all my own work by ann

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’.

Top tips for sewing with scuba fabric (from Love Sewing)

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.

 Me – It seemed to take ages to dry after its first wash!! That might be why it seemed like a cold fabric; because it was still damp when it sewed it, 24 hours after washing it. But I will heed this advice and keep it out of the tumble drier. When I washed and dried the finished garment, it dried quite quickly.
It does look like a warm fabric. So therefore, instead of making a short sleeved top, as per the free gift, I made my 6th Grainline Studios Lark, using the long sleeved boat neck version. From tracing the pattern, to final press took less than 2 hours including dealing with the overlocker wobbly, which took several attempts, followed by a lunch break, to fix!
I may yet embellish this. Whilst the colour is lovely, its a vast expanse of lovely colour, that might be better broken up by something. But embellishment sometimes limits a garment’s wear. I’ll have a think.
Why is it that whenever I have bought fabric recently, I have ended up with enough left over to make a skirt? OK I often shorten things, but not by the length of a whole skirt. And I bought 10cm more than the pattern suggested, by rounding up to 2m. In this case, I think that adds up to 14cm.
Anyway, I am not going to make a skirt this time. I am going to see how this wears, particularly in terms of either its warming or cooling properties, and then possibly make a short sleeves T-shirt for the summer.

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This entry was posted on December 29, 2017 by in Fashion, Grainline Studio, Handmade, Lark Tee, Love Sewing, Scuba, Sewing, T-shirt, Tops and tagged , , , , , .
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