I’m really happy to share my first jersey project with you! The pattern is from the latest Sewing Bee book, From Stitch to Style, but I got a promotional freebie version with Simply Sewing magazine a couple of months ago.
I picked up the cream and navy stripe jersey ages ago for £2 a metre. It’s nice and soft, but I think it’s going to bobble as time goes by. Its already showing the signs, but as it was my first try with stretch knit fabric I didn’t want to spend a lot.
This was my first attempt at pattern matching and I think I’ve done a pretty good job. The side seams and sleeves are pretty much spot on, and the chevron effect at the shoulders is mere millimetres from perfection.
I changed the pattern ever so slightly to include a band at the bottom, rather than a regular hem. When I tried the top on it was just a smidge shorter than I would have liked. I had enough fabric left to cut a band the same length as the hem, plus seam allowance but, when I attached it, the top was too long!
Before cutting it off and starting again, I folded the new band over and stitched it in place so I could check the length and I actually liked it as it was. I sometimes find myself pulling my top down at the hem, so I’ve decided to leave the double-doubled-up band in hope that the extra weight will keep it in place.
I often get tempted by beautiful dress patterns and imagine them made up in amazing prints, but the reality is that my everyday wardrobe is much more casual than that. More often than not I wear jersey tops and jeans. It may be boring but it’s true! I’m glad I tackled a jersey project early on. There’s really nothing to be scared of and now I feel confident making things for my wardrobe that I’ll actually wear a lot.
I especially like the boat/slash neck on this top. I think it suits me and the front and back are nearly identical. If you were to, I don’t know, spill coffee all over your front on a family outing, you could just swivel it around and hide the mess at the back under your coat. Not that I’d ever have to resort to such measures, obviously.
There were a couple of minor things that went awry. Firstly, my machine seemed to skip stiches every now and again. It zig zagged away without any trouble and then, all of a sudden, it skipped a couple of zig zags and went back to straight for a stitch or two. It was mainly over seams where there were more layers of fabric. Any more experienced stitchers out there know where I went wrong? Or is it just my machine that can’t cope? The other thing is that I need to work on perfecting the tension. Some of my stitches are visible on the outside of the garment, which I actually don’t mind at all, looks-wise. That said, I think it probably means that my tension was off and the seams aren’t as strong as they could be.
Odd stitches and tension probs aside, I really enjoyed sewing with jersey and made this top up in a couple of hours. If I did it again I could definitely go down a size or two. I do like the loose slouchy version I’ve made. It’s super comfortable, but really casual. A more fitted version would be a touch smarter. I have an idea for a stash busting hack so I expect there’ll be another one in my wardrobe soon! I’d like to try this pattern in a novelty print to use as PJs too.
I think jersey will feature a lot in my upcoming projects and I may have accidentally impulse bought an overlocker already. Oopsie!
P.S. Can we all agree to ignore the abundance of cat hair in these pictures? Note to self: deploy sticky roller before photographing clothes.