Sitting outside our holiday gite in France last summer I drew up a short list of things I wanted to achieve after the holiday had ended, which included mastering sewing with jersey and getting healthier and fitter. By Christmas I had shed a stone, started running and had one unfinished (failed?) jersey project.
It turns out that for me at least, losing weight, giving up alcohol and getting up early every Sunday morning to run 5k was easier than sewing jersey – how could this be?
Jersey and I have been at a stand off for many years. I let a mental block develop that I could only sew jersey if I had an overlocker and I could only have an overlocker if it was a ‘decent’ (+£500) one. Even attending a class last Christmas didn’t help, because I didn’t sew with my own machine and I never got to the end of the project, but this week things finally took an about turn and I have whipped jersey into submission, let me tell you how it happened.
Several weeks ago I bought the Two Stitches Charlie hoodie pattern and had a disastrous start.
First (entirely my own fault) I managed to cut one pattern piece with the wrong edge on the fold, then when I finally cut it right, I joined the centre seam at the front of the hoodie and it was a mess. A hideous mess.
The pattern said to use zigzag as your stretch stitch and a 5mm seam and then to press open.
So I picked stitch 5
And I got this.
There was nothing to press open when I’d finished , just a big ugly bunched seam. I consulted friends, facebook groups, and the pattern again… What was I doing wrong?!
Then two things happened, I bought a jersey needle and I read the instruction book for my sewing machine. Amongst the many many stitches on offer was a ‘Tricot stretch stitch for jersey’ (number 18) By flattening every part of the remnants of the fabric I had left I just managed to cut enough to make my third hoodie front and this happened…
I cannot begin to tell you what an Hallelujah moment it was! After constantly being thrown off the proverbial jersey horse, I was finally in control!
The rest of the pattern came together steadily and surprisingly easily. My only query was over the penultimate step where the edging is attached to the hood. I read it several times and I’m still not sure that I did what I was meant to.
Jersey is, it turns out, not only easy, but also wonderfully forgiving. The hems on this hoodie are quite unlike the fiddly hems I dread cotton patterns, but are wide and quick. I’ll be making this one again (it goes up to age 9) and I’m now looking for my next jersey sewing pattern – any suggestions?!