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Tips for Sewing with Spandex


  • Use Ball point or stretch needles and quality polyester thread
  • 4 thread overlock is the best way to sew seams but if you only have a regular machine use a zig zag stitch.
  • Lycra does't fray so the edges can be left raw but for a more finished look turn up and use a twin needle or coverstitch.
  • The greatest direction of stretch should go around the body. Sometimes the greatest direction of stretch may down the fabric and not across, in that case you may need to rotate the pattern pieces if the print allows. If you are cutting a print fabric with the stretch going down the body remember to allow for this when you are making your pattern, you may need to add some width.
  • Always test your stitch on a scrap of fabric before you start and stretch the seam to make sure it doesn't crack before you start sewing your final project.



  • Check the elastic for a comfortable length before sewing it onto the leotard. It is a huge pain to unpick once it's sewn in. The elastic should be cut smaller than the opening and be stretched into the opening.
  • Ensure you evenly stretch and distribute the elastic around the opening
  • Overlock or zig zag elastic onto the wrong side of the opening
  • Turn up elastic edge and zig zag or twin needle to finish edge nicely


Lycra is simply a registered trademark. Shine stock high quality Italian Linel, this is essentially the same fabric & has the same stretch & finish as Lycra ® however does not have the registered trademark.
Shine aim to stock products of the highest quality and range, this is why we have chosen to stock the extensive colour range of Italian Linel.

Have any more questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments.

Happy Sewing!


Shine Trimmings & Fabrics
421 Graham Street, Port Melbourne
VIC 3207 Australia

© 2019 Shine Trimmings & Fabrics. All Rights Reserved.

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