Welcome to our Jersey Knit Sewing Kit! Sewing jersey garments can be a great way to get some near-instant gratification; once you have a pattern that works for you, it’s possible to run up a new version in next to no time. However knits can also be tricky customers and none of us want to sacrifice quality of finish. That’s where our Jersey Knit Sewing Kit comes in! It contains all those bits and pieces you need to obtain a professional finish on your t-shirts, tops, tunics and frocks.
What’s in the box?
Each kit contains the following:
- A reel of Madeira ‘Aeroflock’ thread in one of two shades of grey (or go for a two-colour kit if you need both!). Details below.
- A pack of 5 75/11 Stretch needles.
- A pack of assorted Ballpoint needles
- A 4.0mm Twin Stretch needle
- 2 metres of Vlieseline 12mm stitch-reinforced fusible bias tape
- 2 jersey knit offcuts (one single-knit, one double-knit) for testing
Your kit will come boxed – handy for keeping all your jersey bits and pieces together!
Scroll down for more details of each of these elements and how to use them. And yes – we will be offering the component elements for sale individually shortly – but just for the moment we’re offering kits only. Watch this space!
More about your Jersey Knit Sewing Kit
Here’s some more information about each of the kit contents and how to use them. Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us – we’ll be delighted to help!
Hand-wind a length of this soft, fluffy thread onto your machine bobbin when you’re sewing a hem with your twin needle. It has very good elasticity and moves smoothly through the loops made by your upper threads. The result will be a twin-stitched hem that stretches without snapping the the thread behind your hem which is usually the cause of an unravelling hem on a jersey knit garment. Also known as ‘woolly nylon’, you simply need to choose a light or dark grey for lighter or darker garments respectively, since the thread won’t show through to the right side of your stitching.
You’ll need to hand-wind your Aeroflock thread onto your machine bobbin, making sure it’s not pulled tight. If you pull it too tight, then there’ll be no stretch left in the thread to ease with your jersey hem. Expect to experiment with the tightness of the thread, coupled with adjusting the tension on upper threads on your machine. The aim is that when you sew your twin-stitched hem, the stretch bobbin thread should be visible as a zig-zag behind your stitching. This will avoid the ‘tunnelling’ or ridging of the twin stitching, as well as leaving some room for the hem to stretch. You can see a video of how this should look on this Jersey Hems Instagram post.
Your pack of Ballpoint needles comes in a variety of thicknesses for use in lighter- and heavier-weight knit fabrics. As the name suggests, the tip of the needle is rounded in order to help it move between fibres; it’s especially useful for fabrics with spandex or elastane content.
Similar to Ballpoint needles, the area behind the hole in Stretch needles is more deeply indented. This allows a longer thread loop to form, helping to avoid skipped stitches. If your Ballpoint needle doesn’t work so well on a particular jersey, try a Stretch needle instead.
Twin Stretch needle
Fit the Twin Stretch needle onto your sewing machine to sew two parallel lines of stitching on a hemline. You’ll need to thread a second reel of upper thread down through your machine in order to thread both parts of this needle.
The lower (bobbin) thread will form a zig-zag between the loops created by the upper threads, not only providing a neat finish on your hem, but also allowing it to stretch. Always test your Twin needle before using it on your garment! You may find a walking foot helps to control the fabric. Most importantly – GO SLOWLY! Trying to sew too fast with a Twin needle with result in skipped stitches and tangled upper threads.
Fusible bias tape
Press a length of this tape into the seam allowance of any seam (usually the shoulder seam on a top or dress) which you don’t want to stretch. The stitched edge should be towards the seamline. Once it’s pressed in place, sew your seam as usual.
Everyone’s machine will handle different jersey fabrics in different ways. The answer? Test, test and test again! In particular, play with your tension to adjust your twin needle stitching. Don’t forget to make a note of what works for each type of jersey – we’ve included a draping single-knit and a more structured double-knit with your Jersey Knit Sewing Kit to help you try out different machine settings. There’s lots of information on the internet and especially social media – it’s always worth doing a bit of research to explore all the tips and tricks that other sewers have used to get the perfect finish on their jersey garments.