4 Tips for sewing with stretch materials like jersey and sweatshirt fabric

17 November, 2018

In today’s post we are going to explain how to successfully sew fabrics like jersey and sweatshirt. With these recommendations you’ll see that sewing knit fabrics is much easier than you think.

These days jersey t-shirt fabrics and sweatshirt fabrics are on trend with people who sew. This is thanks to them being so comfortable to wear and easy to sew, when you follow a few guidelines whilst working with them.

The range of elastic fabrics available is very varied depending on their composition. However, they all have something in common, they do not unravel. Our jersey and sweatshirt fabrics are made of 95% cotton and 5% elastane. The jersey knit is a finer fabric (t-shirt type) and the sweatshirt fabric is thicker with a warm fleece interior. The jersey knit is also more elastic than the sweatshirt fabric.

sweatshirt dress

If we had to recommend which one you should start to sew with if you are a beginner, there is no doubt that we’d choose the sweatshirt fabric.

Jersey and sweatshirt fabrics. Tips.

Katia fabrics autumn city fabrics

  1. Choose the correct machine sewing needle. When sewing elastic fabrics it is very important to use a sewing needle specifically for them in order to avoid problems. They are called ballpoint needles, but you can also find them with the name “jersey” or “stretch” needles.

  2. Use the correct sewing machine presser foot to help you when sewing the seams. It is called a walking presser foot. TIP: If you don’t have one you can always put a little adhesive tape on the bottom of the basic presser foot. That it slides over the fabric more easily. Or you could use tissue paper between the presser foot and the fabric and then pull it off (this will also stop the fabric from forming ripples).

  3. Take care to select the right stitch. For the side seams, shoulders and legs you can use a straight stitch because we do not need elasticity at these seams. However, seams at the waistband, cuffs, neckline etc must have some elasticity and a zig-zag stitch or similar must be used.

  4. It is not necessary to neaten off the cut edges because they are knitted fabrics and subsequently do not unravel. However, you can neaten them off with a zig-zag stitch if you prefer to do so.

We hope that these 4 tips will encourage you to start sewing with knit fabrics. It’s possible to make some really beautiful items, like this girl’s dress and matching neck warmer set.

dress with buff sweatshirt

Or this baby romper pattern with mittens.

romper baby sweatshirt

Katia Fabrics

Find everything you need for this project in Katia Stores and at our online sales platform KatiaShop.