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Fashion Fabric Facts: Sewing with Scuba

Fashion Fabric Facts: Sewing with Scuba

It seems like everyone in the sewing world is talking about scuba - and I don't mean the kind with the snorkel. Scuba fabric, a stretchy double knit that is similar to a ponte, has been making its way onto runways for years and now fashion sewers are starting to experiment with this fun fabric.

One of the reasons designers love scuba is the body that it gives to garments, as you can see in the below image. Scuba is made with a very fine knit gauge and smooth thread, which gives it an extremely smooth finish. The finish also gives the color a matte quality. The term scuba is often used interchangeably with the term neoprene. Neoprene is a similar feeling fabric, but with one major difference: the word neoprene refers to a thin piece of foam. This foam is then sandwiched between two thin layers of knit to create neoprene fabric. While the fabrics behave similarly, neoprene fabric can be less comfortable to wear because that thin piece of foam can get very warm for the wearer. 

Scuba is easy to sew - it is a medium weight fabric that can take some man-handling. And, while you can sew the entire thing on a serger, if you don't feel like finishing seam allowances or hems, don't worry - this fabric will never fray! I am eager to try sewing with scuba myself, especially since we have gotten in some incredibly fun scuba fabrics. But, I can't decide which project I want to try first. Will you help me? I've chosen three options, which you can see below. Let me know which project you would most like to see and the one with the most votes wins!

​I think I can recreate this fun ready-to-wear jacket using our West End top. They both have hoods and zip fronts, and I actually prefer the shorter sleeve of our West End. I would like to jazz up the fabric by using our black and white polka dot scuba knit. This might be my favorite option (I love polka dots!) but check out the others below...

​As soon as I saw this neon yellow top, I thought of our Barcelona pattern - they even both have a tie at the bottom! The bright yellow makes this top such a statement piece, but I think I would like to go more classic with it. Our black/grey scuba would be just the thing - a cozy black top that would go wth everything! And, I could alternate colors, highlighting the pieced neck of the Barcelona. 

And for my final project option, the Chicago coat! I mean, this coat is a must-have for any wardrobe, and mine is seriously lacking. While the coat on the left is made in a classic grey, I think I would punch it up and try a statement piece, using our vintage floral scuba fabric. How great would that look, paired with black boots? What do you think I should try? Comment below letting me know if you prefer the West End, Barcelona or Chicago so I can get sewing!


If you are nervous about sewing with Scuba, Linda is here to help. In her Craftsy class, You Can Sew That: Taming Tricky Fabric, she has a special tutorial on sewing with scuba. But that isn't the only fabric she covers in the class, there are six chapters that touch on everything from openwork fabric to laminate. Use this link to get 50% off the price of the class!


A #2017MakeNine Conversation with Alex
Feeling Sewcial?

Comments 17

 
Anne Rhodes on Tuesday, 03 January 2017 18:14

I vote for the polka dots and the West End jacket.

I vote for the polka dots and the West End jacket.
Karen Witcombe on Tuesday, 03 January 2017 19:44

I really like the floral and think it would show off well in the Chicago coat.

I really like the floral and think it would show off well in the Chicago coat.
Martha Myers on Tuesday, 03 January 2017 19:53

I'm with Anne - i love the idea of the West End jacket in polka dot scuba. Also I hope that you'll make suggestions for any other patterns that lend themselves to this sculptural fabric. Thanks.

I'm with Anne - i love the idea of the West End jacket in polka dot scuba. Also I hope that you'll make suggestions for any other patterns that lend themselves to this sculptural fabric. Thanks.
Betsy Blodgett on Tuesday, 03 January 2017 21:26

Martha, there are so many good patterns to use with Scuba. Alex made an 8th Ave Skirt in the floral scuba (see it on our Instagram account today!) which is super cute. The Equinox jacket is so sculptural, it would be really interesting to make in the Scuba. I also considered trying the eDress or Cityscapes dress. And the Fillmore! The Fillmore would be really cool in Scuba.

Martha, there are so many good patterns to use with Scuba. Alex made an 8th Ave Skirt in the floral scuba (see it on our Instagram account today!) which is super cute. The Equinox jacket is so sculptural, it would be really interesting to make in the Scuba. I also considered trying the eDress or Cityscapes dress. And the Fillmore! The Fillmore would be really cool in Scuba.
Jan Murry on Tuesday, 03 January 2017 20:26

I would really like to see the Chicago in the scuba floral- all would be good, though. Following with interest as I have not used scuba!

I would really like to see the Chicago in the scuba floral- all would be good, though. Following with interest as I have not used scuba!
Betsy Blodgett on Tuesday, 03 January 2017 21:26

Just an update! Including the email responses, the West End is in the lead with the Chicago a close second!

Just an update! Including the email responses, the West End is in the lead with the Chicago a close second!
Adrian Bettevy on Tuesday, 03 January 2017 21:35

I vote for the polka dots and the West End pattern.

I vote for the polka dots and the West End pattern.
natalia ryng on Tuesday, 03 January 2017 21:54

Definitely thr floral Chicago jacket. That would be gorgeous.

Definitely thr floral Chicago jacket. That would be gorgeous.
Kerrie Davis on Tuesday, 03 January 2017 22:32

The floral jacket gets my vote too.

The floral jacket gets my vote too.
Guest - Jeanne Stanley on Tuesday, 03 January 2017 22:59

oh the West End in dots...great !

oh the West End in dots...great !
Christine Sloss on Tuesday, 03 January 2017 23:41

The West End in polka dots! I love polka dots.

The West End in polka dots! I love polka dots.
Nora Rader on Wednesday, 04 January 2017 01:19

I like the West End in polka dots! I too have been wondering about "Scuba"!

I like the West End in polka dots! I too have been wondering about "Scuba"!
Donna Hunter on Wednesday, 04 January 2017 14:13

I am a huge fan of polka dots, but whichever fabric is selected, I love the Chicago coat. I would love to update my wardrobe with this coat!

I am a huge fan of polka dots, but whichever fabric is selected, I love the Chicago coat. I would love to update my wardrobe with this coat!
Laura Gesme on Wednesday, 04 January 2017 14:54

May I suggest the Chicago jacket in the polka dot with the floral scuba for accents such as the pocket welts, the inner color, the front facing, ... . ?!

May I suggest the Chicago jacket in the polka dot with the floral scuba for accents such as the pocket welts, the inner color, the front facing, ... . ?!
Jan Glover on Wednesday, 04 January 2017 15:22

I like the West End in polka dots!

I like the West End in polka dots!
Roberta Mehta on Wednesday, 04 January 2017 21:46

I like the Chicago coat in the vintage floral. This would be a great travel piece.

I like the Chicago coat in the vintage floral. This would be a great travel piece.
Donna J Stalaboin on Thursday, 05 January 2017 20:52

I like the Chicago coat with the polka dots.

I like the Chicago coat with the polka dots.
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