Sewing Hints and Tips

Tips and techniques for sewing with Pennine Outdoor Fabrics

Face of the material:

The face (right side) of the fabric should be on the outside of the finished item. On most fabrics the back is dull because of the waterproof coating.

Fabrics such as P2A  are double sided – either side can be used as the face.

Fabrics such as P40 and P48 the face is the fluffy side.



All our fabrics can be sewn with a domestic machine.

·         For fine fabrics use a 70 or 80 needle

·         For heavier fabrics use a 90 or 100 – for very strong canvas a jeans needle may be better either 90 or 100

·         For stretch fabrics and fleece use a ball point needle. A 70/80 for finer jerseys and microfleece and a 90/100 for thicker fleeces

·         Use good quality polyester sew all thread such as Gutermann. For P5 and heavier then the Gutermann Extra Strong or Coates Epic 80 Thread may be better.

·         When sewing with waterproof fabrics it can be tricky getting it to feed through the machine. You don’t want to pull it through as this will alter your stitch length. It is best to use either a Teflon foot or a Roller Foot. These are widely available for most makes of machine. Alternatively you can place tissue paper either side of the fabric and tear it away afterwards.

·         Try and avoid using pins for laying down patterns as the pins puncture the fabric and can leave marks. Use weights or Wonder clips instead or 202 no pins adhesive. If you really want to use pins then make sure they are outside the seam line so you do not puncture the main part of the pattern piece.


You can try and avoid seams altogether by pinning pattern pieces together and cutting as one but this isn’t always possible.

When you are making a seam, pin together within the seam allowance to avoid marks on the main body of the garment piece. Or try and use wonderclips – we have these on our website £2.50 for a pack of 20.


The best sort of seam to use for the fabrics (not fleece) is a ‘run and fell’ seam. Join pieces with wrong side together using a 1.5cm seam allowance. Trim back one of the seam allowances, turn the edge under on the remaining allowance and fold over the trimmed one and stitch it down flat.


Waterproofing seams:

If you are going to use iron on seam tape on a p.u. coated fabric then make the seam right sides together. Fold the seam allowances to one side and topstitch down flat. Trim the seam allowance close to the top stitching line. Using a warm iron to attach the tape – protect the fabric with a piece of silicon baking paper.

Try out this process first on a mock seam.

You could also use Seamgrip as an alternative method of sealing seams. This is available on our website.



Abrasion on coated fabrics can be a problem on outdoor gear especially in hard wear areas such as trouser seats and knees. Sew another layer inside using the coated sides facing or add an external patch in a heavier fabric if necessary.


Special tips for sewing with Fleece

Fleece is easy to cut and very forgiving to sew with – however there are a few special tips:

·         If you have an overlocker then this is by far the best way to sew fleece together. Some seams will still have to be done on an ordinary machine for instance the zip.

·         If you only have a domestic sewing machine then you can still sew fleece but you must us a stretch stitch. Or a very small long zig zag stitch.

·         Use a ball point needle

·         Take care when cutting pattern pieces out that you get the ‘stretch’ of the fleece going in the right direction. For instance the material for the collar must be cut so the non stretch is running round the neck.

·         When putting a zip in make sure the zip is on top of the fleece. If the fleece is on top; then it will stretch and can add centimetres to the length. And TACK in place – this really helps.

·         Adding a seam tape to the shoulder seam of a garment will prevent the shoulder sagging and keep it firm.:


015242 63377

31A Main Street, Bentham, Lancaster,LA2 7HQ

Copyright © 2016 pennine Outdoor

01524 263377

31A Main Street, Bentham, Lancaster,LA2 7HQ