Created by Tie Dye Diva Sewing Patterns
Let’s dispel some fear about working with one of our favorite super soft fabrics, Double Brushed Poly (DBP)! DBP fabric has gained popularity recently as the perfect leggings fabric, but we’re beginning to see it being used for many more types of garments that call for a light to mid-weight knit fabric.
It’s not surprising either! Who wouldn’t want to drape their bodies in this incredibly soft fabric? DBP is a 4-way stretch knit made of 96% polyester/4% spandex. It has also undergone a process where both sides of the fabric are brushed, creating that characteristic suede like feel on both sides, which you can see in the underside of the fabric in the flutter sleeves.
It has excellent recovery and lovely drape, making DBP an excellent fabric for tops, dresses, skirts, and especially leggings.
Today we’re going to share some very simple tips on sewing with DBP. In our examples, we’re using the Opal Knit Flutter Dress and Sterling Shorties patterns, both from Tie Dye Diva, and we’re pairing them with these lovely DBP prints from fabric.com.
5 Tips for Sewing DBP
Here are 5 tips and tricks for sewing with Double Brushed Poly Knits!
1. Use the Right Needles & Thread
First, you will want to make sure you are using the correct needles for your fabric. Use brand new stretch needles for your machine type, whether it’s a sewing machine, serger, or coverstitch. The stretch needles are really the key component in ensuring you don’t get those dreaded skipped stitches people sometimes encounter when sewing DBP. All-purpose polyester thread is best. If you are using a coverstitch machine to finish your hems, quality wooly nylon thread can be used for your looper thread.
2. Adjust Your Presser Foot Settings
If your machine has the capability of adjusting your presser foot’s pressure, try reducing the pressure. This can help your fabric glide through easily while sewing.
3. Use Correct Stitch Settings
If you are using a sewing machine, you will want to use a stretch stitch, lightning bolt stitch, or a narrow zigzag stitch. I used a narrow zigzag for these white shorts with a width of .5 and a length of 3.
Sergers already provide you with a seam that stretches. On a coverstitch machine, use the same settings as for activewear knits, reducing your looper tension and increasing the stitch length to avoid tunneling. Always test your machine settings on scraps until you get the correct ones for you.
4. Know When and How to Press
Don’t underestimate the importance of pressing your seams with plenty of steam. A damp pressing cloth will protect the fabric and reduce seam impressions.
5. Make it Easier for Yourself with Notions
As always, there are a couple of tricks you can try to make sewing with DBP even easier. Wonder Clips can be used to hold fabric seams together in place of pins when you’re sewing.
Fusible hem tapes can also help keep your hems looking lovely and crisp, and they make sewing easier too because the fabric isn’t stretching around underneath your presser foot.
If you’re hemming an area like a leg opening that needs to stretch when being worn, you can cut strips of fusible interfacing for knit that will allow hems to retain their stretch and still stabilize the fabric enough to make hemming a breeze.
We hope these tips help you feel ready to tackle DBP. It really isn’t that different from other knits, and possibly even a bit easier because it doesn’t curl at the edges.
We hope you enjoyed learning how to sew with this deliciously soft fabric and will use it to fill your handmade wardrobe!