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How to Hem Polyester Spandex Pants Sewing Discussion Topic Full Guide of 2023

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how to hem polyester spandexYou’re hiking along a mountainous trail, focused intensely on navigating the rocky path ahead. Suddenly, your pants snag on a branch, tearing a hole right along the hem. Though you try to soldier on, your progress is impeded by the flapping fabric catching on every twig.

Realizing you won’t make much more headway like this, you stop to quickly hem your polyester spandex pants using the tools in your pack. Within minutes, you’re back on the trail, pants repaired, and movement unencumbered.

Now you can continue your trek smoothly. Just as this allegorical hike required pausing briefly to adjust your gear, hemming your own polyester spandex clothing allows you to adapt your wardrobe for optimal functionality and style.

Key Takeaways

  • Wash polyester spandex in cold water to prevent shrinking.
  • Iron on the wrong side to protect the fabric from heat damage.
  • Use ballpoint pins and needles when sewing to avoid snagging delicate threads.
  • Use a zigzag stitch or stretch stitch when machine sewing to prevent distortion.

Can You Hem Polyester Spandex?

Can You Hem Polyester Spandex
You betcha can hem that stretchy fabric, but mind those special tools and tricks for sewin’ without distortin. Use ballpoint pins and needles so’s not to snag the delicate threads. Hand baste narrow hems with care to avoid stretchin’ from machine feed dogs.

Set your washing machine to a gentle cycle and cold water so the spandex keeps its shape. Fusible tape can gum up the needle, so go slow and steady. Invisible hems take practice to get just right – be ready to rip out and redo.

But with sharp scissors, the right thread, and a few test runs, you’ll get that custom fit in no time.

How to Hem Polyester Spandex Dress

How to Hem Polyester Spandex Dress
To properly care for a polyester spandex dress, there are some key points to keep in mind. Wash the garment in cold water and do not bleach it, as both heat and bleach can damage the fibers. Either tumble dry on low or hang the dress to dry to avoid heat damage. When ironing, iron on the wrong side of the fabric to protect the right side from the heat of the iron.

By following these simple care instructions, you can help your polyester spandex dress keep its shape and last longer.

Wash in Cold Water

Prewashing in cold water is crucial, as hot water can shrink spandex by up to 25%. Do not use hot water or dryer heat when laundering polyester spandex fabrics. Instead, use cold water, line dry, and iron carefully with a cool setting.

Take care when pinning and handle gently to avoid overstretching during construction. Ballpoint pins perpendicular to the edge will hold the hem without distorting the spandex fibers.

Do Not Bleach

When laundering that delicate dress, skip the bleach to protect its vivid hues. Exposure to harsh chemicals like bleach can damage and discolor lightweight polyester spandex fabric. So, after prewashing and cutting the spandex hem with sharp fabric scissors, hand baste the short hem to prevent fraying.

Then, carefully stitch the prewashed spandex on your sewing machine, using the right needle and thread, to create a smooth hem that looks great and holds up over time.

Tumble Dry Low or Hang to Dry

After pinning up the damp dress, let it air dry to prevent heat damage before hemming the slippery fabric. I know hanging takes longer, but it beats ruining the delicate threads. To hem the polyester-spandex dress properly, stretch test the fit first and repair any damaged seams.

Then, lengthen the existing hem, secure the stitches properly, and wash the garment gently before measuring with a tape and pinning.

Iron on the Wrong Side

Make sure to gently press on the inside with a cool iron, honey, so the poly-spandex blend keeps its shape without scorching. When ironing the wrong side of your silky polyester-spandex dress hem, fold the fabric edge over narrowly and press it flat.

Use a low-heat setting and iron the hem gently without pulling on the fabric so the spandex fibers don’t lose their elasticity. Polyester can take higher heat, but go easy on the spandex in this delicate fabric blend.

Can You Sew Spandex?

Can You Sew Spandex
You’d be surprised to learn that nearly 50% of activewear contains spandex, so you can definitely sew it successfully! When working with stretchy spandex fabric, take care to avoid distortion. Use a ballpoint needle and light pressure foot to avoid snags. Experiment with stretch stitch settings on scraps first to find the ideal balance of give.

Shorten sleeve hems and trim excess fabric before stitching. Fuse narrow hems with washable wonder tape, then edgestitch using a zigzag. Stay focused while ironing to keep the hem flat. Check the fit before finalizing seams.

With care to feed smoothly and keep seams flat, you can sew professional-looking garments. A few tests will perfect your technique for smooth seams and invisible zippers in spandex knits.

Does Spandex Fray When Cut?

Does Spandex Fray When Cut
Since spandex doesn’t fray when cut, you’ll want to keep those clean edges super straight when slicing your fabric. Use very sharp scissors or a rotary cutter for the cleanest edges. Rough handling can distort the fibers, so handle gently.

The effects of heat can degrade spandex, so avoid ironing raw edges. Fusible tape can help control edges, but apply gentle heat. Try washable wonder tape – it stabilizes temporarily, then washes out. Hand baste first for lightweight spandex.

Stitch slowly, without stretching. Check pants fit before pinning hems. Match thread color and use zigzag stitches.

Keeping spandex edges neat takes care – sharp tools, gentle handling, proper stitching.

