How To Sew Stretchy Fabric Without Puckering

Sewing a stretchy fabric is difficult for many sewists. This is because every time they sew on this fabric, it results in puckering. This result spoils the fabric and the sewist’s confidence. It is possible, however, to sew stretchy fabrics without puckering. A skill that, if they gain, many sewists will love working with stretchy fabrics.

How to Sew Stretchy Fabric without Puckering?

There are a few tricks you can use to sew stretch fabric without puckering. One of the most common tricks is using a zigzag stitch. You can also use a twin needle or choose a polyester thread to sew your stretchy fabrics.

Read on to see how you can apply these tricks and more to reduce puckering in your stretchy fabric.

Tips to Stop the Stretchy Fabric From Puckering

Choice of needle

When sewing with stretchy fabric, the choice of the needle that you use matters. To sew stretchy fabric without puckering, you have two needle types to choose from. You can choose the twin needle or the ballpoint needle. Both of these needle types help you to prevent puckering when you use them to sew a piece of stretchy fabric. A ballpoint needle has a rounded tip that does not pore holes onto your stretchy fabric. A twin needle creates a stitch that brings together the stretch fabric instead of pulling apart which causes puckering.

Choice of thread

Another way to ensure that stretchy fabric does not pucker is to choose a thread that handles stretch fabric well. Many sewists propose that you use polyester thread for this purpose. Polyester thread does not stretch much. Hence why it is a good choice. Do not use cotton thread when you sew stretchy fabric. It is easy to break and cause puckering.

Stitches you use

When you sew stretchy fabric, there are certain stitches you should stick to. The narrow zigzag stitch is highly recommended. You can also set your sewing machine to stretch stitch which stretches with the fabric thus eliminating puckering. Also, check for lightning stitch on your sewing machine stitch settings. It is also good for sewing stretchy fabric.

Use tissue

You can also use tissue to ensure that your stretchy fabric is not puckered. Place a tissue on the fabric that you are sewing so that the needle hits the tissue before it gets to the fabric. Tug gently on the fabric as you sew. In the end, cut the sewing threads. This is an effective method to prevent puckering on stretchy fabric. Remove the tissue from the fabric after sewing. You can also use printing or pattern paper if you do not have a tissue nearby.

Use a cover stitch machine

A cover stitch machine provides high-quality stitching on stretchy fabric. It prevents puckering and stretching of the fabric.

Tips to Cut Stretch Fabric

Before you sew on stretchy fabric, you need to know how to cut it properly. The first thing you need to know before you start cutting the fabric is that it has a grain. This means how the thread runs on the fabric. Stretchy fabric has threads running vertically and horizontally. You will therefore find that one side stretches more than the other. When cutting this fabric, make sure that you follow the grain so that you do not have one part that stretches more than the other.

Another way to cut stretchy fabric properly is to fold it. Cut the fabric at a fold. Fold your fabric, at the point where you want to cut it.

Check for similar patterns on a piece of printed fabric. See how the pattern repeats itself on the fabric and find out the fabric’s grain. Cut along the grain to cut parts that stretch evenly.

Types of Stretchy Fabrics

There are different types of stretchy fabrics. Stretch fabrics make clothes that can stretch when worn. Clothes made from stretch fabric fit easily and are comfortable when worn.

Stretchy fabrics are classified into two. The first category of stretch fabrics is known as 2-way stretch fabrics. These are fabrics that stretch only in a single direction. 4-way stretch fabrics are fabrics that stretch all around.

Examples of stretchy fabrics include knit fabrics. Knit fabrics are available in different types. Jersey knits are knit fabrics used to make sportswear. Woolen jersey fabric makes sweaters while cotton jersey makes t-shirts. These are some of the common stretch knit fabrics.

Latex or rubber is the other form of stretch fabrics. Rubber is mostly used to make safety gear such as gloves.

Spandex is another form of stretchy fabric. Spandex expands 3 to 4 times its original size. It is an example of 4-way stretch fabrics. It makes comfortable clothes that are worn in many situations. Spandex is found in many forms. This comes as a result of spandex being blended with other fabrics. Spandex can be blended with cotton, polyester, satin, velvet, and even nylon among other fabrics.

How to Sew Knit Fabrics

Knit fabrics are part of the stretch fabrics available in the market. They are known as knit fabrics because they are made from fabrics being knit together. The other type of fabric is known as woven fabric. Woven fabrics are threads woven together.

Sewing knit fabric is similar to sewing other stretch fabrics. You need to choose your needles and threads as mentioned earlier. Use polyester threads and ballpoint needles when sewing knit fabrics to avoid puckering.

Also, ensure you adjust the thread tension and stitch length on the sewing machine settings. Set the thread tension between 4 and 5 and the thread length between 3 and 4. These are the appropriate settings for sewing knit and other stretchy fabrics. These settings will ensure that the fabrics you are sewing will not pucker.

You can also use a serger to sew your knit fabrics. A serger machine sews fabric in one step. This makes it an effective and efficient machine to sew knit fabrics.

Use a Walking Foot to Sew Stretch Fabric

To prevent your stretch fabric from puckering, a walking foot is another sewing machine accessory you can use. A walking foot looks difficult to use, intimidating even, if it’s the first time you are using it. But it is not. It has built-in feed dogs that pull your fabric at the same rate as the sewing machines. This ensures that your stretch fabric does not pucker. It provides stability to the fabric, as it is sewn.

The walking foot is easy to install on your sewing machine. To install it, you need to remove the foot on the sewing machine. It has a lever that goes to the needle holder and a hook that you wind around the screw of the sewing foot. Fasten it to the screw for a tight fit when sewing.

For stretch fabrics, the walking foot makes good zigzag stitches. It also ensures that your stretch fabrics are held on tightly to the machine. This prevents puckering and missed stitches as the fabric cannot move around freely.

Sewing with Stretchy Fabric

When you have mastered the best stitches, needles, and threads to use, sewing on stretchy fabric is quite easy. Practice how to sew on these fabrics regularly. You will comfortably sew on them in no time. There are a lot of projects you can carry out to master this skill.

You can sew a lot of things with stretchy fabric. You could start by sewing some comfortable clothes to wear at home before you get into commercial projects. You can also make sports attire with this fabric.

Clothes made from stretchy fabric have grown in popularity over time. This is because of their comfort and style. Learning how to sew on stretchy fabric without puckering is a skill every sewing enthusiast needs to master.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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