Tips And Tricks To Sew Jersey
That’s it, you have crossed all the pitfalls, and you have one last step left: sew the stockinette stitch. If you have an overlock machine, the sewing step will be very simple. It allows for an elastic stitch while overcasting and cutting the edges of the fabric. It is, therefore, your ideal ally in this stage. If you don’t have an overlock machine, don’t panic, all is not lost. Check out types of jersey. Here are some tips to make sure everything goes well:
Which needle for sewing stockinette stitch?
You must start by choosing the appropriate type of needle, that is to say, a special jersey, special stretch, or super stretch needle. What is the difference? A rounded point that allows not to damage the stitches of the stockinette stitch. If you do not take this precaution, a classic needle risks undoing the stitches and damaging your pretty jersey.
Another important choice is the size of the needle. A simple rule: the finer your stockinette, the finer your needle should be. For a viscose jersey, I prefer a needle of 60 to 80. For a medium fabric, choose a needle of 80 to 90, and for thick fabric, a needle of 90 or more.
There are also double needles that allow you to finish your clothes well by reinforcing the seams. There are two widths: 2.5mm for fine seams and 4mm for topstitching or hems.
What stitch to sew jersey?
The second important choice is which stitch to use to sew your stockinette stitch. Indeed, the jersey is stretchy, so the seams mustn’t crack when the fabric is stretched. For this, it is better to use an elastic stitch if your machine offers it; otherwise, opt for a zigzag stitch.
Which thread to sew jersey?
After the choice of needle and stitch comes the choice of thread! To prevent the seams from cracking, favor synthetic fiber threads that are more elastic and finer than cotton ones.
Tip: Use foam thread for the bobbin; this one is specially designed for elastic seams. It will be perfect for sewing clothes that are close to the body because it is very soft.
What precautions for sewing jerseys on the machine?
To avoid unsightly curling, never pull on your fabric and guide it. If necessary, use a carrier foot designed to facilitate the training of thick or elastic fabrics.
Tip: place a sheet of tissue paper under your fabric (make it protrude a little) to facilitate training and remove it once the seam is finished.
Conversely, if you are making a rolled or wavy hem and want the seam to curl, use an overlock stitch, a tight zigzag stitch, and stretch the fabric as much as possible when sewing.
How to make the hems with jerseys?
The hems are easy to sew on the jersey: they only require a fold and a zig-zag stitch. Ideally, use a double stockinette needle.
Tip: Use a water-soluble iron-on patch to secure your edges if they curl too much. This will make your sewing easier!
How to sew jerseys with non-elastic fabric?
- Choose a stretch or jersey needle.
- Use a straight stitch.
- For machine sewing, follow this rule: put the non-elastic fabric on top and the stockinette fabric underneath.
How to stiffen a seam in jersey?
To make some seams sharper (like those on the shoulders), you can use this technique:
- Position the pieces of jersey fabric right sides together
- At the place of the seam, place a twill tape or a strip of non-elastic fabric or an iron-on tape
- Apply the previous rule (non-elastic fabric above the fabric and the elastic, then iron your seam: it will be neat and stiffened.
How to do if the jersey curls?
- Use a carrier foot to facilitate the feeding of the fabric
- Decrease the tension of the upper thread and/or the presser foot
- Try to use another thread (other composition)
What if the machine is stuck?
- Position a sheet of evening paper under the fabric and extend it a few centimeters to stabilize the fabric
- Stitch the first stitches in the paper, then remove the sheet once the seam is finished
What if the machine makes bulges?
- Lower the upper thread tension
- Test a yarn of a different composition (preferably synthetic fibers)
What if the seam skips stitches?
- Change the needle: use a special jersey or special stretch needle, which will be rounded.
- Check if the needle is fine or change it (it may be bent or blunt)
- Use a thinner needle (the finer your fabric, the more it is recommended to use a thin needle)
- Change the thread: poor quality threads can cause stitches to skip