We carry three variations of solid-color rayon blend jersey in order to give you as many desirable colors as possible.
- ST Jersey is rayon/spandex, with a lush drape, a slightly silky matte finish and about __% crosswise stretch.
- KD Jersey is bamboo rayon/cotton/spandex, with a slightly more cotton-y hand, a similar drape and crosswise stretch.
- FM Jersey is rayon/spandex, with a hint of texture and a slightly airier hand than the other two.
Nearly all of our jersey prints are a poly and spandex blend – more wrinkle-free but somewhat less breathable than these solids; similar in care instructions and sewing techniques.
All of these jerseys can be washed and tumble dried on delicate setting. Over-drying is damaging to nearly any fabric, and these are no exception. I personally tumble them to the damp stage, then hang the garment on a quality hanger and smooth the seams, hems and any wrinkles with my hands before letting it air dry.
Pre-washing the fabric before cutting lets it relax to its normal length:width proportions if it has been distorted a bit in the production process. I haven’t found it necessary to allow extra yardage for shrinkage.
All of these jerseys are ideal for soft tops, shells, draped cardigans, elastic-waist skirts and softly draped dresses. Soft, flow-y pants (elastic or drawstring waist) could also work well. The fabric’s stretch usually eliminates the need for zippers, even if they are included in the original pattern. Garments with details like buttonholes, structured cuffs or waistbands are not as well-suited for jersey.
My personal favorite items to sew from jersey are what I call 2’fers – two matched pieces to maximize the mix/match potential. That might be a shell and cardigan combo that can be worn as a set or as individual pieces in other combinations. Or a draped top and matching elastic-waist skirt that can be worn as a 2-piece dress or as separates.
I usually seam these jerseys with a 3-thread or 4-thread serger stitch. The exception is shoulder seams, where I stabilize the back pieces by fusing Stay-Tape over the seam line (wrong side) before straight-stitching the back and front shoulders together and pressing the seam open.
On jersey tops I nearly always skip the traditional facings and finish neckline and armhole edges with a cross-grain strip of the self fabric, applied either as a binding wrapped over the cut edge or as a pseudo rib trim.
My preferred hem finish for jersey garments is a top-stitch, using either a twin needle or a cover-stitch machine to build in some stretch and eliminate broken stitches later. I nearly always fuse the hem in place with THIS (cut to half-width) before top-stitching so keep it from rippling. A machine blind hem is also an option.
For pattern info and construction details of the garments below, visit PatternReview.com, username nancynrice.