How to Hem Polyester Spandex Dress or Pants Easily (8 Tips)

Stretch can be a pain. Many fabrics have a lot of stretch to them. When it comes time to use them in your sewing project, you may end up pulling your hair out as the hems just do not want to co-operate. This is known as the difficult side of sewing and fabrics.

When it comes to traditional hemming, some fabrics just do not want to go along with the program. That is why you can use fusible tape as a remedy for any hemming problems you encounter. Just don’t stretch the fabric or the tape and you should be fine.

To learn more about hemming this type of stretchy material just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to know about so the task is not as frustrating or hair pulling as it has been. Take a few moments and get up to speed on the tips.

Tip #1: One way to hem stretchy material like polyester and spandex is to use fusible tape. you can always sew a line of stitches after this method has been done.

Tip #2: Wonder Tape, if it is still in production, is a good hemming alternative. Once in place, you can sew over it and it will wash out when it is no longer needed.

Can You Hem Polyester Spandex?


It is possible to hem polyester spandex blends. The key is not to be in a hurry and slow your spm down a little. The biggest worry is stretching the material as you sew. If you slow down some, you may find that the material is easier to hem.

Also, using the two methods already presented, you can save a lot on frustration as fusible tape and other tapes will hold the material where you want it to be. There are different tape options you can use if you do not like one, there is always another version you can try.

Or, instead of using your machine, you can sew the hem by hand. This is a little slower, but you should have less worry about stretching the material as you work. Sewing machines have that tension and feed dog pressure that do not always comply with your wishes.

There are lots of ways to hem polyester spandex. If you can overcome the challenges that material brings to your sewing project then your results should look top-notch. Just don’t listen to anyone who says it can’t be done. it is possible to hem this material if you have what it takes to endure the process.

Tip #3: Tape is your friend as are ballpoint pins. These will not damage the fibers of the spandex and helps avoid any damage being done to the fabric. Just pin and tape carefully so you do not stretch the fabric as you work.

Can You Sew Spandex?

This material is also possible to sew. But the bad news is that it is a tricky fabric to handle and one wrong move can damage the material before you get your project halfway done. One step in the process is to pre-wash the fabric to get the shrink out.

Any fabric can be sewn if you have the right equipment, the right needles, and the right thread. The machine needs to fit the fabric as well. Once you have everything in place, you should be able to sew spandex like any other fabric.

However, spandex is not like every other fabric and it can be slick, stretch on you, and hard to handle. Even if you do have the right machine and equipment, you still have to handle the material correctly to avoid any problems.

If you pull too hard or push too much the fabric can get damaged or lose some of its shape. It is tricky trying to sew with spandex as it is not going to co-operate as other fabrics will. But if you are careful and patient, you should have a successful time with this material.

Tip #4: Instead of using your machine when it comes to hemming this material, try hand sewing. You should be able to pick up the threads needed to get the stitches in place without too much trouble. Plus, you can go at your own pace instead of the pace the sewing machine sets.

Does Spandex Fray When Cut?


There is some good news about working with spandex material. When you cut it, the material usually doesn't fray. It is one of the few materials that you do not need to finish after you cut it.

The key is to keep the edges straight and clean. To do that, you would need a very sharp pair of scissors or a rotary cutter. Even with these tools spandex can be a bit difficult to cut so make sure you have the rest of the material weighed down so it does not move on you as you work.

Being careful at this stage will spare you any of the headaches that normally come with working with spandex material. Then when we say have a sharp pair of scissors or rotary cutter we mean it should be really sharp.

Take the blade of the rotary cutter out and replace it with a new one to make sure it is nice and sharp. It may take a moment or two to do this but the trouble you save yourself is worth the effort. Plus, you will have a cleaner and straighter edge to the fabric.

Tip #5: Polyester thread is always good to use with spandex. But if you like a wooly nylon option is also good. The latter thread is perfect for when you are doing loopers.

