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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!

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