Monday 17 January 2011

Interlocked jersey and sew-alongs

 I'm back with another sewing-related post! The reason is quite simple: I've taken a complete dance break in an attempt to heal all my muscle inflammations (lately one could think I've been collecting them at purpose!). So for the next three months (at least three months) I'm staying off the dancefloor and be a good little patient and do my physical therapy instead. This way I'm hoping to get back to my old self and be able to dance like I could just a year ago.

Eunough with the sad story! This is not the end of the world, it's just three months after all. One benefit (aside from healing) is all the suddenly free time. I usually dance 3-4 times a week, that's a lot of time now available for other fun stuff! Like sewing =) My mind spins constantly around sewing these days, and I'm working on the coat every day. It will be ready for use this winter! (It's perhaps fortunate winter is a long story up here...)

When writing about the Christmas dress in my last post, I mentioned learning a thing or two about sewing with interlocked jersey (also called double knit), and I'd like to share my learnings with you. So here's some tips for sewing with this wonderful material. Time to get geeky! =)

1. Pre-washing: I did pre-wash the fabric, and I will not do it again. Maybe it skrinks a little bit, but the fabric I used needs to flat dry. Since flat drying 2 metres is impossbile for me, I had to hang some of it up, and it stretched a lot at those points, making it tricky to cut the fabric. So I won't prewash interlocked jersey again.

2. Seams: One of the wonders of this fabric is that it doesn't unravel at all, so there's no need for finishing the edges with zig-zag or french seams or the like. Using an overlock (serger) really helps, but it's perfectly possible to use a regular sewing machine. I used a stabilizer, as seen below:

For the Swedes: I used something called Fixeringsband, found for example here, but didn't iron it on. Thing is, the fabric stretches slighlty while sewing (and bounces back once it has left the machine), and the stabilizor will be as long as the seam. Meaning that my seams stretches a little, but the stabilizor will protect the seam and keep the fabric from stretching so much that the seam breaks. Very handy!

Push, don't pull: A bit obvious, but never pull an interlocked jersey while sewing. Insted, I discovered that a light push on the top layer (with the stabilizer at the very bottom layer) kept the layers from shifting. Otherwise details like the one below gets tricky.

3. Pleats: I only pinned my pleats, and in retrospect, it was not eunough. Look at this so-called pleat-meet:

What I should have done, and will do next time, is to sew the pleat-meet shut along the seam allowance. Maybe even sew the entire pleat, just inside the seamline, before I attach the skirt to the bodice. Considering how wobbly the waistline on this dress is, I'm thinking about tearing it up and re-attaching the skirt, this time with pre-sewn pleats.

That's all! If you'd like to read more on working with interlocked jerseys/double knits Gertie wrote a great introduction post.

On another note: Have anyone else noticed all the interesting sew-alongs that are going on right now?! For those new to the concept: it's basically an online sewing circle, with the blogger-hostess acting as circle-leader. Usually everyone uses the same pattern, and the hostess does posts on fitting, cutting, sewing, detail techniques etc. Even if one doesn't participate in the sew-along, it's a great way to learn new methods. For beginners it's great to see the entire process and have the sewing instructions translated from gibbersih to action =) For the more experienced sewists, there's always new ways of sewing to learn! I often find myself thinking "Why haven't I thought of that? It makes such perfect sence!" =)

Some sew-alongs I'm following if maybe not participating in:
Gertie is sewing a Collette wrap-dress. Very beginners-friendly!
Tasia is sewing her first own pattern, the Pendrell blouse, also for beginners.
Casey hosts a sew-along for the Swing-dress, more for those with previous experience in garment sewing.
Peter is sewing a man's shirt. Very exciting, as there's so little to read online about sewing menswear.

I plan to join Casey's sew-along, but I'll be a bit late in, as I want to finish the coat first. Also, I'm going to use the pattern I made for the Christmas dress, with some detail-alterations (more pleats againt the bust, a long sleeve and I haven't made up my mind about the skirt). If nothing else, I get to add this adorable sew-along button to the blog =)

What are you sewing on right now?
Love, Erika


Kitten loves vintage said...

Tråkigt att höra om dansförbudet, men intressant att läsa om vad du lärt dig av syendet! Jag vet dock fortfarande inte vad det är för tyg du använt...? Skulle väl behöva känna på det för att veta, heh.

För tillfället har jag faktist inga sy-projekt på gång, däremot testade jag tovning för en stund sedan, försökte mig på en halv-hatt. Får se hur det lyckats sen när torkat...spännande! kram!

Erika said...

Kitten; Jag räknar med att dansabstinensen kommer bli rejäl, så jag tänker begrava den i sömnad =) Tovning är roligt, har gjort lite sånt och sett dessto mer i medeltidsföreningen. En kompis har tovat ett tält! Galet nördigt, men väldigt imponerande =) Ska bli spännande att se hur hatten blir!
Hmm, svårt att beskriva tyget... Ingen tygaffär i närheten som har nåt som heter interlockad jersey eller dubbelstickad jersey? Eller så kan jag skicka en provbit till dig! =)
Ha det bra! Kramar

Kitten loves vintage said...

Hehe, här blir det också lite dans abstinens, när det är lågsäsong på dansbanorna januari-mars. Dessutom går vi inte på nån danskurs heller för tillfället, tyckte att tre gånger på nybörjarkursen i samma danser som tidigare kändes tillräkligt. Hoppas på en fortsättningkurs till hösten.

Tovade hatten blev kanske lite för tunn och för liten, eventuellt klipper jag till den till en fascinator-bas. Men oväntat bra för första försöket ändå, lärorikt!

Tyvärr är tygaffärerna i min lilla stad mest inriktade på gardin och inredningstyger, så det är sällan jag besöker dem (blir mest för dragkedjor o.dyl). Men kanske jag frågar nästa gång? Fast det kan dröja ett tag...

Ha det bra själv, kram!

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