How to Hem Spandex Fabric

How to Hem Spandex Fabric
Gather caution hemming slippery spandex shorts. Gently guide fabric under foot to fix hem firmly. When hemming spandex fabrics, choose the right needle size to prevent damage. Select size 11 or 14 ballpoint needles.

Check your stitch settings on scraps first. Use a 12-14 stitch per inch zigzag or other stretch stitch. Prevent stretching by sewing slowly without pulling. Elevate the fabric and use basting tape or clips.

Follow any visible grainlines. Cut with sharp tools like rotary cutters. Test your settings and techniques on spandex hem scraps before hemming the final garment. Your hemming will elevate the style if you work carefully to handle spandex with awareness.

How to Hem Nylon Pants

How to Hem Nylon Pants
Before pinning the nylon pants’ hem, check that the wearer has them on for an ideal fit.

  • Use clips instead of pins to avoid damaging the nylon fibers.
  • Have the wearer walk around to test the hem length.
  • Account for any shoes the wearer plans to pair with the pants.

When hemming nylon pants, use a sharp pair of scissors and cut carefully for a clean edge. Nylon tends not to fray, but keeping the edge neat is still important. Determine the ideal finished length based on the wearer’s height and shoe choice.

For a no-sew hem, use hem tape or liquid seam sealant, following package directions closely. To machine sew the hem, set the presser foot pressure to the lowest setting and slowly sew using a narrow zigzag stitch.

For an invisible hem, utilize a blind hem foot and matching thread. With care, you can expertly hem nylon pants at home and achieve a professional result that will save money.

Hemming Polyester Spandex Pants

Hemming Polyester Spandex Pants
Unlike nylon, polyester spandex requires a gentler approach. Sew fast with a straight stitch, not stretching as you go, to avoid distorting the fabric. Stabilize the hem’s raw edge with washable wonder tape to prevent fraying. Before finishing the hem, test your seam on a fabric scrap to perfect tension and stitch length.

This will prevent frustration later. To finish, zigzag stitch the hem’s raw edge, using matching thread color. Make sure the hem lies flat and not puckered. If you’re working with super-stretchy spandex, try basting first.

Hemming lightweight stretch fabrics requires patience, but it will result in professional-looking results.

Tools You’ll Need

Tools You
Friend, sharpen sewing scissors and apply pressure with care as stitch width decides fate when hemming these stretchy britches.

The order of battle starts with pre-stretched spandex to limit the fiber’s tendency to recoil during stitching. Hand baste carefully on scraps first to check tension before committing precious polyester to the machine.

Actually stitching demands focus as tension leads to distortion. Move slowly, checking as you go. Listen for skips in stitching, adjust presser foot pressure lower if needed. Check scraps again after changing thread or needle.

Finish by carefully removing basting, inspect for even tension throughout. Quality hem achieved through methodical technique, not magic.

Step by Step Instructions

Step by Step Instructions
After gathering your tools, you’re ready to start hemming.

First, pin the hem in place using ballpoint pins perpendicular to the edge. This holds the stretch fabric flat.

Next, set your machine to a 12-14 stitch-per-inch zigzag and engage the walking foot.

Check periodically that the fabric isn’t stretching or puckering. For lightweight fabrics, consider hand basting first.

  • Use ballpoint pins
  • Engage walking foot
  • Sew slowly
  • Check for distortion

Now you have the knowledge to hem spandex with confidence. Trust the process, test on scraps, and you’ll be ready for your next performance on career day!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What type of thread should I use when hemming spandex?

When hemming spandex, use polyester thread to match the stretch and recovery of the fabric. Set your machine to a zigzag stitch and test on scrap fabric first to get the tension right. Stitch slowly to avoid distorting the fabric. Choose a thread color that matches or blends into your garment for an invisible hem.

How much should I allow for the hem allowance when cutting out my spandex garment?

When cutting out spandex garments, allow 1/2 to 1 inch for the hem allowance. This provides enough fabric to work with when finishing the raw edges and creates the desired hem length. Adjust for personal preference and garment type. A narrower hem may be needed on skintight garments.

What stitch length should I use when hemming spandex fabric?

When hemming spandex fabric, use a 12-14 stitches per inch zigzag stitch. This allows the stitching to stretch with the fabric. Go slowly and do not pull or stretch the fabric as you sew to avoid distortion. Test your settings first on a scrap of fabric before hemming your finished garment.

Should I interface the hem allowance when hemming spandex?

Yes, I would recommend interfacing the hem allowance when hemming spandex. A lightweight fusible interfacing gives the hem stability and body so it won’t stretch out of shape. Apply it to the wrong side of the hem allowance before turning and pressing. Use a press cloth to avoid melting the spandex when fusing.

This extra body in the hem helps your stitches hold without distorting the fabric.

Is it better to hem spandex fabric by hand or by machine?

When hemming spandex by hand, be very careful not to stretch the fabric as you sew. Machine hemming allows you to maintain a consistent stitch length without distorting the fabric.


As Robert Frost alluded, you have promises to keep and miles to go before sleeping when hemming your polyester spandex pants. Carefully follow each step-by-step instruction to achieve the perfect fit and finish.

With the right tools, techniques, and a bit of patience, you’ll have sleek, professional-looking hems on your polyester spandex garments. Remember to test on scraps first and mind the fabric’s delicate nature when pinning, cutting, and stitching to successfully hem polyester spandex and complete your sewing project.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.