So, I’ve never actually tried to sew something with jersey, and don’t actually know how to go about it, but the sewing pattern that I’ve been doing would be perfect in jersey. So I thought I would give it a go!
To start, I decided to look up anything I needed to know about jersey. I found all kinds of tips and tricks about needles, fabric, and techniques to get the most out of it.
The then made some little sample of sewing to see what worked best and what I liked. I read that the best stitch to use on jersey is a zigzag, that way the jersey keeps it stretch and the stitching won’t break. I also read that twin needle stitching was a good way of stitching hems and it has more stretch than a a line of single needle stitching. After reading this I actually found out that my sewing machine did twin needle stitching, and actually came with a twin needle! I would say that these samples helped with my jersey stitching, but after sewing a few seams I just revered back to doing a straight stitch in the widest setting.
To give the jersey sewing a go, I decided to go for a pattern that I had already sewn so I knew how it would end up. I chose the full-skirted dress in the Great British Sewing Bee book my mum bought me. I originally made this pattern out of cotton, but felt the sizing was a bit off as the top half was too small, but it gaped at the back (big boob problems…). So I thought that making it out of stretch fabric might make it fit a bit better.
I originally made the cotton dress out of a size 18 (!!!), I followed the measuring guide in the book and went by what I measured myself, rather than my usual dress (if I did that with the cotton dress I would never be getting that on!). So for a jersey dress I decided to go a few sizes down to factor in the stretch. For my first jersey dress I went for a size 14 hoping it would be a nice fit.
I sewing up the dress pretty much the same as the as I did the cotton one. The only thing I thought about cahnging was the neckline, I wanted to give a bias binding neckline a go but I tried it on a tester bodice I had earlier and it actually turned out awful! I didn’t know how to end the binding without it standing out too much, and I kept stretching out the neckline. I even looked up all kinds of blog posts and videos on how to do it but it just didn’t want to cooperate. In the end I decided to do the neck facing that was on the original pattern, that way I was less likely to stretch the neckline and it would make the seam look a lot cleaner.
The only other process I changed about the jersey dress process is to constantly steam each seam after every time I stitched it. I thought this would be the best way to combat the jersey stretching too much, and I definitly thought it helped.
After finishing the dress I was super happy! I didn’t stretch it out and the fit wasn’t too bad! However I still felt like I could do with a smaller size. So after I had this one I decided to make one in a size 12 aswell. (It’s a good thing I bought more jersey to sew with!)
For the size 12 one I basically did it the same as the size 14 one, but made the size a bit smaller. I also look in the skirt a little a little bit on the outside seam so it fitted better on the fabric when cutting out as I somehow messed something up. But it came out really well in the end and I definitly thought it fitted better than the original size 14 dress.