Monday, 29 June 2015

exploring jersey

We are settling into a nice holiday routine, so much so that it is difficult to remember what day it is. So far we have done nothing of note. We sorted through school work, keeping art and pieces of writing only. I am not very sentimental when it comes to children's school work but I do like to keep their art and their creative writing. There have been some funny ones over the years. I'll show you an example one day. I also sorted through piles of clothes destined for charity or the rag bag. I tend to do this in spurts, when it is impossible to ignore or when the spare room is needed for an overnight visitor. I have also hoovered excessively. Not because I particularly enjoy it but we have a new hoover and I need to confirm that the amazing suction power is indeed not a dream. Yes, I agree, I am odd. 

Anyway, I really wanted to write about my latest sewing adventure. I bought a really nice jersey fabric for a summer dress. I have never sewn with knit fabrics and was a little apprehensive. To practice, I bought some cheap bright green light weight t-shirt jersey to have a go and maybe even end up with something wearable. I used a tried and trusted pattern,the Sailor Top by Fancy Tiger Crafts which I have used before here and here. The previous versions were made with cotton prints but I have seen jersey versions online and knew the pattern was suitable for this different fabric, too. 
I think the cutting of the jersey fabric was the trickiest of all. It kept moving under my hands and I had to use all the pins I had to get the job done. I didn't enjoy this much. 


Next I tried out the various stretch stitches on my sewing machine, using a piece of leftover fabric. I played with the tension and the pressure but ended up using the automatic setting because it worked just fine. The stitch I used looks a bit like a squashed zig zag stitch. I tried to use a twin needle but failed miserably. Maybe the fabric needs to be a little more weighty for twin needle sewing. At least I figured out how to use a twin needle for another day.
I used a lot of pins because the fabric was quite slippery. I did baste rather more than I would usually to for the same reason.


Because I am not sure if it is possible or useful even to understitch facings on jersey I didn't bother. I also didn't bother finishing the seams. I wasn't at that point sure if I was ever going to wear this t-shirt  and I was eager to finish. I did however trim the seams neatly with my pinking shears. The result is quite pleasing actually and I may well adopt this 'technique' in future projects. Unfortunately I cut into the sleeve (after it was attached) and had to make another one....

The top has a gather all around. I googled some gathering techniques for jersey but in the end used the same method that I had used for the cotton versions. I stitched two parallel rows of the longest possible straight stitch inside the seam allowance and then pulled the thread to gather up the fabric. It was a bit of a faff but no more so than with the cotton fabric. 



The end result is surprisingly pleasing. The top is maybe on the baggy side but I don't mind, it will be perfect for those hot summer days that are surely to come. I remain optimistic. I used the self timer for this photo. Excuse my manic grin, it is just something I do when I see the self timer light flash quicker and quicker.... Please also ignore the apricot jam stains. The green doesn't photograph true to colour. You have to imagine it much brighter and much greener, a little like the leaves I showed you a recently, but a little less natural.

To sum my experience with jersey up: It is no more difficult to sew with than cotton fabric, just a bit different. The jersey I used was a bit slippery but not bad enough to annoy me. I am now looking forward to cutting into the nice dress jersey I bought. My friend Christine said it 'looked very me', which I take to be a compliment despite the psychedelic pattern... wait and see!

What have you been up to recently? Please do share. I am hoping to spend the evening reading blogs. Between all the holidaying and doing nothing much there seems to little time for this pleasure. Have a lovely day. Cxx

14 comments:

  1. I really like the top, the green looks good on you. I've sewn jersey before, but I'm a very impatient sewer so it wasn't a good experience for me. I like that it's loose, that's all I wear in the summer.
    Too hot to do much here, swim each day, play the piano and read, no crafting at all.

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  2. The top looks really good and the colour really suits you. I am not a fan of jersey, I am a little too impatient I think and have never been successful with it so now give it a wide berth. Family visits seem to be the order of the summer, I am visiting another daughter this weekend.

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  3. I've only tried sewing with jersey once or twice and I didn't find it very easy; I don't think it's a beginner's fabric but I've never been very good at sticking to my own level! :-) Your top looks lovely, I think it goes well with the black layer underneath xx

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  4. Christina, it is really fantastic how many of your own clothes you can make. And you are very adventurous for trying new things all the time!

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  5. It's lovely, clever you, I imagine jersey is really tricky. For a minute I thought you were on holiday in Jersey. I shall look forward to seeing what you sew next. CJ xx

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  6. That is a great top! I can only imagine how difficult jersey is to work with!! Its a super colour too :) xx

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  7. Your top looks great! Look forward to seeing the dress!

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  8. Great top Christina! I'm glad to hear you didn't find it too difficult to sew with the jersey. I signed up for a t-shirt making class on Craftsy several months ago, promptly bought some knit jersey for the project, and have since been afraid to start the class. You have inspired me to get going on it! :-)

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  9. Wow the top looks wonderful! I love the colour too :) I completely understand your hoover excitement, I've been through it as well! I hope you're all enjoying the holidays and congrats on the job what great news :) x

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  10. I like it! I think it looks very nice on you. The color is good too. I don't like sewing with stretchy fabrics but I do it now and then. I liked working with stretch sateen when I did that, it was easier than I thought it would be. I'm glad your summer break is getting off to a good start. I'm the same as you; I don't keep much school work but I try to keep art and creative writing. They love to look back at it as much as I do!

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  11. It looks so good on you!!! I think that you are so good sewing with stretchy fabric!!! Hope that you enjoy using your special fabric and even more importantly - wearing it!!! xx

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  12. Lovely top Christina! I love that timeless holiday feel too, when you don't really know what day or time it is and just relax into things without the school routine. As a fellow dog-owner, I fully appreciate the vital importance of a Hoover with good suction! Meg casts so much hair we are wading through it unless I Hoover daily. X

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  13. I almost miss those lazy days of summer when you have kids in school, with only one still at home, and he's one whose school days are behind him, one month can feel much like another here nowadays.

    Love the cut of that top, it looks as good in jersey as in cotton :)

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  14. Well done on the top, Christina! I have never sewn anything using jersey, looks like plenty of pins is the answer. I am glad you're settling into your hols, I can't wait for ours to start, another three weeks yet! I can appreciate a good Hoover, I was appalled when we got a new one, how much stuff it sucked up from an apparently clean carpet. Ugh. xx

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx