Hi, Sewing Friends! Ok let me let you in on a little secret. I don’t have a serger. I have never even sewn on one. I am sure they are lovely and wonderful to use but this girl is on a budget! So I taught myself how to sew knits on a regular sewing machine! It took practice, some trial and error but I figured it out! I am going to give you tips on how to do it too!
I absolutely adore sewing with Art Gallery Fabrics jersey knits! Not only are they so soft, the colors and patterns are beautiful! They also wash up really well which is a plus with 3 kids running around.
Here are my 8 tips for sewing with knits!
Prewash all your fabric at least once. If you want to be extra sure wash it a second time.
Always use a ball point needle! Ball point needles have a round tip that let it more easily move through the fabric.
When pressing jersey knit don’t use steam. I have found it will curl less with just heat.
Pin a lot!!!
A walking foot is a must! Not all sewing machines come with a walking foot but it is such a good investment. You will use it all the time! It helps feed the top and bottom fabric evenly through.
On a sewing machine you need to use a stretch stitch! I use a tiny zig zag stitch that looks like a little lightning bolt (see example below).
After you use a stretch stitch most pattern directions say finish the seam. I remember I was like huh? Didn’t I already do that?? But no, you need to use an over lock stitch to finish the seam. This gives it a very professional and finished look. (This is what a serger would do all in one step for you).
Finally, don’t be afraid to give it a try!!! Trying new things is always sort of scary but in the the end you learned a new skill! Which is actually pretty cool! 🙂
The first pattern I ever tried with jersey knit was the Greenwood tank by Straight Stitch Designs. I bought it from Indiesew.com and assembled the pattern myself, as it was a PDF download. It is a very basic tank pattern and uses 7/8 to 1 3/4 yard of jersey knit depending on your size. A good beginner project and affordable!
I am so excited to have been chosen to sew for Mister Domestic’s Catch and Release Project Party and am working with some of his beautifully designed Jersey knit by Art Gallery Fabrics! Let’s just say I can’t wait to show you all what I make! Please follow me on Instagram @sunshineselvage to see my sneak peaks and other sewing projects!