Yesterday I covered silkworms and silk production, now let’s learn about different types of silk. Silk jersey is a stretchy knit fabric, and maybe it’s not the most common type, but it’s been on my mind since seeing the Saturday Night Silk Jersey Set (pictured above) in Heather Ross‘ book Weekend Sewing. It is very drapey, ultra-soft and comfortable, and luxurious — no wonder it’s Diane Von Furstenberg‘s fabric of choice. Use it to add a bit of luxury to everday pieces, or for more casual special occasion dresses (think beach weddings and spring daytime parties). It is expensive ($20-40/yard for solids), but definitely worth the splurge.
You do not need a serger to sew silk jersey (or any kind of knit), but you do need to use ball-point needles, a longer stitch length, zigzag or stretch stitch, and thread that has some give (polyester can handle more stretching than cotton). Read more sewing tips for silk jersey on Emma One Sock.
I had a hard time finding silk jersey prints online — solids are more widely available. You will probably have better luck with prints by visiting your local specialty fabric shop or big-city fabric district. Below are a few online sources; please let me know in the comments about other places that carry it.