Are you ready to take your sewing skills to the next level? You already know I love sewing garments using knit fabric, and my next releases are actually a couple of sewing projects that use knit/jersey fabric. Sewing such type of fabric can be intimidating for beginners, but with the right techniques and tools, you'll be able to create beautiful and comfortable garments. In this guide, I'll walk you through everything you need to know about sewing with knit or jersey fabrics.
What are knit fabrics?
Knit or jersey fabrics are made from interlocking loops of yarn, which gives them a stretchy and flexible quality. They are commonly used for making t-shirts, dresses, activewear, and other garments that require comfort and ease of movement.
Choosing the right fabric
When selecting a knit or jersey fabric, it's important to consider the weight, stretch, and fiber content. The weight of the fabric will determine how it drapes and feels on the body. The stretch is crucial for ensuring a comfortable fit, so make sure to choose a fabric with enough stretch for your project. As for the fiber content, natural fibers like cotton and bamboo are breathable and soft, while synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon offer durability.
Prepping your fabric
Before you start sewing, it's essential to prepare your fabric. Knit fabrics tend to curl at the edges, so it's a good idea to stabilize them before cutting. You can use a stabilizing spray to prevent the fabric from stretching or distorting during the cutting process. Additionally, make sure to prewash your fabric to prevent any shrinkage after sewing.
Choosing the right needle and thread
When sewing with knit or jersey fabrics, it's crucial to use the right needle and thread. A ballpoint or stretch needle is ideal for knit fabrics, as it slides between the fibers without damaging them. As for the thread, polyester or cotton-wrapped polyester threads work well with knit fabrics due to their stretch and durability. Furthermore, some brands have created thread lines dedicated exclusively to knit fabrics, such as Gutermann's Maraflex.
Mastering the right stitches
One of the key techniques for sewing with knit or jersey fabrics is using the right stitches. If you're using a regular sewing machine, it's best to use a stretch stitch like lightning or a zigzag stitch. These stitches will allow the seams to stretch without causing the thread to break. On a Serger (or Overlocker), simply set it to make the stretchy stitch and you're good to go.
Practice makes perfect
Sewing with knit fabrics may require some practice, but don't get discouraged. Start with simple projects like t-shirts or leggings, and gradually work your way up to more complex garments. Remember to take your time, and most importantly, have fun!