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Finding/Sewing Stretch Wovens

susan1970 | Posted in The Archives on

Anyone have experience with the new stretch wovens ? I would love to make some office and evening clothes, but I’m having trouble finding it locally…and I’m not quite sure what to do once I
get it!
Do I use a stretch or non-stretch pattern? If a non-stretch pattern, do I add ease? How much? What needle? Help!!!


  1. lin_hendrix | | #1

    Hi Susan,

    I'm interested in this discussion too! I just purchased some wonderfully drapey wine wool with spandex. I'm planning on making pants.

    With knit fabrics the amount of ease one adds is based on the amount of stretch and recovery. I imagine it's the same for any stretchy fabric. You'll need to take into consideration whether your fabric stretches in length or width or both. Ease is subtracted for greater stretch.

    In general, I was planning on using my basic darted trouser pattern and subtracting about 1/4" from the sides and inseam (front and back). Shortening the crotch about 1/4" and leaving everything else alone.

    If you're interested in the fabric I bought I'm sure the store would mail you swatches of all their stretchy wovens (they had a decent selection): Kay's Fabrics, 518 W Arapaho Rd, Richardson, TX 75080, (972) 234-5111. I was traveling thru Dallas and I visit this store whenever I can.


    1. Ginna | | #2

      *Lin - Isn't Kay's great? I live in Plano and can get there on Thursday nights and on weekends - I work full time. I try to limit my visits - I could spend a fortune there.

      1. lin_hendrix | | #3

        *Hi Ginna, Yes, I looove Kay's. I live in Austin so it's only when I've got to be in the Dallas area that I get to visit. It's so sad, there's only one really good fabric store here in Austin and it's small. I have to save up my fabric buying ya-yas for those trips.--lin

        1. susan1970 | | #4

          *You two are so sweet! Thank you, Lin, I will give your advice a shot...and call Kay's as soon as I'm recovered from this month's bender... A new SERGER!! Whoopee! I'll have a good reason to practice, no? ; )

          1. Bill_Stewart | | #5

            *Susan, I do a lot of alterations, and the stretch wovens in ready to wear stretch only around the body or crossgrain, not in the lenthwise. I use a new, sharp 11 needle and have great success. Unless it is a weird blend with stretch any needlemarks press out easily. If in doubt test a scrap. If you have a lenght and cross grain stretch, you will probably need to use a tiny zigziag so it will stretch more easily and let you press seams flat. As an alternative you can serge. If it is cross grain stretch only you really don't need to alter you pattern if the stretch is minimal, as in the ready to wear fabrics. It is only supposed to have a small give to make wearing more comfortable. If it has a lot of stretch or more than 1" over several you'll need to adjust.

          2. fit2sew | | #6

            *Susan1970> I'm having the same problem finding stretch wovens. I have found lots of patterns for them in Burda's WORLD OF FASHION magazines. If you don't like tracing out the patterns, try Burda patterns from your fabric store. They print individual styles in the same format as the other pattern companies.

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