Sunday, 19 March 2017

Scuba- friend or foe?!

I' ve never sewed scuba before and I had some reservations- I tend to prefer natural fibres- wool or cotton are my staples- and I do find scuba feels rather synthetic. But you can't deny it gives a great shape and there is so much of it out there, so I thought I would give it a go.

I was sold by this double sided fabric which is a stunning vibrant blue one side and dark grey the other. I m using a new pattern and consider this a tester version so if it doesn't work out, I m not too stressed. 

Here is the finished dress:

So, what's my verdict on scuba?

-easy to sew
- dream to cut
- no heming required!!
- shape & fit. Wow this really looks amazing on.  I haven't made many things that look as good as this in terms of fit. With the right patten it's clear it can give you an amazing shape and skim any lumps & bumps that some fabrics accentuate!
- colour. The colour of the scuba is just a dream, totally vibrant and jewel like

- I found it nigh on impossible to unpick. I sewed the zip in the wrong way (doh!!!) and just couldn't unpick without causing a hole in the fabric. Luckily there was enough stretch and ease that I just took 1cm off the back seam and started again
- uncomfortable to wear. I don't like the feeling of the fabric and I find the overlocked seams uncomfortable- they are bulky, stick out and are a bit scratchy on the inside
-impossible to iron. I found it tricky to get seams and darts to lie nicely as if I got iron too hot the fabric melted and stuck šŸ˜¬
- it's got volume. Good for shape but I struggled with the facing and top of the zipper - it won't lie flat, sticking up etc- not helped by its aversion to the iron.  I ended up sewing it down which helped. Maybe the facing should have been a different fabric or technique altogether? How do you finish a scuba neck line?
- I'm convinced it won't wear well, I m expecting it to bobble. But that's a hunch, no evidence so far - and well I ll probably not find out since I don't think it will be worn.

My verdict. It looks amazing, but I don't like it. To the extent I m not sure I will ever wear it. I made it several weeks ago and haven't been tempted. Normally I'm a wear it the next day girl!  Think this may be my first and last scuba project. But glad I gave it a go. 

What's your views on scuba? Any tips? Did I make some obvious errors?!

Keen to hear your thoughts 
Messy Essy makes x

Ps. Love the pattern. And this served to let me perfect the fit- so my next one in Liberty twill is a big success and I've worn this one several times already ;)


  1. You're right it looks fantastic but I totally understand your disapproval of this fabric. I never used it myself and I find your review very useful

    1. Thankyou! Glad you found it useful!

  2. I completely understand although I admit to never having sewn with scuba. I have made two dresses in Ponti Roma and they are comfortable to wear except that sometimes I feel like my skin can't breathe in them. And then there's the problem of so much plastic fibre in the oceans - how much of that is from our use of polyester type fabrics? Cotton, linen and wool are my favourites.

    1. I totally agree. I too have some ponte and I find that ok if the pattern ia right for it! But I still prefer cotton

  3. You look amazing in the dress.
    But i have to ask: What kind of fabrick is Scuba? I have never Heard of it before?


    1. Thanks Lis. My mum asked me he same! It's a polyester double knit- feels a bit like what wetsuits are made from but less thick- guess that's where the name comes from! This explains it well

  4. I made the Inari dress for my holiday last year in a very bold scuba and it suited that pattern perfectly. Some scuba are thicker than others. Mine I could press and it was soft inside K xXx

  5. Aaah, that Liberty Dress is amazing! The piping is perfection. Nailed it!

    I'm sorry you had a hard time pressing scuba. I just finish a scuba project, and I found a clapper to be very helpful for flattening seams. (You can check out the link I left for more scuba tips, especially pressing info.)

    1. Thanks Erin. I d never heard of a clapper, I ll check that out

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  7. You're right about the bobbling, I made a pencil skirt and it was only washed twice before it was so bobbly I couldnt even wear it again, I imagine there are different grades and qualitites, so I might never have the problem again, but I don't want the expense and effort to even try. You are also right about the overlocked seams being uncomfortable, mine was touching my skin as it was a fitted pencil skirt, and caused me to itch if I had bare legs... if I wore thick tights it wasn't so bad. It reminds me very much in look and feel, of something from my younger days....Crimplene!