My silk jersey arrived from Gorgeous Fabrics last night so I am working on the top today. Because dry-clean-only tops are not very practical in a hot climate like mine I wanted to test the jersey for washability. I cut a 4″ square and washed it in shampoo (Orvis is also wonderful but I didn’t feel like dragging the big jug out) to check for shrinkage, color loss and change of hand. I even tossed the swatch into the dryer with some towels – I’d never do that in real life but it’s good to give your fabric the worst treatment at the fabric preparation stage (especially important for those of you with husbands or other laundry “helpers” ). The swatch came out great, just a tiny bit of shrinkage as you can see below. So I washed the yardage and dried it on a low setting. I want to add that I have a front loading washer which is very gentle on clothes. I would not wash this in a regular agitator washer unless it was in a lingerie bag. Otherwise I’d hand wash. Of course, you want to do your own test to be sure you like the results.
This jersey is very fine so I chose a fine thread and a size 10 jersey needle. The thread I’m using is shown below. Ordinarily, I really dislike Coats & Clark thread but I am crazy about their fine thread! It is smooth and even and works wonderfully with chiffons, crepe de chines, fine shirtings, etc. On this jersey it practically disappeared into the fabric. Every time JoAnn’s has a thread sale I stock up. The color selection used to be very limited but they’ve expanded the line so I’ve been able to add some great new colors to my collection. The new spool is shown on the left, the old one is on the right. Notice the difference in yardage on the two spools – I’m getting 125 yards less than I used to and now it’s made in Mexico!
Once again, I cut single layer to give me more control over the pattern placement. I wanted a black stripe going down the center rather than two black stripes going over each breast – more slimming. Since the design is not symmetrical, I had to cut one piece upside down so that I would have a nice blending of the pattern over the shoulder. The only way to get an exact match, of course, is to have a center back seam which I did not want. I’m happy with the way it turned out.