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Buying Jersey Fabrics. Just Jersey Tips

Buying Jersey Fabrics

As much we love buying jersey fabrics, we know that they can be a little bit scary to sew due to the stretchiness. Jerseys are not what they first seem, they are knitted and as such made up of loops, as you can see from the diagram below.


To try and demystify them further we have put together some of our favourite tips for sewing jersey fabric.

  •  Ball Point Needles.

If you’re sewing a very fine jersey, such as our Cortina fabric it may be worth investing in some ball point needles. Rather than piercing the fabric, and causing small holes/tears these needles slip through the weave of the fabric. This in turn will help the seams of your garment last longer, however it needs to be noted.

  •  How to know which way it stretches.

This might seem basic, but I decided to include it for all of the people that are only just learning to sew. It’s simply to tell, just hold the cut edges and see how it stretches. Then do the same from the salvage edge. One way will definitely stretch more, even if it is only slightly.

  •  You don’t always need a Serger.

Don’t have a Serger? Don’t worry! Use a narrow stich zig-zag style, as these are perfect for seams and still allow for the stretch in the material. You can also use this style, wrapping it around the raw edge to finish the garment.

  • Getting A Good Fit

To ensure I good fit, it is always worth washing jersey fabrics and allowing them to dry. You must let the fabric rest before cutting it, as cutting it while it is stretched will dramatically alter how the garment fits.

  •  Iron it out.

Worried about your hem being puckered. A lot of people recommend ironing the hem before sewing it.

  •  Walk it Off

Like having adaptions for your sewing machine? Good! A walking foot puts less pressure on the fabric, so it can move through the machine with less stretching.

  •  Cutting

When you are cutting the fabric, make sure you cut it so that the stretch goes around the body width wise.

  • Stitch Length

The ideal stitch length is 2.5mm, but this is only a guide. For a thicker jersey or an interlock, make the stitch longer, alternatively make it shorter for a finer jersey.


Feel like this has made you feel joyful about jerseys? Then check out our fantastic selection.



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  • Reply
    Shirley Ellis
    07/05/2014 at 9:11 PM

    Hello. I am returning to sewing after a gap of 30 years. Fabric is very different now. I have never sewn a stretch fabric and I found your just jersey tips very helpful and I have just ordered shadows grey. Does this fabric need ball point sewing needles and should I wash it first before cutting out.
    Many thanks for your help
    Kind regards

    • Reply
      09/05/2014 at 3:49 PM


      Oo! It’s exciting getting back into sewing isn’t it! What inspired you to take it up again? We would recommend washing it first just to be on the safe side. Also we’d definitely use a ball point needle on this, just to avoid ripping the fabric. Glad that you found the post useful, if you’d like to see a post on any other topics just let us know.

      Kind regards,

  • Reply
    Jersey - Easy Sewing Patterns | CM Craftii
    12/09/2014 at 2:13 PM

    […] of you were interested in our ‘Just Jersey Tips’ post, which, as you can guess from the name, had some tips for sewing jersey fabric, so we […]

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