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Sunday, 18 December 2016

How to sew with Scuba. A very easy top to make


I have made this top before in different guises but you know me, I like to get full value from a pattern, and besides if I find one I like I stick with it and look for different ways to use it.


Even if you have not sewn with Scuba yet you will have seen blogs where people have used it, and you will have seen it because most of the bigger fabric shops such as Minerva Crafts Scuba And Abakhan Fabrics Scuba sell it. You will also see it in close fitting Bodycon or bandage dresses.
So what is Scuba?
It is a new "technical" textile made mostly from Polyester. It is made into close fitting garments and has a four way stretch. Usually it will stretch more one way than the other so when you are cutting your garment out you need the biggest stretch going across the body.It is a double knit fabric which can be textured or smooth.
Each fibre is produced in a very low denier which produces a springy,smooth surfaced fabric It often has Lycra knitted into it, about 4%. Lycra is used so that it holds its shape well. It is fairly similar to a Ponte Roma but it is more springy to the touch and has more drape, although you would  not compare it to a single jersey which has plenty of drape.
It is very form fitting and is popular for close fitting dresses, leggings and tops. It is not breathable as it is after all made from a close knit polyester so I doubt if I would ever make a summer dress out of it. A slinky close fitting party dress however would be superb.
Some people confuse it with Neoprene, this is totally different so do not be put off. Neoprene has a rubbery fabric sandwiched between two layers of fabric which are made usually from  a polyester/ Spandex mix. You will see this fabric on sports equipment especially wet suits.
Ok, thats the science bit over.
If you have never seen with Scuba before, now is your chance .
This is my Winter White easy to sew Scuba top. Difficulty level? It is suitable for total beginners.





The pattern I am using is my old favourite Butterick 6132 available from Jaycotts.co.uk Butterick Very Easy top pattern I have made this many times before , you can see previous blog posts on this link How to sew warm jersey tops This post also shows you how to use your overedge foot in your regular sewing machine. Details of how to purchase the foot are on that blog too. It's worth a read so do hope over to it when you have read this one.




This is a textured Scuba, available in many colours and designs as above. If you buy a plain fabric and you own an embroidery machine you need to stabilise your fabric by attaching an adhesive stabiliser to the back before embroidering. It will stretch if your stabiliser if not firm enough or stuck omto the fabric properly


I wanted to make the top a little bit longer than previous. It is so easy to do that I did not cut new pattern pieces, I marked the new cutting line straight onto the fabric. I have used this pattern before so I was confident enough to do this. You may prefer to make new pattern pieces if you have not done this type of alteration before.
The tools I used to mark the fabric are firstly an air vanishing marker pen Air disappearing marker pen These pens are fabulous but do test your fabric first to make sure that it does disappear. And take care not to iron over fresh markings as there is a possibility they could become permanent. You also need a ruler or why not try this from Clover? Clover 5 in 1 gauge this is a great tool for measuring seam allowances and hems and much more.


This top is easy to put together. You need to select a narrow zig zag stitch and a stretch needle Stretch needles a new needle for every project is important, and in particular you definitely need a stretch needle for any sort of stretch fabric. A new needle is not a luxury, it makes sense. Did you know that many "broken" machines just require something as simple as a new needle? I have heard women boast that they have used the same needle for years, and are surprised when the machine keeps stopping and problems arise!
To start,  join the shoulder seams and overlock or zigzag the seam edge. Stay stitch the neckline to prevent it from stretching
I did not interface the collar, it depends on the fabric you use.if you are using a lightweight jersey I would use some stretch interfacing.
Stitch the collar piece into a circle, press, then wrong sides together baste the lower edge.



Attach the collar and stitch in the ditch to hold it in place. (Stitch within  the join between to parts of the garment)



The collar is A-symetrical , make sure that the seams match won't you.
Run a basting stitch along the top of the sleeve inside the seam allowance and use this to ease the sleeve in place. It is much easier to insert the sleeve now , before you stitch the side seams


Pin and stitch the under arm and side seam all in one go. Don't forget to neaten the seams as you go.


Overlock or zig zag the sleeve edge and hem and turn up to your desired length. Pin on the right side and top stitch with a long very narrow zigzag. I did not press my fabric much. I used a pressing cloth where. I had to and otherwise I used a blast of steam from my iron.


This is one of the easiest tops you can make, Scuba is a well behaved fabric too so you should not have any problems with it. If you remember Crimpelene the textured ones do remind me a little bit of the appearance of it, but it feels nothing like it! Scuba is soft and springy.


I would like to wish you all A very happy Christmas , my next blog will be in the new year when we will be exploring different machine feet and some other new projects

I wish all at  Jaycotts.co.uk Contact Jaycotts a very happy Christmas and a successful 2017.Thank you for supporting me throughout this rather challenging year.

Best wishes also to Minerva Crafts Contact Minerva Crafts

Happy Christmas to you my followers, you are very much appreciated and it is you who make my blog so very successful.

Angela xx