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What do I need to make stretchy t-shirts and where do I get it? Oh, and HOW?

687 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Kari_mom
Hi, I actually want to make something like this:

I love the idea but they're way too much for my budget. It says it's made of a lightweight cotton spandex fabric. Anyone know of any good co-ops that would sell this type of material? I am kind of doubting I could find it at Joann's.

Also, what kind of thread would I need to use? I am SOO just beginning sewing, but I have a new (used) bernina 1080 and I'm having fun with trying out new projects. It seems like I've heard you are supposed to use the same type of thread as your material (so polyester thread for poly materials, cotton for cotton, etc.) Is that true? And what about mixed fabrics? And is there something special I need to know about sewing with knit/stretchy materials? I know I need a ballpoint needle, and I have those ordered from a co-op. But do I need a particular type of thread?

I know I have a ton of questions, but I also know this is my best bet for answers! I don't post often, but I read here a lot and get great advice. But I haven't been able to find answers to these particulars.

Anybody? TIA!!

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I am a pretty novice sewer myself, but I didnt want your questions to go unanswered....

A lot of that stuff you mentioned is personal preference. I would only use cotton thread if I needed to dye something....poly thread would not dye, and would make the garment look silly. (imo)

You need that ball point needle, and you need a pattern. Jalie has a good tshirt one that is fitted.

The fabric from your link is 95% cotton 5% spandex. I can often find that at joannes, but not in any spectacular colors or prints. Maybe someone else has ideas for fabric coops.

This message board is great for ideas and support, and have ALOT of fabric for sale. You may find osmething there.

good luck
and most of all relax and have fun! Sewing gets better and better as you try things out.
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Thanks for your response. So really people don't use cotton thread very much? I know it's used for quilting, and I guess dying. But I always thought you had to use it if you were using any cotton fabric.
I've seen a lot of solid knits like this at Joann's and Hancock's recently. By a lot I mean 3 or 4 colors in lighter weight knits.
, neither store is loaded with knits of any kind except polar fleece, ya know? If the label says lycra, it is the same thing as spandex I think.

The t-shirt is interesting. The sleeves look like they are cut as part of the front and back, not as separate pieces. I don't know if I have seen a pattern like that. A good place to look is They carry a lot of companies, big three as well as a lot of independents.

Good luck!
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Oh, and about the thread. I've seen the rule about matching cotton thread to cotton, and poly thread to poly. I think if you are heirloom quilting that is a good idea. Otherwise I use long staple polyester thread like Mettler. A lot of cotton thread is waxed for handsewing and isn't good for your machine. And cotton wrapped polyester thread usually isn't of very good quality.
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