How to Hem Spandex Fabric

We have mentioned pre-washing already and you should do that with all fabrics that are known to shrink. Spandex may be made of polyester but it can still lose some of its shape when washed for the first time. Make sure to use cold water and avoid the heat.

Also, we have talked about cutting already so we should not have to repeat ourselves here. Once you get the straight edge you need to move on to the pinning stage. Use ballpoint pins as these rounded ends do not cut any fibers.

When you turn to your sewing machine, insert a ballpoint needle into the needle holder. The same reason applies as it does for pins. You will avoid damaging the fabric if you take the time to do this step.

Once that is done, turn your presser foot pressure to 1 and use a polyester thread. With the polyester thread make sure to use a stitch pattern that allows for stretching. If you do not want to do that, you can use a stretchy thread. But a narrow zig-zag stitch pattern should handle the task well.

The key in sewing spandex is not to pull the fabric as you sew. The pulling will help the material stretch and ruin the look. Plus, you should not let the fabric hang over the edge of your sewing table or another surface. This will also help the material to stretch.

Tip #6: Use a new needle and a size 11 or 14 should work well with this material. Then test your stitches selecting the best one that will work with stretchy material. A straight stitch needle plate is recommended.

How to Hem Polyester Spandex Dress


Most of the instructions we already gave above will work on a dress made from this material. The one key difference would be to change the foot to a blind hem foot. This should keep the hem invisible from the right side of the material.

If you do not have a blind hem foot, or you really don't trust the machine you own, then you can try one of the many fusible or tape options that are available. Some of these may wash out after you have sewn the stitches you want in the hem.

The fusible tape is good as you do not need to worry about putting the right stitches in the hemline. Plus, they iron on very easily once you have it in place. With lots of fusible tape on the market today, you should be able to find one to do the job the way you want it done.

Then, of course, the best way to hem spandex may be by using a serger sewing machine. Since it cuts as it sews, you save yourself a lot of trouble and do not have to handle the material as often as you would using other methods.

Tip #7: Patience is a virtue and you will need lot s of virtue when you sew with spandex. It is a tricky fabric to sew with and it can also be quite fragile. Being careful will be another key when you select this fabric for your next sewing project.

How to Hem Nylon Pants

Any of the ways we have already discussed will work on spandex pants. The easiest method would be to use the fusible or double-sided fabric tapes that hold the fabric together nice and tight.

Some of these tapes will wash out so no one will know that you used them. Some need steam to fuse to the fabric and that is a perfectly good tape option to use. Iron-on tapes don't take a long time either and help minimize the risk of working with this fabric.

Don’t forget to place the pants on your body and pull the material up to where you want the hem to be. Then have someone pin it for you so you do not lose that spot. If the pants are for someone else, make sure the person wearing them is in the room to try them on so you can pin the hem in place.

Double-check the measurement before you have the person take the pants off. Then use all your sewing skills and patience to get the job done right.

Tip #8: When hemming a spandex dress you can try using a double-needle system that places parallel lines on the hem while providing a zig-zag stitch in the center. This option provides you with a neat and clean hem

Hemming Polyester Spandex Pants


As we have said earlier, patience is going to be your best characteristic. it is easy to get frustrated and lose your cool when sewing with this material but if you keep the fabric flat and not have it hanging over an edge, you should do fine.

Then before you get started, test drive a jersey, ballpoint, or a stretch needle to see which one provides the best results. Testing takes a little time but when you want perfect results, they help you see which option will produce that expectation.

At the same time, test out your different threads and stitch patterns. Not only will this save a little time, but you may also find a thread and stitch pattern you have never used before which does better than your normal choices.

There is some trial and error involved here but once you get that stage over, and you do not pull on the material, your hems should look beautiful. take your time as there should be no time demands on you when you work with this fabric.

Some Final Words

Spandex fabric’s reputation precedes it. Almost everyone knows how difficult and tricky it is to work with. But once you overcome those challenges your sewing project results should be something to be admired.

Indirectly, working with spandex can build your sewing confidence. Once you successfully create something other fabrics will seem like a piece of cake to work with.

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