Read our beginner’s guide to find out how to sew stretch fabric, then put your new knowledge to the test by making a poncho.
One of our favorite sewing materials is jersey knit, which is ideal for creating fitted stretch clothing. It’s not as difficult as you might think to sew with jersey fabrics. All you require is the appropriate stitch, needle, and fabric for your garment.
This article will explain the various jersey fabric types, how to cut them, how to sew the fabric, and how to complete hems and seams.
How to Sew Jersey Fabric?
Know Your Jersey Knit Fabrics
There are many different types of knitting techniques used to make fabric, including jersey knit, which is made from a variety of fibers. Each type of jersey knit fabric responds and stretches differently.
Jersey knits have little “Vs” on the front and “The right side always curls towards the front, and there is frequently a slight sheen to it. It occasionally contains spandex and occasionally doesn’t.
Jersey knits are typically light to medium weight. Cotton, polyester, rayon, spandex, and mixtures of these fibers are used to make it.
- Lightweight knit jersey fabrics: rayon spandex, rayon spandex made from bamboo, cotton spandex, double-brushed polyester spandex, and single-brushed polyester spandex.
- Medium-weight knit jersey fabrics: Cotton spandex, bamboo rayon spandex, double-brushed polyester spandex, and single-brushed polyester spandex are all examples of spandex fabrics.
Figure Out the Stretch Percentage
Holding a piece of fabric 10 cm between your thumbs, pull it to a comfortable stretch first. Pull the fabric as far as it will go, but try to mimic the stretch that a worn-in fitted T-shirt might have. You can calculate the stretch percentage by measuring the stretched length of the fabric between your thumbs.
The increase in percentage between the original 10 cm and the new length that the fabric stretched to must now be calculated.
Your fabric has 20% stretch, for instance, if it increases by 20% from 10 to 12 centimeters. Your fabric has a 50% stretch if it is stretched to a length of 15 cm. You can use this method to determine the stretch in both directions because some stretch fabrics have both horizontal and vertical stretches.
Equipment to Use
Regular machine needles will pierce the threads, resulting in skipped stitches or laddering your fabric. Ballpoint pins and sewing machine needles will easily pass through jersey.
When cutting out jersey fabric, sharp scissors are absolutely necessary because dull ones will stretch the edges of the fabric as you cut it, preventing you from starting to sew!
If your fabric is stretching while being sewn, lowering the foot pressure on your machine if it’s possible, can help. The fabric will pass through your machine’s dog teeth as you sew, but if the foot pressure is too high, the foot will pull on the fabric, producing the dreaded wavy seams.
If your sewing machine has speed control, choose the slowest setting, and if it doesn’t, lightly press the foot pedal. Sew slowly. Prior to beginning the final garment, always sew a sample or at the very least practice on a scrap of fabric.
Sew Jersey Fabric
You should never stretch or pull a jersey knit fabric when sewing it; instead, let the machine handle it. Stretching and pulling makes the fabric wavy and stretched out.
Unless you’re sewing on bands, avoid pulling and stretching the fabric. Stretching the band to fit the length of what it is being sewn to is acceptable, but avoid stretching the main body of the garment. The fabric will be sucked back in by the band.
Steam should be applied to every seam to help the fabric revert to its original state. In order to get it to fully return, I occasionally even have to wash it after finishing it before wearing it.
Top Tips for Sewing With Jersey
- The jersey will be less likely to sag when stitched if the fabric is cut precisely along its grain. Make sure your fabric isn’t hanging off a table when you’re cutting, as this will cause the fabric to stretch, so cut on a flat surface.
- Bias-cut strips should be ironed onto the edge before sewing so that interfacing will prevent the jersey from stretching as you sew. To ensure a tidy finish, make sure the bias strips are cut evenly.
- In order to avoid skipped stitches and ladders in the fabric, ballpoint/stretch needles with a rounded tip are recommended when sewing with jersey. Another option is a twin ballpoint needle.
- When the fabric is stretched, straight stitches will rip out because they do not stretch with the jersey. A good substitute when sewing with jersey is a narrow zigzag stitch. We recommend using a stitch with a width of 5mm and a length of 3mm, but you should experiment to find the stitch that works best for you.
- With a lot of stretches in the seam, overlockers give jersey a neat finish. To stabilize the fabric and overlock it at the same time, you can place a stabilizer on it and stitch over it.
- To prevent jersey from stretching while you sew, place a piece of tissue paper underneath your fabric and carefully rip it away once you are finished.
- To avoid shiny iron marks, iron jersey fabric from the wrong side. If your iron is too hot, jersey will mark easily because it contains elastic fibers. Finding the ideal heat setting should first be tested on a small piece of fabric.
- Tacking helps you get your stitches right the first time and is a great way to keep jersey projects from going south. You won’t regret taking even if you don’t typically do so with jersey!
Conclusion: Sew Jersey Fabric
I hope this tutorial on stitching stretch jersey was useful! Please leave a comment in the space provided below if you have any additional advice or tips to impart.
Can You Sew Jersey on a Normal Sewing Machine?
The easiest way to sew jersey on your machine is to use the standard zigzag setting. With most jersey, a stitch length of 2mm and a width of 2.5m will work, but you can make a small adjustment to get the right measurements for your fabric.
Is It Difficult to Sew Jersey Fabric?
Sewing with jersey fabrics is not as difficult as you think. For your garment, all you need is the proper stitch, needle, and fabric. The different types of jersey fabric, how to cut them, how to sew the fabric, and how to finish hems and seams are all covered in this article.
What Size Needle Do I Need to Sew a Jersey?
They come in a pack of five and are available in three sizes: 70, 80, and 90. If this is your first time sewing with jersey fabric, keep in mind that you should use a stretch stitch or a long, thin (roughly 1.5 width and 2.2 lengths) zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine.