Monday, March 6, 2017

Grrrr... Jersey can go to the hot place

in which our plucky heroine dislikes some fabric...

While I love the ease of wearing knit tops, some knit fabrics are more amenable than others to work with. I enjoy sewing with ribbed knits, as the structure of the ribbing means that they fabric lays flat. I only used ponte* once, on a vest for my Mom, but it too was easy to work with, since it is a double knit and very stable. The most annoying knit fabric to work with is jersey, since it is a single knit, it wants to curl. This is a function of the structure of single knitting, whether in the form of fabric, or in knitting with wool by hand, where single knitting is called stockinette stitch.

Last week I started in on a simple black/cream marled hemp knit top. This fabric has an interesting visual texture and is a lightweight knit. My thought was that it would be an appropriate layering garment for winter, as well as being good on it's own in the transitional seasons. However, the cussed fabric rolls on every cut edge, and not just a little curl, but it will happily roll up several inches or more. This makes it rather quite annoying to work with. Nonetheless, I manage to get the main pieces serged together...

Somehow when I then foolishly serged the neckline binding in place, (rather than basting and stitching, I inadvertently stretched the neckline, which looks unattractive, as it makes the binding stick out rather than lay neatly flat. I had to remove the binding, cutting off the serged stitched portion, that will make the neckline larger, which is not the look I want.

A larger and wider neckline opening can be filled with a floppy cowl, or can become a wide deep scoop necklines, or in this case, I created kind of double facing, and sandwiched the cut opening between two pieces. Extending the neckline edge inwards on the double facing pattern pieces I created restored the original neckline. Yay! I think that the hand stitchery is a nice rustic detail on a pretty basic long sleeve knit top.

I had been trying to avoid starching the knit fabric, but it is unavoidable; there is no way to deal with the edges of the fabric otherwise. Those applied cuffs would literally curl into what looked like a heavy cord, were they not starched prior to my working with them, as would that tidy looking neckline facing, and that would make stitching them in place rather difficult. Heavy starch makes working with the curling jersey fabric a lot easier, rendering it almost as stiff as quilting cotton, but it takes time to do, requiring multiple applications of starch, makes a mess of the ironing board and of the surface of the iron.

despite the snow this morning, there are definitely more signs of springtime every day. The days are getting longer, if not a lot warmer (yet). One or two eggs each day from the goofy hens. Many yards with sweet crocus blossoms, which reminds me... need to get self to a garden store and get some pea seeds,, because it's time!


  1. I really like your neckline solution - and the way you tied the cuffs into the design. It looks great.

  2. Impressed with your perseverence with a tricky knit. The result has worked well and looks like it will hold up better on that fabric. It reminds me slightly of the neckline on the top that goes under the cardiwrap (Simplicity 2603)that has a double band, gathers in extra fabric, is interfaced and can even take hand embellishment. It makes a really nice base for less stable jersey.

  3. I'd say this is a great example of being given lemons and making lemonade. Your new tee looks great.

  4. I'm sorry for all the consternation the neckline caused you, but boy, is that a pretty neckline! You took it a step above by dipping the bottom edge into a point. I would never have thought to do that, but it is very effective.

  5. Hmm. Starching Jersey knit. Will have to remember that.I do really like that top.