Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sewing with Jersey Knits: Part I

                 Let's get started! Today, I am going to highlight the necessary notions to have on hand before we start sewing.

1. NEEDLES: One of the most important items to have on hand when sewing with knits is the proper kind of machine needle. You absolutely without a doubt need a ball point/ jersey needle. (Also sometimes labelled "stretch") They do come in different sizes - so choose the size based on the weight of the knit you are going to sew. Most jersey's are lightweight, so I use a 70. If you are using something like a Ponte, then use an 80. I will talk about hemming later, but you will need a twin stretch needle to do this unless you have a serger that does a "cover lock" stitch.

2. PINS: Use glass head and preferably new ones as knits can snag easily. And, speaking of snagging,make sure that you do not have any dry places on your hands or nails. Maybe lotion up the night before and do a little light filing:)

3. THREAD: Most of the time I use regular sewing thread in my sewing machine, but only Gutterman or Metrosene. Occasionally I will use "wooly nylon" in my bobbin ~ if I need the seam to stretch a lot. If I am serging my seams, I put the "wooly nylon" in the upper looper of my serger (regular thread in the needle and lower looper).

4. INTERFACING: Sometimes you will need a little interfacing for your project and it must be able to stretch along with the knit. My favorite is the tricot fusible; it comes in white and black. Another one of my favorite is a fusible stretch tape for stabilizing seams and even hemlines. You can cut your own from the tricot fusible interfacing.

5. WHICH FOOT TO USE: If you have a teflon foot, I find that this works marvelously; however if you do not have one, you can still sew up your project with ease.

6. PRESSING CLOTH: Imperative! And, do not set your iron on the highest setting ~ cotton! This is where most of us leave our irons set at, so just be careful to change the setting to silk or poly. 

Tomorrow I am going to discuss how to cut out your project! You do not need to pre-wash your jersey knits as you are most likely going to wash them on delicate in cold water. 


  1. Thank you for this information as I am uneasy about sewing with knits. I look forward to your next blog on this subject. Thank you, Linda