I am Angela and I love to sew. I started sewing as a child and by the time I was a teenager I was wearing the very latest fashions to go out in. All me-made. I am passionate about reducing the amount of textiles sent to landfill, and encourage you to repurpose fabrics and clothes I started this blog in order to have a way in which to pass on my gained knowledge, and my professional knowledge to you, Sewing is empowering, you can save money by making items, make money by selling then, You can pass your knowledge on to others. What is there not to love? Interestingly I am a direct descendant of the Flemish weavers who came over to England in the 1300's. I find that fascinating especially as most of my family from as far back as I can trace are somehow involved in the manufacturing of fabric . . I have a degree in tailoring with a special interest in WW2 fashion.

Wednesday 21 October 2020

Sewing stretch Fabrics the easy way

Sewing for Beginners

An easy to sew dress in fabulous Stretch Velour

I have had such a lot of good feedback from my previous post for Jaycotts about sewing stretch fabrics that I decided to show you a very easy to make and extremely easy to wear stretch dress.
If you think that stretch fabrics are not for you then think again

ain. A figure hugging garment in the correct size looks great on most figures.
This is how to wear a stretch dress

  • Don't make it too clingy or it will show up the lumps and bumps we all have.
  • Choose a thicker fabric with just a small amount of stretch 
  • Choose a darker colour and possibly a print
  • Wear the correct underwear - there is a lot of very good shapewear and it will help you to feel confident
  • Don't be frightened of accentuating your waist with a wide belt

The pattern I chose is McCall's 6886 it can be ordered from Jaycotts on this link.
It is a pattern which uses a medium weight, moderate stretch jersey knit fabric, so it is perfect for what we want.

I talked about how easy it is to sew moderate stretch fabrics on my previous blog post Sewing For beginners , a stretch dress in Ponte Roma if you are reading this on Jaycotts Blog then it is the previous post featuring a red dress or top.
Do please refer to it for the tools and processes needed to sew this fabric. We are just using a stretch needle and a narrow zigzag stitch - nothing complicated.

This dress is so easy to make that you could easily make it in a couple of hours.
Both the front and back are cut on the fold of the fabric. When you are cutting out therefore, don't fold the fabric selvedge to selvedge as we normally do, instead fold it selvedge to centre. This gives you two fold lines for the front and back.
You do need to cut two sleeves so it will be necessary to cut off enough fabric for them - this fabric is folded in the normal way.

If you are using a patterned fabric make sure that the pattern is running in the same direction on each piece.

I have chosen to use my overlocker for neatness and convenience.
They really are incredibly useful and give a great finish to all your seams.
If you haven't got one yet, the prices are good and maybe you should take a look and possibly go and try a few out?

There is a lovely range of overlockers at Jaycotts 

Take a look at the selection here Overlockers at Jaycotts there is some information on the page telling you more about them and if you are still in any doubt then do ring the store for friendly advice on 01244 394099

So what are the alternative seam finishes if you don't have an overlocker?
Some fabrics do not fray, and I demonstrated in my previous blog post how to achieve a neat finish by topstitching.
You could use a zigzag stitch
Or, you could use a Overlock foot If you require a different brand then please ring Jaycotts for alternatives, but so many sewing machines come with them that you probably have one already.
This foot is much underused in my opinion so if you have one then please start using it. Your machine manual will explain the settings you need to use.
I use mine when I am sewing a colour which I do not have an overlock thread for, or if I am just doing a small amount of overlocking. It is very convenient not to have to re -thread an overlocker all the time too.

The construction method for this dress is very simple. Stitch back to front together at the shoulders and finish the seam.
Then for the neckline widen your zigzag stitch slightly  turn the neckline in by 5/8" and stitch in place.

Then sew the sleeves in - it is much easier doing it now before the side seams are sewn. And then sew the sleeve and stress side seams in one operation.

All that is left to do now is to finish the hem and sleeve edges, turn up by 5/8" and stitch down using the slightly wider zigzag as you did for the neckline.
This dress pulls on over your head easily and is exceptionally comfortable to wear. It can be worn with thick tights and boots or with a belt and heels - your choice!

I made another one with slightly longer sleeves in a black lurex and this is another good choice of fabric. I made this dress last year actually and it's a very good dress to have in my wardrobe on days when I need a dress but something a bit comfortable.
Thank you again for all your kind feedback, I am delighted that you took time to write to me.

Happy sewing. Angela xx