stitch?
The standard stitch you will require to sew on a stretchy fabric is known as a stretch stitch. A zigzag stitch falls under this category because it allows the stitches to stretch along with the fabric. It does not force the stitch on the material and will enable it to breathe. The zigzag stitch keeps the shape of the material intact and does not prevent the fabric from stretching.
Can You Use Straight Stitch On A Stretch Fabric?
There is no hard and fast rule that you cannot use a straight stitch on a stretchy material, but it would help if you used stretchable stitches. Stretch material is delicate, and it requires stitches that will not break and pucker and not harm the fabric. A zigzag stitch is an appropriate choice for such materials. However, if you want to sew with a straight stitch, you have to hold the material tightly without pulling it.
What Stitch Should You Use For A Stretchy Material?
To sew on a stretchy material, you will need a stitch that moves along with the material and does not restrict it from stretching. The common stitches that you can use on a stretchy material are a zigzag stitch, stretch stitch, 3 step zigzag, lightning stitch, and though not preferable, a straight stitch is applicable. These stitches are stretchable, too, and do not impose itself harshly on the material.