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GBSB stretchy fabric masterclass: Active wear

Last night saw the remaining five contestants work up a sweat, as they took on the tricky challenge of active wear. 

In this week’s GBSB Tuesday Tutorial, Simplicity’s sewing expert – Julie Bonnar- shares her top tips for sewing with stretchy fabric …





Ready made sportswear is an expensive purchase so why not challenge your sewing skills, and take advantage of inexpensive stretch fabrics like Lycra and other stretch fabrics.


It’s the stretch in Lycra that makes it comfortable and perfect for this sort of garment but also makes it difficult to sew! So, here are my 5 top tips for making sure you master stretchy fabrics!


1. Check that your choice of pattern calls for Lycra, which has a four-way stretch. With two-way stretch you may find that the fit isn’t so good, and you may need to size down.


2. Ensure the grain line is placed going down the body.


3. Use lots of pins, and pin in the seam allowance to avoid making holes in the fabric. Also I’d recommend a rotary cutter, which helps achieve a smooth finish.


4. Use an overlocker for best results. Or using a sewing machine, use a stretch needle, attach a walking foot and straight stitch needle plate, and use a narrow zigzag stitch.


5. Keep fabric slightly taut when sewing but also careful not to over-stretch – it’s a fine balance.