Silk Jersey Top

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.



Filed under Fabric, Sewing Projects

10 responses to “Silk Jersey Top

  1. Susan Claire

    It looks great but I think you meant 4 inch square instead of 3, unless the fabric grew.

  2. Linda T

    I own a laundromat and we have a few new front load, homestyle machines. They are great for fabric pre-treating but I do use lingerie bags for all the nicer fabrics. Helps reduce fraying on taffeta and other fabrics that fray easy. So if you don’t have a front load machine at home, look for a clean, well maintained laundromat in your area and try their machines.

    I like your fabric choice…can’t wait to see the finished blouse.

  3. Gigi

    You’re right, it was a 4″ square. Duh on me! Must have been having a senior moment. 🙂

  4. I love that fabric! It is a pain sometimes to work with a fabric that is so “needy” (color placement), but so worth it in the end! I’m sure it will be gorgeous when you’re done!

  5. Can’t wait to see this worked up and modeled! Lovely.

  6. I have some silk jersey that I need to use too. I don’t have a front loader, but I don’t agitate my fabric either. I let it soak and then turn the dial to gentle spin. I agitate it enough without the fabric to get the soap sudsy and then go from there. I like that I can wash my silk jersey now, thanks!

  7. Nancy K

    Good to know about the Coats and Clark. I use Gutterman cotton embroidery thread for fine fabrics, but I have to drive about 10 minutes more to get to the source for that. I can get the Coats and Clark at JoAnns. On sale. It’s also in my flight path.

  8. subversivesewer

    Great observation about the thread!

  9. Diane

    Gigi, when you get a few minutes, could you post more info about the different threads available and how they are best used? Many thanks.
    Diane in Michigan

  10. That’s a great idea, Diane! I’ll do that ASAP.