Sewing with Batik Cotton Jersey Knit
After sewing for so many years and now owning a fabric company, it's been an education to learn more about the fabrics that we design and offer to you! Bruce designs our fabric and works with our manufacturers to ensure that our base cloth is the best and the batik technique is impeccable. He has taught me more than I ever thought was possible about each of our fabrics - Jersey Knit is no exception.
When I first learned to sew I primarily used fabric that my mom had in her stash. When we wanted to make something special we headed to town to shop at the Grinager Merchantile store in Mayville. The business isn't there any more, but it was fun to go to the basement and select patterns and fabric for my next project. I took for granted the needles, thread, and other notions that I used to sew my garment. Mom simply had all the notions in her sewing area. I have learned through classes and knowledgeable friends what notions to use and not to use with each base fabric. And of course lots of trial and error testing and learning on my own clothing.
I'd like to share tips and techniques that I've gathered over the last few years regarding our Cotton Jersey Knit. Not all Jersey Knit is the same. As a matter of fabric, there are so many fabric combinations and weaving techniques available on the market.
Here are a few features of our Jersey Knit:
- 72" Wide. Most Jersey Knit measures 54" or 60". Most garment patterns are written for 60" wide fabric. Producing 72" wide Jersey Knit is a treat! The extra 12" will make a difference in the yardage needed to make your garments.
- 100% Cotton. Batiks are only possible when the base cloth is made from natural fibers. Our Jersey Knit is 100% Cotton. When you think of Jersey Knit many think of the word "stretch". Our Jersey Knit has a 2-way stretch across the grain line, it does not stretch with the grain line. It is a very stable knit and has a nice hand to it. Because Batiks must be a natural fiber our Knit does not have Lycra or Spandex.
I have learned to work with the same notions over and over again when sewing with our Jersey Knit. Here are my favorites.
- Jersey or Stretch Needle. 80/12 needle size is perfect for the weave of our Jersey Knit. The Stretch needle is needed to glide through the weave and secure the threads. I use the same needle when sewing with a conventional sewing machine and a serger. Needles do not cost very much money compared to thread and other notions. Take the time to change your needle after one or two projects depending on the amount of sewing time needed.
- Cotton Serger Thread - or Cotton/Polyester. There are so many thread options available on the market. Test the various threads you have in your sewing area. I primarily use 40 weight thread. If I'm top stitching and want to conceal the threads I will use 50 weight thread.
- Serger: I will put 40 weight thread in the upper and lower loopers. It's a good weight for wrapping the edges of the fabric securely. I will put either 40 weight or 50 weight thread in the needles. It just depends on what I'm sewing at the time. Most often with Jersey Knit I use 40 weight thread. I want stability in the seams.
- Light weight Fusible Interfacing. Most garments that we offer on our website or that I sew for myself from Jersey Knit are simple and don't require much if any stabilizing. I will use a fusible interfacing in the front facings, collar, and cuffs/hems to add ease to garment finishing. We offer two options on our website:
- Stay Tape. I seem to keep my stay tape right next to my cutting table. I use this tape to stabilize shoulder seams and any other stress points in a garment.
- Fray Check. This is a must have product and keep it next to your serger or sewing machine. I put a dab of fray check on each thread just before I cut the threads close to the fabric. No raveling or fraying.
- Prewash the Jersey Knit with Synthrapol / Retayne. And, this shouldn't be last on my list, but it's one of the most important things to do with any fabric - prewashing. It's important to prewash batik to remove any excess dye and wax - and of course - preshrink. Fabric shrinks when washed and dryed and we want that to happen before we cut out any pattern pieces. We spend a lot of time sewing our garments and we want them to fit when we're done.
There are many more notions and accessories that we need when sewing garments and other projects with Jersey Knit. If you come upon a notion that you have never heard of or just need advice definitely feel free to email or call.
I created a short video that I hope you take the time to watch. It's about 20 minutes or so. I tried to include all the notable tips that you may find helpful when you start working with our Batik Cotton Jersey Knit. My experiences may not be the same as your experiences. Just know that my goal was to answer as many customer questions as possible.
Click on the image to watch the video. The video will open in a new browser window.
We hope you found this educational and if you have questions please email us at Services@SewBatik.com or call our toll free number (877) 235-5025 and we'll help as best we can!!
Keep Sewing, Smiling, and Sharing