Where To Buy Jersey Fabric
After the tee-making-frenzy settled down around here last week, I found myself with a dwindling, pathetic little knit fabric stash. A problem that is quickly remedied, I say!!! There is little I approach so enthusiastically as fabric shopping. I've talked already about my proclivity towards using thrifted knits, and while I am always a fan of the upcycled garment, thrifting has some obvious limitations that purchasing knits can overcome (yardage being the main one). Unfortunately for me, the only fabric shop within an hour's drive that carries knits is Joann, and my experiences with their knits has been pretty bad -- of the maybe 10-15 jersey knits I have ever purchased there, all but two ended up super-pilly. I do want to mention though that I really do like a bunch of their other apparel fabrics, and their lightweight baby wale cord I use for kids' pants is especially nice...all that to say: I know I make snarky comments about them sometimes but I'm not a TOTAL Joann-hater.So for me shopping for knits almost always means online, and knits can be a little harder than other fabrics to end up with what you were expecting if you aren't buying it in person. Though I have been known to rant on occasion about the difficulty of finding good (quality) knits online, I don't think it's a total lost cause. You just have to know what to look for. But before I go any further, I want to state my core belief when it comes to fabric shopping:It is a waste of time and money to make handmade things with cheap fabric. (Repeat after me)I do not deny that there are plenty of online shops selling cheap (and by "cheap" I mean poor quality, not necessarily inexpensive) jersey with bajillions of novelty prints, and while the prices are enticing, I value my time too much to sew with fabric that will pill up immediately with the first wear. I'd rather spend a little bit more on fabric that I know will last (and if it's safer for my kids and the earth, even better). If that makes me a "Fabric Snob," I guess I just have to accept that, but even if, scratch that, ESPECIALLY if you're on a budget, it seems like you should be even more wary of super-cheap stuff. It's easy to justify the purchase at the time, but if it doesn't hold up, it's a waste of money and your time, and it doesn't make sense in the long run. If you can find low prices on high quality fabric, great! It's just harder to tell the difference when you're shopping from a computer screen.
where to buy jersey fabric
So here are my rules for knit fabric shopping online:Pay attention to the TYPE of knit The first rule is know what you're getting, so read the item description to make sure you know exactly what type of knit it is. Jersey and interlock are a good place to start if you're new to knits, but if I had to recommend just one I would say go for the jersey. It's not quite as easy to sew with as interlock because it's often a little more stretchy, but I tend to like the fit and finished product more when I make it with jersey. You can also leave rolled or raw edges on jersey unsewn, so the hemming goes much quicker, if you're into the "raw" look (SORRY Grandma G - I know you hate those raw edges!! :P). Also, is it cotton? wool? silk? Polyester? These things make a difference in where and how it can be worn and washed.Pay attention to WEIGHTMake sure you know if you're getting something heavy, medium, or lightweight. The medium-weight stuff usually works well for tops, and maybe even skirts, but heavy weight knit would be nicer for pants. And you don't want to buy something that's tissue thin if you're trying to make a skirt (or maybe you do?? Not judgin'). Many online shops will even list the weight (usually in the US that's in oz/linear yard or oz/square yard), which isn't the most useful on it's own BUT could be if you just need to compare one knit to another, or to one you've already purchased. And if the weight isn't listed, just ask; the shop owner can easily get that information for you. If you buy a swatch (see below), the weight is often given on the swatch sticker.Pay attention to WIDTHRemember that most knits come in widths of 54-60" so you're automatically getting roughly 30-50% more fabric per yard than on the more common 42/44" width which is more typical for quilting cottons and apparel fabrics. If you'd pay $10 a yard for quilting cotton, that's equivalent to $13-$15/yard for a wider knit fabric. And for that price, you can get some REALLY nice knit. Something to keep in mind. But also be careful; double-layer knits can sometimes be quite a bit narrower, like 30," so you'll need to buy more. And then some knits are also sold tubular (which is how they were made on the knitting machine), so when you cut them open they'll be twice as wide.
