Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A to Z 2012 - J



Join me as I blog my way through April - A to Z!
This month, you'll learn about those funny little
sewing terms...as defined by Seams Inspired.

Today, I'm #1125 in the Challenge.
To meet the others, click the badge above or follow this link:  A to Z 2012

I apologize if you have left a comment this week and I have not responded.
I'm knee-deep into a painting project that has limited my computer time.
I'm in the homestretch of finishing painting my kitchen walls and cabinets,
and will respond to your lovely comments this afternoon.


 
Jersey


Jersey is one of my favorite fabrics with which to sew! It is a knit fabric that is produced with an interlocking chain of stitches. The fiber (yarn) is considered a filling knit, as the looped horizontal fibers are 'filled' with the crosswise yarns. Take a closer look at one of your t-shirts. You'll find tiny yarn ladders running up and down the shirt. Jersey is also produced in a sliver-knitting method. The horizontal loops are locked into place with bits of loose fibers. Whether or not you are familiar with this jersey fabric, you'll recognize it for its comfort and common name of 'sweats'.

There are different varieties of jersey available to the sewer. I suggest trying a natural fiber jersey, such as cotton. The newer organic cotton jersey fabrics are wonderful! If you want a softer jersey, bamboo jersey feels very good against the skin. Tencel jersey, made from wood pulp, can be silky to the touch and has a beautiful drape to it. These types of jersey have a 'breatheable' quality to them that make them very comfortable to wear.

There are also rayon and polyester jersey fabrics. While they usually have a soft hand and smooth drape, I personally find them uncomfortable, as they lack the 'breathing' quality of a natural fiber. You will find rayon jersey in many RTW (Ready-to-Wear) clothing stores in the form of tops, travel-wear, and pyjamas.


Cotton Jersey
Image from Fabric.com

Tencel Jersey
Image from Fabric.com

Rayon/Polyester Jersey
Image from Fabric.com


While jersey is fairly easy to sew, there are a few rules to remember...
  • The most stretch is usually in the crosswise direction. The diagonal (bias) can have quite a bit of stretch to it as well.
  • To avoid saggy finished garments, choose a pattern with pieces that are placed on the vertical grain.
  • The fewer seams you have in the garment, the better sewing success you'll have with jersey.
  • Use a zig-zag finish on all your seam allowances. If you have a serger, now is the time to break it out and use it. A serger is perfect for sewing knits, as it overlocks threads around edges of the jersey.

Do you have any clothing made from jersey?
Have you ever sewn with jersey knit?

Happy Wednesday!

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