Sewing and textiles with Ann
I’ve been a bit put off scuba, despite a number of perfectly good looking scuba garments out there is the blogoshere.
It was Love Sewing Issue 47 which persuaded me, with its guide to sewing with scuba. I had noticed that Barry’s had a wide range of the fabric, so decided that a Christmas holiday project would be to ‘give it a go’.
LS > This fabric can vary in thicknesses, be sure what you are buying when purchasing scuba fabric online
LS> Scuba cuts easily, try a smaller rotary cutter for any intricate cutting sections.
Me – agreed. I don’t use my rotary cutter very often but it is a stable fabric to cut and cut easily with the cutter. In fact, its a joy to lay out and cut compared with other knits!
LS >Prewash scuba as you should with any other fabric.
Me> Yes, pre-wash, of course. It doesn’t hold its colour above a certain temperature. I can’t tell you what that temperature is, but it came out of the tap….. A cool wash was fine.
LS >Use a stretch or ballpoint needle to prevent snagging and slipping
Me – agreed.
LS > Try using a walking foot to help avoid bunching beneath the presser foot. This will help to evenly feed the scuba fabric as you sew, for perfect results.
Me – agreed.
LS> Use scuba for structured garments as you won’t need a lining, perfect for autumn and winter wear to keep you warm. Worth bearing in mind breathability when picking this fabric, you might not want to wear a clingy scuba dress on a hot day!
Me – My initial impression is that it is a cold fabric, but that was on quite a cold day. When I wore it later on a mild winter day, it was fine….
LS> It doesn’t have to be used just for tight fitting dresses, you can create a nice drapey effect with scuba.
LS> You can leave edges raw, but we think it looks nicer finished. Try using a bias bound hem.
Me – I overlocked the raw edge, turned it once, and then used my recently discovered stretch zig zag stitch to get a decorative finish. It looks good!
LS > Unpicking can be tricky and can leave marks… take extra care!
LS > If you use an overlocker take care as the extra bulk of scuba fabric can cause problems. It’s best to trim seams by hand and then overlock with the knife disengaged.
Me – I was recently sewing fleece, which is thicker than the scuba that I have used. The overlocker was fine, even over seams, although it did throw a wobbly at the end of one of the side seams. But then overlockers throw wobblies from time to time. I have no reason to blame this one on the fabric.
LS > Be sure to iron scuba on a low setting, this fabric will mark or even melt if iron too hot. The fabric is thick, so extra attention to pressing will give the best results.
Me – On a low setting it ironed fine. I was even able to give hems a light press before sewing.
LS > Wash scuba garments at 30 or 40 degrees and avoid the tumble dryer, high temperatures will damage scuba fabric.