I thought we should have a new thread to discuss cutting and sewing the Zam neoprene fabric to keep from confusing it with obtaining it through ZamIAm.
To restate what I wrote on another thread:
According to "More Fabric Savvy: A Quick Resource Guide to Selecting and Sewing Fabric" by Sandra Betzina Pgs. 184-185 - "Wetsuit" Sold under the brand names Neoprene ... [it] has a foam layer between Lycra layers.
Sewing Tips: Let fabric feed into machine naturally. A roller foot is the answer to sewing on foam-backed fabrics.
Layout: "Without nap" layout, single thickness.
Cutting: Larger rotary cutter or scissors.
Needle: 75/11 HS (Picture shows "Stretch" needles)
Stitch length: Tiny zigzag (0.5 mm width, 2.5 mm length)
Presser Foot: Roller foot.
Seam Finish: Serging the seams with a flat-lock stich is your best choice since bulk is eliminated. If you don't own a serger, use the overcasting foot to finish edges that do not curl.
Hem: Turn up 3/4" hem, machine stitch with triple zigzag stitch for most stretch.
I pulled out my fabric from the first run that ZIA did and found it had more stretch to it than I remembered. In fact it has almost enough stretch for my t-shirt pattern sized for stretch knits only, which I had planned to modify for the top pattern. I cut a couple pieces off the end to test some different stitches as well.
Note: I used red polyester thread so the stitches could be more easily seen, but I used no special needles or feet on my machine. I will probably invest in a roller-foot before sewing my costume though!
This is a closeup of the first piece I did using a straight stitch (2.5mm length) ... The first seam went smoothly, but the second one was more difficult. It did not want to go straight and tension will need to be adjusted, at least on my machine, if I use a straight stitch.
This is a closeup of the zigzag stitch I used (The one recommened 0.5mm wide, 2.5mm length). The seam isn't nearly as noticeable and the sample has more stretch to it as well, in both directions. It really doesn't look "zigzag," and appears more "straight" to me than my straight seam!