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Forum > Beginner's Forum > Stretch cotton for pants - bad idea for beginners? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Stretch cotton for pants - bad idea for beginners?
I tried; they seemed to grow as I sewed
abuelita2  Friend of PR
Member since 6/10/10
Posts: 27
Skill: Intermediate
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Date: 5/1/13 7:39 PM

Goal: BurdaStyle pencil pants 114B. The beautiful royal blue cotton stretch fabric I found looked perfect in the store. Washed it, and funny, seemed heavier than when I bought it. Made the muslin in cotton sheeting: perfect fit!

Cut out the stretch fabric carefully, putting stretch so it "went around the body," sewed it together and voila! It seemed at least one size bigger than the muslin. And it was heavy, and made a swishing noise.

Is cotton stretch too difficult a fabric for a beginner? If not that, what else would work for pencil pants? Preferably something that would not bag in the knees. Thanks, guys.
Nancy K
Nancy K
Member since 12/28/04
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In reply to abuelita2
thumbsup 4 members like this.

Date: 5/1/13 9:48 PM

You made a muslin in a non stretch then pants in a stretch fabric. This is where you need to fit as you sew. Baste or pin pants and try them on. Adjust fit. You need to take int he waist and hip tapering to the knee.
The quality of the fabric has a lot to do with how readily it stretches out and returns to it's former shape. Test it in the store by pulling it on the cross grain. If it ripples when you let it go don't buy it.
I would avoid fabric with high lycra content. A percent or two is great, but very stretchy fabric is tricky to sew.


Scrnme007  Friend of PR
Massachusetts USA
Member since 4/5/11
Posts: 193
Skill: Advanced Beginner
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Date: 5/2/13 0:49 AM

Stretch fabrics are usually cut a little smaller than a nonstretch woven would be. It's ok for beginners, everyone loves a bit of stretch these days. A pattern needs to be tweeked differently for different amounts of stretch or give in a fabric. Fabrics can have 25% stretch, 30% stretch, 50% stretch, 100% stretch... and everything in between 0 to over 100%. The pattern needs to be adjusted for these varying amounts. Certain amounts of stretch are better for different types of patterns. The 2-3% mentioned is a great choice for woven stretch pants. The pattern just needs to be cut a little smaller. Although you are working with a stretch woven, the pattern review class on sewing with knits teaches about the different amounts of stretch and how to evaluate stretch knit fabrics.


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