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Ten Tips for Sewing Swimwear Fabrics

Susan Wigley, Paragon Patterns


TIP 1: When you apply the swim wear elastic, lay the elastic on the bed of the machine with the fabric on top, then serge the elastic on.

TIP 2: If you are fortunate enough to have a cover stitch machine, use it for all of the hems.

TIP 3: If you don't have a cover stitch machine, use a twin needle for all of your hems.

Tip 4: Sew the side seams from the bottom to the top on both sides to avoid twisting.

Tip 5: A Serger will produce the best results for sewing the seams, however, if you don't have a serger, use a zigzag stitch set at 16-20 stitches per inch. You can also use a straight stretch stitch, set at 10-12 stitches per inch.

TIP 6: Always check your Swimwear Lycra for the greatest stretch before you lay out the pattern.

TIP 7: Lay out the pattern with the greatest stretch going around the body, regardless of the grainline indicated on the pattern. (Often times the greatest stretch is on the cross-grain, rather than the straight grain).

TIP 8: If you can find 4-way stretch Swimwear Lycra in the colors or prints you like, use that.

Tip 9: Always use Swimwear Elastic, Clear Elastic or Raw Rubber Elastic for your swimwear to get best results.

Tip 10: Always use ball point needles when you sew swimwear fabrics to avoid tearing holes in the seams.

 By Susan Wigley 1999

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