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The Versatility Of Scuba Knits

To say I was excited to get my hands on this Scuba Knit Fabric is a massive understatement. To be totally honest I couldn’t decide what to make. Should ! create a jumpsuit? A dress? Some wide-leg pants to wear on my next vacation? If I did go with a jumpsuit how could I possibly decide what kind of top to settle on? Then I got an idea… what if I created them all?

When most people think of a scuba-knit fabric, they think of dresses and circle skirts. In creating this project (or projects) I wanted to prove that there are more ways to use scuba knit than basic dresses. I wanted to show you how easy it was to create a variety of pieces from this beautiful textile.

Scuba knit is double-knit fabric that feels soft and luxurious and stable all at the same time. It offers the most incredible support to structured pieces and is surprisingly easy to sew since it doesn’t require interfacing or linings like more lightweight fabrics. This fabric came in the most adorable tropical print and didn’t need to be lined since scuba knits are already thicker and come with a built-in structured drape.

While I was drafting my patterns, I prepped my fabric by washing it in cold water. High heat can damage scuba knits so I recommend washing them in cold water and using an iron on the lowest setting to prevent damaging your fabric. I also let the fabric air-dry since the excess heat in tumble drying can damage scuba knits.

When cutting patterns with this fabric, I used a rotary cutter rather than my regular scissors to make extra smooth edges. Since scuba fabric doesn’t roll and has such a flattering drape to begin with, I left all of the hemlines raw and made my projects that much easier to sew. Creating smooth cuts with my rotary blade gave the hemlines a clean finish with less effort. It’s a win-win! For the armholes on both of my tops, I made some binding from the scrap fabric to create a cohesive look and sewed it together with my serger. The hemline of my skirt was finished by folding the hemline under ½ inch and sewing with a twin needle.

To prepare my sewing machines for this project, I used a ballpoint needle to prevent any snagging or slipping. I also used a walking foot to prevent any bunching under the presser foot. It really helped feed the fabric through the sewing machine before it started slipping.

The first garment I made was the wide leg palazzo pant. If you are just getting started pattern-making, I have a full tutorial on how to draft this pattern yourself on my website, complete with free printables and lots of photos. These pants are legitimately just as comfortable as my pajama pants but are far more acceptable to wear in public. Haha! The pull-on waistband is super comfortable and I love the support and stretch of this fabric. It holds everything in without being uncomfortable or restricting. But maybe the best part of making your own pants is the inseam. For my entire adult life I’ve had the worst time buying pants that were long enough in a store. But that’s the magic in making your own clothes right? Everything fits exactly the way you want in the fabric you want.

From there I went on to assemble the other three pieces to mix and match. My second project was the tank shirt. I love the draped bib detail that adds a bit more interest to a basic tank.

From there, I created the one-shoulder top and the skirt. To draft your own draped pattern details like the ruffled on this one-shoulder top, you can use the basic measurements in making a circle skirt and customize the opening to fit the area you’d like to add detail to. I like using this method to add draped sleeve details, feminine hemlines, or …… draped details to a one-shoulder top.

By making several pieces from the same fabric, I now have the flexibility to mix and match everything to create several entirely new looks. When I go on vacation in the next few weeks, I’m excited to wear the palazzo pants with my new one-shoulder top during the day, switch out the bottoms for a skirt at night, and still have options later on. If there’s anything I love more than making my own clothes, it’s having lots of options to choose from!

I hope you guys liked this project and found some useful takeaways in working with scuba fabrics! I really can’t recommend it enough and am so excited about the summer print. 

Lisa @ Creative Fashion Blog

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