Fabric Focus – Silk Jersey

what to sew with silk jersey

This is my latest make – an Agnes top in silk jersey. Actually, not entirely in silk jersey – the back piece and neckline were cut from black French terry.

how to sew a silk jersey top

I found the silk jersey beautiful to work with and wear:

  • Soft as a feather against the skin
  • Holds stitches beautifully (no skipped stitches – hoorah)
  • Doesn’t require a ballpoint needle – a 70/10 needle universal is fine
  • Has a beautiful sheen
  • Keeps cool in the heat and warm in the cold
  • Breathable
  • Packs small

All these qualities made me consider what else could be made from fabric with such a gorgeous drape. It has a low stretch, which means you could almost treat it like a woven. I recently spotted a pussy bow blouse sewn in bamboo jersey. I bet you could do the same in silk jersey.

bamboo jersey

Any cons to consider?

  • Shall require hand washing
  • Can shrink by 5% so prewash before cutting
  • Relatively little stretch
  • Requires a cool iron and press cloth when pressing
  • Expensive!

But, really. Given the choice, why wouldn’t you? This is such a lovely fabric. I saw a suggestion for luxe pyjamas in silk jersey and now I can’t get that idea out of my mind.

What would you sew with silk jersey?

silk jersey

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21 Responses to Fabric Focus – Silk Jersey

  1. mertxe says:

    I am a huge fan of silk jersey! I’d only wear silk jersey if I was a millionaire, haha! I made myself a sleveless Coco dress (http://thesewingexperience.blogspot.com.es/search?q=silk+jersey), and it is a dream of a dress. I also dream with a long-sleeved wrap top… but being so expensive, we better keep to brief garments…

  2. Vogue 9268 for my daughter’s wedding!

  3. Good to have a fabric focus post again. I didn’t realize that silk jersey had relatively little stretch. I think it would look fantastic made up with one of the patterns from the Drape drape series of books. if only it wasn’t so pricey as these patterns are real fabric hogs…..

  4. Jo says:

    I love silk jersey but I find it extremely difficult to source.

    • birdmommy says:

      I’m having the same problem! My usual spots (dharma trading, or G&S Dyes in Toronto) don’t seem to have it (dharma only has a lightweight version that is a little too sheer), or know if they’re getting it back in stock.

    • Rachel says:

      I second (third) this comment. I keep trying to find silk jersey because I really really want to try sewing something with it but it seems impossible to find!

    • didyoumakethat says:

      Fabric suppliers (if you’re reading) – take note!

      • Mags says:

        I’ve found it impossible to find in the UK. I’ve actually had it shooed from Mood they have a fantastic selection but I had to pay customs so it ended up incredibly expensive

  5. Jane says:

    I’ve not tried silk jersey yet but it sounds delicious. I’m about to start making my first tshirt with viscose jersey my first attempt at sewing with stretch fabrics. I’m not sure I’d have the courage to attempt silk yet. I loved the picture of the bamboo jersey top, and the skirt with it. Is it the Raystitch window? I really love the skirt as well and would love to know what pattern and fabric they’ve used. If it is Raystitch I’ll drop them an email to find out.

  6. danvillegirl says:

    Never tried silk jersey but imagine that it would feel great against the skin. I would probably make a top or blouse from it.

  7. Emily Keller says:

    It’s lovely! Where did you get the fabric? I think I’ve seen silk jersey in Liberty but sadly out of my price range!

  8. Jane says:

    I’ve ogled Liberty silk jersey before–I feel like I’d have practice on tons of scraps first! No clue what’ I’d make!

  9. Ooh, this looks great! Definitely a fabric I’d like to try, thanks for the post. I love the mushrooms too!

  10. I love silk jersey! I bought several meters of it last fall and made up some undershirts and underwear that I love – like you say it’s warm but not too warm, heaven against the skin (like a second skin) and just so luscious to drape through your hands. It’s not going to be my last foray into silk knit that’s for sure! 🙂 Love your top and how wonderful it MUST be to wear with french terry at your back (one of my other favourite fabrics!)

  11. I have never sewn with silk jersey but it sounds wonderful, especially as it sews up like a woven. I am not too sure of knits. What I am sure of is NL6471. What a fabulous pattern. I have made up two already and have another one cut out and good to go. I love it and the version that you have shown. It comes highly recommended. Xx

  12. Robin says:

    I have made a cardigan from silk jersey,and you’re right about shrinkage, which I experienced. Unfortunately, this project was one of my first attempts at sewing knits, and I stretched out the band collar and band cuffs terribly. The cardigan still works over a blouse, but not on its own. I tacked down the excess collar band by pinching it and covering the pinched area with two small buttons over the shoulder seams, so it looks okay, as if that was a design choice, so I made it work.

    I bought my piece as a remnant from Fabric Mart online at a good discount, but had to work with the size I had (less than 2 yards). It is not easy to find.

  13. Megan says:

    Do tell what is French terry? When I hear ‘terry’ I think terry towelling. That can’t be right!

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