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Topic: Advice on using Stretch Jersey?  (Read 773 times)
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« on: September 01, 2009 07:49:23 AM »

I have a lot of stretch jersey (95% Polyester/5% Lycra, 50% stretch across the grain) from Fabric.com (http://www.fabric.com/CategoryDetail.aspx?CategoryID=8bc6d67c-14e1-47f7-9549-388e2f76383f).

I picked out several patterns I already owned that had jersey or knits in the "suggested fabrics" instructions. I started out with Vogue 8371 (http://www.voguepatterns.com/item/V8371.htm?search=8371&page=1).

I am using a ball point needle, thread appropriate for the project, and the stretch stitch on my machine. Everything is going great, especially for my first time sewing with knits.

However, when I got to the neckline, it is supposed to be finished with bias binding. I painstakingly sewed on the bias binding, only to discover when I finished that the binding is heavier than the fabric, which causes it to fall forward in the front, exposing the inside of the shirt (about 1/4-1/2" at center front). This is actually the third time I've sewn the neckline. The first time I tried the bias binding and it looked horrible, so I took it out. Then I tried using my twin needle, which looked OK, but not excellent. Then I figured out what I'd done wrong with the bias binding and tried a third time.

Obviously, I am annoyed, but more importantly, want to find a solution, especially since I have several other clothing items picked out for similar fabric (mostly dresses, which, of course, have necklines). They are all dressy items, and I'd prefer it if my clothes didn't look homemade (unique, yes; stylish, yes; professional, yes; sloppy, no).

Does anyone have any advice for sewing with stretch jersey, especially for finishing visible seams like necklines? I'm not so worried about hemlines, since I could do the twin needle and it would look good. But the neckline is giving me problems.

(Additionally, I'm thinking about possibly re-designing the neckline, since I'm going to have to cut off the bias binding anyways. Thoughts on that? I was thinking v-neck, to play off the hemline. Regardless, I'd still have to have a finishing option for the neckline.)
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2009 09:39:44 AM »

i would change it to a vneck since that is a mostly straight line. its easier to the the bias tape to the neckline if its straight rather than curved. i never bother with curved necklines and bias tape. you could also try using a rolled hem foot and just finishing the round neckline like that.
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2009 09:53:57 AM »

There is more to it than this, since I would need to see the pattern and what binding you are using how it is applied etc., but you need to make your binding smaller than the neck edge and where it looks too big you need to make it smaller. The neck edge finish needs to "snug" the garment.

I am not very good at this and it is a thing that takes time until you "get it". (I haven't "gotten it" yet). But there is probably a book (there SHOULD be a book if there isn't) that should give you all this info, I just have no idea what it is.

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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2009 10:41:56 AM »

Instead of bias-binding, try a cross-grain-cut strip of your fashion fabric (the knit lines will be vertical when you hold the strip out between your hands). Here's a freaking AWESOME video-tute from Threads that is the only reason I can do it remotely decently:


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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2009 01:04:13 PM »

Yeah, that is what I was taught with one small difference. She was laying out the binding and stretching it as she went to make the binding smaller than the shirt. Which is great if you know what you are doing! I was taught the general rule is make the binding 3/4 the length of the neck opening.

Goodbye Tucson! I will miss how everything dried so quickly!
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2009 05:46:41 AM »

Excellent ideas so far! Thanks so much!

Does anyone have thoughts on using elastic thread for this problem? Or FOE (fold-over elastic)? I realize that would totally change the design, but since I'm thinking about re-shaping the whole neckline anyways, I thought I'd add another option to the mix.

(Right now, I'm leaning towards reworking it to a v-neck, and the neck binding video, which has a wide binding, might give me the look I want. However, not wanting to have to try this a fifth time, I'm holding out for a tiny bit more advice. You all are awesome.)
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2009 09:20:19 AM »

You can use as binding a strip of organza of the same color as the knit.  It's very light and will stabilise the area.

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« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2009 02:07:54 PM »

When I work with knits, I tend to just make a neckline facing instead of fiddling with little things.
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