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matte jersey skirt, cut on bias or not?

User avatar
blingy | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I just figured out how to make an elastic waist skirt with flat elastic instead of it looking all gathered.  Great, but when I serged the side seams, it streatched about 4 inches and it doesn’t hang very well.  This fabric is a matte jersey with spandex and it stretches both ways so I didn’t think to cut it out on the bias.  Should I?  And what can I do so that it will not stretch when serged?  I am trying to duplicate a skirt I bought so I don’t have a pattern to go by, I had to make my own pattern using the ready-made skirt as a guide.  Do I still cut it out on the bias and how do I serge it without the incredible stretching?  Thanks


  1. Teaf5 | | #1

    Stretching solution

    The stretching in the seams is caused by the pressure foot tension against the feed dogs.  This tension, which presses down on the fabric while stitching, needs to be tight for thin, flat, woven fabrics but looser for knits or for high-pile fabrics like velvet and corduroy.

    Check your machine manual for an adjustment of this pressure someplace directly above the needle, either a dial, knob, or lever.  Using some samples of the fabric, gradually lighten the tension until the seam no longer stretches but still feeds through evenly.  If you don't have a machine manual, you can often find one online.

  2. marymary | | #2

    I would not cut the skirt on the bias from a jersey.  Since the fabric stretches in both directions you might end up with more problems.  Does your serger have a differential feed?  That can keep fabric from stretching.  If you don't, try a stabilizer like what is used for machine embroidery.  I keep scraps of soluble stabilizer just for problems like this.  Practice on lots of scraps until you are satisfied with the method you want to use.

    1. User avater
      blingy | | #3

      just to let you know

      I did find out a few things...first, I made the pattern wrong, the skirt did not stretch, it was how I made the pattern.  So I re-drew the pattern and tried it again with the very same fabric.  Before I cut it out I took a magnifying glass to the ready made skirt and it was cut on the bias so I cut this one on the bias and it worked!  I asked 2 people at Jo-Ann about it first and they both said not to cut on the bias because of the 2 way stretch but one of those people said the seam line is already on the bias because of the shape.  She suggested I take a good look at the ready made skirt, which I did, and determined that it should be cut on the bias.  So if you ever want to use this fabric, don't be afraid to cut on the bias.

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