How to Sew Non-stretch Trim to Stretch Fabric (Sewing Fringe)

This may not be a project you will want to do. While sewing is great as you get those times where out-of-the-box thinking creates something wonderful, the process is not always worth the effort. There is a lot of difficulties attaching not stretch material to stretch material and have the results you want.

This can be a very difficult and complicated process as you may have to sew the non-stretch fringe pieces on one at a time and that could take a lot of time to get done. You may lose a lot of movement in the stretch fabric once you are done.

To learn more about this type of project just continue to read our article. It explores the issue to get you the best information possible. So far, it does not look good as the advice is saying to forget it and replace the non-stretch with stretch fringe.

How to Sew Non-Stretch Trim to Stretch Fabric


The first step would be to cut the non-stretch material on the bias. This diagonal cut is supposed to make the material a little more stretchy. The next step is to gently pull the stretch material as you pin. Once the pinning is done then you can sew.

This action will create a ruffled look and if you do not want that look, then do not pull the stretchy material. That is one method to handle this difficult problem. Another method is to hold the material steady and flat when you get ready to work.

Next, you do a baste stitch along the line where you are going to put your trim material. After that is done, use lots of pins and pin your trim into place, keeping the fabric smooth as you go. When that is done, sew over the pines but go slowly and carefully so you do not break your needle.

Now if the trim is going at the bottom of the stretch material, hem the latter fabric first. This is something that you will find on the many tulle skirts that have been sewn onto leotards, so this can be done without losing a lot of stretch.

Sewing Trim On a Stretchy Fabric


As we have said, this can be a difficult and complicated project to go with. There are some very good reasons why anyone would want to start such a project and those reasons begin with children and grandchildren.

Making sure they have good clothing for their different activities is always a good reason to tackle tough projects like this. The key to it is not just what has already been described but using the right needle and thread.

Since you are going through stretchy material it is advisable to use a needle that works with that style of fabric. Those needles are either a ballpoint or a stretch needle. Then the right type of thread is needed to make sure all the fabrics are secure and can do what they need to do when worn.

Also, the right foot is recommended and you can use either an open toe foot or a satin stitch foot to get the zig-zag stitches in place. A zig-zag stitch pattern should help with keeping the stretch material flexible.

It is possible to use a walking foot as well but this option is not as greatly recommended as the other two foot options are.

How to Sew Fringe On a Stretchy Fabric


The first step is to do the pre-wash. Whether the material is made of natural or synthetic fibers doesn’t matter. You should wash them all first before sewing to avoid problems after you have completed your project.

The next step would be to pick the right tools to use. You want the right needle, thread and you may not be able to use pins because some fabrics are better off without the extra holes. Clips may be better to hold the trim in place while you work.

Then, always start from the same edge when sewing your trim. This will help avoid puckers and make the trim look neater and more professional. When choosing your bobbin thread it is best to pick one that won’t be seen on the top.

Topstitching is the called for stitch pattern at times and a good invisible thread in your bobbin will hide that material from view. Don’t forget to do the basting before you start sewing. You want the trim material to remain in place until you get those permanent stitches in place.

If need be, you can replace the open toe or satin stitch feet with a transparent foot. it may help your view and keep you on a better track.

What Kind of Stitch Do I Use for Stretchy Fabric?


This is something you have to be careful about doing. A straight stitch will work on a stretch material but it won’t stretch with the fabric. That means you will end up with a lot of stitch problems when you are wearing the clothing item.

What is unfortunate is that many sewing machines do not include the type of stretch stitch you would need to work with stretch fabrics. we have already mentioned the top stitch and the zig-zag option but you can go to a lightning stitch pattern if you want.

The triple straight stitch is another fine selection and it is usually called the stretch stitch. The tricot option is also good. Its other name is the 3-step zig-zag and from there you can drop down to the 2-step zig-zag.

After that, you can use the knit stitch or the stretch buttonhole stitch (there may be more than one of these on your sewing machine). We are not going to leave out the blind hem stitch or the honeycomb one either.

In other words, you have a lot of stitch patterns you can try and experiment with. Do a test on some scrap fabric to see which one will work best for you. Of course, you may not have a machine that has all these options built-in and you will be limited to what your sewing machine has to offer.

We did not list all the possible stitch patterns that will work with stretch material so you could probably come up with a lot of options on your own.

What Setting Should I Sew Stretchy Fabric On?


Tension is very important to any sewing project. When you go too loose or too tight you run the risk of ruining your stitch quality. Generally, you should set your tension dials to either #2 or #3. Those settings work with most stretch fabrics.

Make sure to replace the needle in your sewing machine if you have not already done so. Also, change the current needle to a new one so you know that it will be sharp. Then once that is done, do a test on some scrap fabric to make sure you have the tension set at the right marker.

Another thing to remember is that not all stitch types work with every setting or fabric. You will need to make adjustments to the stitch settings to ensure the thread and stitch pattern will work for that particular fabric you want to sew. A long stretch stitch or the zig-zag options are the best ones to use with stretch fabrics.

Then you may need to continue to adjust your tension settings and go from the 2 to 3 level to the 3 to 4 level. This adjustment is for those fabrics that won’t work at the former level.

That is the secret to finding the settings for sewing on stretch fabric. You may end up making a lot of adjustments until you get the right one.

Some Tips for Sewing On Stretchy Fabrics

  • 1. You do not always need to use a serger or an overlocker sewing machine. While these two machines are best with stretch fabrics, you do not always have to use them. A good old-fashioned zig-zag stitch will make up for the lack of a serger in your sewing arsenal.
  • 2. Make sure you match up the amount of stretch in your fabric of choice with the pattern you are using to create your new sewing project.
  • 3. Always pre-wash your stretchy material. Once washed, lay it flat to dry so it won’t lose its shape.
  • 4. When it comes to cutting your stretch material, do not pull on the material as you cut it. Also, do not let the material hang over the edge of your cutting area either.

Some Final Words

If you can handle this type of project, go for it. Just make sure you are using the right tools and settings.

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