Adventures with a Slippery Jersey Knit

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Adventures with a Slippery Jersey Knit

New postby MartySews2 on Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:56 am

Yesterday, one of my new students came with her dress and fabric ... she's 17 and wants to make a Maxi dress as her first sewing project. It's a McCall's pattern with a cross-over bodice, elastic waist skirt and elastic on the shoulders to give a gathered effect. Relatively simple sewing except that she chose a very stretchy jersey knit as her fabric. It does have some lycra in it too. Fortunately, she only has 4 pattern pieces but we had to alter the pattern to fit her tiny frame and short stature by several inches. That was no problem. To keep the fabric from slipping around on us, I had her lay out the fabric doubled on a cardboard cutting table. We used pins to secure the fabric to the cardboard in a vertical position along the edges so it wouldn't slip and we could get out the folds that were forming underneath. After getting the pattern pinned down and double checking the straight of grain, she got her dress cut out without any major mishaps. Next week, we will start constructing her dress using a serger and a sewing machine. I want her to get used to using both types of machines.
Marty ;)
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Re: Adventures with a Slippery Jersey Knit

New postby sewingmom on Sat Oct 19, 2013 5:51 pm

Hey Marty, did this dress ever get finished??
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Re: Adventures with a Slippery Jersey Knit

New postby MartySews2 on Sat Oct 19, 2013 7:58 pm

My student was at the point of finishing the bodice and joining it to the skirt when she started back to school the first week of August. She hasn't returned or finished her dress. She said that she will return but being a cheerleader, in advanced placement classes and having dual enrollment in high school and the local community college, I don't see it happening before next summer.
Marty ;)
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Re: Adventures with a Slippery Jersey Knit

New postby cgmemphis on Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:03 am

I just joined the group and am looking forward to reading all of the great tips. I did see the note about Margaret Tully and I ordered her dvd. Got it yesterday. I have a Baby Lock Imagine (new) and just love it! Don't have a coverstitch machine, as I am not sure I need one. I am able to use my twin stretch needle on the sewing machine satisfactorily to hem the knits. I have started with T-shirts, learning how to sew stretch knits (they didn't exist when I was in high school sewing garments!) I have tried a couple of ways of doing the neckbands and have done okay, but not perfect. I saw something about a coverstitch machine having a bias binding attachment for knit neckbands. Wonder if I could do the same thing with a bias binding attachment on my sewing machine? Wonder how I would stretch the knit as it goes through the attachment? Guess I could try it and see, but thought I would ask first. Thanks in advance!
Hugs, Cheryl
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Re: Adventures with a Slippery Jersey Knit

New postby MartySews2 on Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:31 am

Hi CG, welcome!!! Are you in Memphis, TN? I am. I've never sewn a T-shirt on a sewing machine so I can't help you with your question. I love knit tops and wear them often as they are so easy to make on a serger. The ones that I would make (before I got a serger in 2001) always looked terrible and I mainly wore dresses or suits when I was employed. I would make dressy blouses to go with my suits. Being retired has allowed me time and opportunity to try to new things plus new machines. I would just practice with your sewing machine binder to see if you can get the results that you want.
Marty ;)
Brighten each corner where you are ... smile!
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Re: Adventures with a Slippery Jersey Knit

New postby LeapFrog Libby on Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:17 am

I have a basic serger. no bells and whistles but I have been making tees and other tops for years on the serger. The way to make a neckline for a tee is much easier on my serger, my Janome does not like stretch knits. I just pin the 4 sections very carefully and then using the free arm I sew between the sections stretching the ribbing as I go. and they turn out well. To make it look like a pro, you could press, and then on the right side go over the seam with a twin needle on reg. machine and then it looks like a professional finish. Of course it goes without saying that you have to be very careful and go slow on the serger so you can remove the pins before they reach the needles and cutter.. I have never had but one accident in my 24 years of serging. I have made over 600 baby bibs from fingertip towels using this method, and probably 250 tees for family and friends. I love my serger and this is my second one. Its not yet 2 years old. Both have been Babylock Basics.. I forgot to add, on nice tops I use self fabric for neckling finishing using a 3/4 of 2'3 ratio according to how much stretch is in the fabric..Makes a nice finish for the neckline.
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Re: Adventures with a Slippery Jersey Knit

New postby cgmemphis on Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:24 pm

Hi Ladies! Thanks for the info! Yes, I am in Memphis, TN (well, in Southaven, MS, now) but grew up in Memphis. Hopefully, I will be able to retire in a couple of years and can sew all I want! Spending so much time inside this cold winter, I researched and experimented a lot with the stretch knits. I know they are inexpensive to buy RTW, but they always shrink and never fit me right. Looking forward to trying your suggestions, and thank you so much. MartySews2, we will have to compare our projects!
Hugs, Cheryl
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Re: Adventures with a Slippery Jersey Knit

New postby sewingrandma on Fri Apr 11, 2014 7:18 pm

Welcome CG. I have a cover stitch with attachments for applying bias binding but prefer not to use the attachments. I have found it is just as easy to put them on without them. Before I got my coverstitch I used a twin needle for my hems and around the neckline but found that the stitching would break if stretched too much (think grandson pulling on clothes) no matter how I adjusted the tensions or which thread I used. I have since found out they make a stretchy thread (not wooly nylon but can't remember brand) and the person who recommended it swears by it. I also have a serger which I use almost exclusively on tees.
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Re: Adventures with a Slippery Jersey Knit

New postby cgmemphis on Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:20 am

Thanks for the info! I wondered if it would be worth my while trying to use the attachments. I know you have to stretch the neckband to fit the neck opening, and I wondered if the binder attachment could do this stretching...My main issue with the neckbands is taking my time to get the stitching straight ;) Practice, practice, practice! The stretch thread, Maxi-Lock Stretch, was not available at my local fabric stores, but I did order it online, along with 1/4 inch ribbon elastic (couldn't find that here either--I tried the 3/8 inch elastic sold locally, but it was too large and firm to stabilize the shoulder seams, in my opinion), Will let you know how the stretch thread works in my sewing machine twin needles. If it works well for the T-shirt hems, then I may not need a coverstitch machine.
Hugs, Cheryl
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Re: Adventures with a Slippery Jersey Knit

New postby sewingrandma on Sat Apr 12, 2014 3:30 pm

CG the bias binding attachments for sewing machines won't handle a cotton knit but might a thin knit but then it would probably curl and just not do well. It definitely wouldn't stretch a neckband to fit a tee. I used Stay Tape for my tee shoulders and have found it works well stabilizing them. Joann's and Hancock's carry it here. I've also used a tricot fusible interfacing to stabilize shoulders when I run out of the stay tape just be sure to watch which way you put the stretch of the interfacing.
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