Ask for a SWATCHYou would be amazed at how many shops will gladly provide swatches, even if they don't advertise it. I just got a bunch of cotton knit swatches (shown above) from Near Sea Naturals (UPDATE: Near Sea Naturals is now Organic Cotton Plus) a few months ago (great shop -- they have really high quality organic knits, and one of my goals this year is to purchase more earth-friendly fabric), and it really helped me figure out which colors and weights I want to get. Especially when I'm paying more per yard, it's really nice to know that the quality matches the price before I commit. Aren't they pretty? These are really amazing to the touch too.Remember the manufacturers you like If you like one knit from a particular manufacturer, buying it in another color/pattern is a safe bet. Example: I really liked some of the Patty Young knits from Michael Miller that were available recently; I ordered a 1/2 yard of a striped knit to try it out and it was super soft and held up well over time. So I ordered some solids as well, and they were predictably similar. I feel I can be fairly certain that if I can find knits I like from MM, they'll be of similar quality. Shops that sell knit fabric are getting smart and including the manufacturer in the listing, which really helps.Look at other people's stuffI always try to pay attention when I see something in a Flickr pool (like the Celebrate the BOY pool, for example) made with a knit I like. Most people who have a blog will share the pattern they used and where they found the fabric. I've found so many great places this way that I never knew about!OK, so those are my rules, I hope they give you a place to start when buying knits. Do you have any other tips for shopping for knits online?
Brenda at Pink Castle (disclaimer: a sponsor of this blog at the time of writing) recently added a small selection of solid knits to her shop, so I thought I'd show you the pile of knit fabrics I recently bought from her. She also happens to live about 10 minutes from me, so swinging by her place to pick up fabric is really super convenient. And also therefore DANGEROUS. Not in the physical-danger sort of way (Brenda is not a ninja. At least that I know of), just dangerous in the if-this-continues-I-might-need-to-add-on-to-the-house sort of way).I bought two different types, the pile shown above is jerseys, as you can maybe see by the "curl" along the edges, and that one that looks white is actually a very pale cloud blue. The weight is nice and light, perfect for a top or t-shirt or leggings for Clementine. These jerseys are the Laguna Solids from Robert Kaufman.
Knit fabric is very common in todays garment industry. It can be found in mostly all aspects of your life from casual wear, workwear, semi-formal garments and activewear. It is perfect for dresses, shirts, skirts, and pants. Knits come in a variety of different weights, prints, colors and weaves.
I started making them as a way to use some strange remnants of Birch organic knits that a friend gave me. They were too precious to not use. I developed a technique for piecing the fabric with other fabrics enough to make yardage for actual garments.
Crazy jams are part good quality fabric with whatever I can find. Usually the second quality stuff is thrifted. The savings on the thrifted yardage almost always makes up for the extra price of nicer quality knits.
We have a huge selection of Jersey dressmaking fabrics. Jersey fabric has a knitted construction and one of our best selling fabrics. If your pattern specifies a knit fabric, then a jersey will be fine. Read more
Viscose jersey fabric has the best draping qualities and is wonderful to wear. It breathes like cotton so you stay cool. Polyester jersey materials can be slippery to sew but it will hang well and doesn't need ironing.
Our cotton jersey fabric comes in a vast array of weights; French terry jersey to fine t-shirting. As you can see, a lot to choose from and all these come in a range of plains and patterns. Please check out each fabric for more information.
Interlock Knit: Interlock knit is the most common type of jersey fabric and is usually made from 100% cotton or a cotton-polyester blend. It has two layers that are connected together with a knitted stitch pattern which gives it extra strength and stability compared to other jersey fabrics. Interlock knit fabrics are ideal for t-shirts, leggings, dresses, and skirts because they have good stretch recovery and hold their shape well after washing.
Rib Knit: Rib knit dress fabric has alternating ribs on both sides which give it more elasticity than other types of jersey fabric. This makes it ideal for items like cuffs and neckbands as the ribbing will provide them with extra support while still allowing them to stretch without losing their shape over time. Another advantage of rib knit fabric is that it creates less bulk when sewn into garments because the ribs add texture without adding weight or thickness.
This is a cotton jersey slub fabric. A gorgeous varied color pattern and delicate finish makes this a must have for all your fashion wear projects. Ideal for cool summer shirts and great for under layers, the drape will make you swoon and you will find yourself reaching for this over and over again. This fabric is soft, lightweight, and breathable. It is perfect for summer tops, pajamas, and lined dresses. 041b061a72