Scuba fabric, also known as neoprene, is a versatile material that has gained popularity in the fashion industry due to its durability, stretchiness, and ability to hold its shape. Dress designers prefer scuba fabric for creating skirts, and jackets besides swimwear.
However, working with scuba fabric can be challenging for those who need to become more familiar with its unique properties. In this article, we’ll explore scuba fabric, how to sew a scuba dress and provide tips for sewing with scuba. With these tips and techniques, you can create stunning and fashionable garments with scuba fabric.
What is Scuba Fabric?
Scuba fabric is type of synthetic fabric that is made from a combination of polyester and spandex. Polyester and spandex are combined to create scuba fabric, a form of synthetic fabric. It’s capacity to offer insulation and flotation in water led to its first developed for use in swimsuits. However, due to its distinctive qualities, it has since become prominent in the fashion industry.
Scuba fabric is a double-knit fabric, which means it is created by interlocking two layers of fabric together. This gives it a thicker and more structured feel than other types of fabric. It is also stretchy and has a slight sheen to it, which gives it a modern and fashionable look.
Scuba fabric’s resilience is one of its key advantages. It is a fantastic option for apparel products that need to maintain their design and color over time because it is immune to shrinking, discoloration, and creasing. It may be machine washed, dried, and is also simple to upkeep.
Scuba fabric is available in a range of colors and prints, making it a versatile choice for creating a variety of clothing items. It can be used to create bodycon dresses, pencil skirts, and even bomber jackets. Additionally, scuba fabric is resistant to wrinkles and shrinkage, making it a low-maintenance material that is perfect for everyday wear.
How to Sew a Scuba Dress?
Sewing with scuba fabric can be intimidating for beginners, but it is actually quite simple once you get the hang of it. Also, creating a scuba dress takes some time and care, yet with the correct equipment and methods, it can be a pleasant process.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to sewing a scuba dress:
Step 1: Choose a Pattern
The first step in sewing a scuba dress is to choose a pattern. Look for patterns that are designed specifically for stretch fabrics, as these will be more suitable for scuba fabric. You can also look for patterns labeled as “easy” or “beginner” if you’re new to sewing.
Step 2: Cut Out the Fabric
Once you have chosen your pattern, it’s time to cut out the fabric. Lay the scuba fabric flat on a cutting mat and use sharp scissors or a rotary cutter to cut out the pattern pieces. Ensure you meticulously understand the pattern’s directions and cut the cloth pieces according to their intended shape and dimension.
Step 3: Pin the Fabric
After cutting out the fabric pieces, it’s time to pin them together. Use straight pins to hold the fabric pieces in place, ensuring they’re aligned correctly.
Step 4: Sew the Seams
Once the fabric is pinned together, it’s time to sew the seams. The seams should be sewn in place with a sewing machine and a stretch needle. Apply a stretch stitch to ensure that the fabric can expand without the thread splitting. You can also use a serger sewing machine if you have one, as this will create a clean and professional finish.
Step 5: Hem the Dress
After the seams are sewn, it’s time to hem the dress. Fold the fabric and apply a straight stitch to secure it. You can also use a twin needle for a more professional finish.
(Check out this best sewing machine for dressmaking if you want to buy own sewing machine)
Some Useful Tips for Getting along with Scuba Fabric
Sewing with scuba fabric can be tricky, especially if you’re new to working with stretch fabrics. Here are some tips to help you get the best results when sewing with scuba:
Use a stretch needle: When sewing with scuba fabric, it’s important to use a stretch needle. These needles are designed to move with the fabric, which reduces the risk of the needle breaking or skipping stitches.
Use a walking foot: This sewing machine accessory aids in uniformly feeding the fabric into the needle. This is especially useful when sewing with scuba fabric because it might be challenging to prevent sliding.
Test your stitches: Before stitching the garment, check your stitches to ensure that the tension and stitch length are appropriate.
Use a ballpoint pin: Scuba fabric is stretchy, so it’s important to use a ballpoint pin when pinning the fabric together. These pins will glide through the fabric without snagging or tearing it.
Mark the fabric carefully: Scuba fabric can be difficult to mark with traditional methods, such as chalk or a fabric pen. Instead, try using tailor’s tacks or marking the fabric with pins or clips.
Don’t stretch the fabric: While scuba fabric is stretchy, it’s important not to stretch it too much when sewing. This can lead to fabric puckering or becoming distorted.
Use a lighter-weight thread: When sewing with scuba fabric, use a lighter-weight thread, such as polyester or nylon. This will help to prevent the seams from becoming too bulky.
Press carefully: Scuba fabric can melt or become damaged if exposed to high heat. Use a low heat setting on your iron and press carefully, using a pressing cloth if necessary.
Use a pressing ham: When pressing curved seams, such as those on a dress, use a pressing ham to help shape the fabric.
Finish the edges: Scuba fabric can fray if left unfinished, so it’s important to finish the edges of the fabric. Finishing the edges can be done with a serger or zigzag stitch.
Scuba fabric is a versatile and durable material that can be used to create a wide range of clothing items. While sewing with scuba fabric can be challenging, following these tips and techniques can help you get the best results. You can create beautiful and stylish garments with scuba fabric with a little practice and patience.