Fast-stitching jersey sewing patterns help newbie knit sewists grow their confidence — and me-made wardrobe.
And, if you’re already a master of sewing stretchy fabric, a quickie project is sometimes all it takes to re-ignite your sewjo.
It’s a good thing there are SO MANY sewing patterns for knit fabrics that you can complete in a few hours. Watch out: The thrill of wearing a garment on the same day you sew it *may* become an addiction.
Let’s lean into this need for speed and chat about how to speed up sewing projects and what are the best jersey fabric patterns for instant sewing gratification.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
How to Sew Fast
OK, speed demon. I heard you were looking for some instant sewing gratification.
I’ve got the secret to speedy sewing for jersey fabric patterns, woven patterns, or whatever else you’d like to stitch.
The fastest way to sew a garment is to make speed-enabling decisions before you start stitching.
Apply these eight tips to finish your garments as fast as possible.
1.) Sew Something You’ve Already Sewn.
IMO the stuff in sewing that takes the most time IS NOT the actual stitching-at-the-sewing-machine sewing.
The parts that are so dang time consuming are:
- Printing the PDF pattern
- Cutting paper pattern pieces
- Cutting fabric pattern pieces
I say, skip ahead by stitching an “encore” garment.
Because you’ve already sewn it, you’re practiced at the stitching techniques and can move that much quicker.
It’s easier to hack a pattern you’ve already sewn than it is to sew an entirely new-to-you pattern with a feature you fancy.
2.) Choose a Pattern with Few Pattern Pieces.
Few pattern pieces means there’s less fabric to cut and fewer seams to sew. Plus, you don’t have to keep track of as many cut-but-not-sewn pattern pieces.
3.) Avoid Curved Seams.
Straight seams are easier to sew than curved seams. Easier = faster.
4.) Choose a Midweight Fabric.
It’s easier to sew a midweight fabric vs. a lightweight fabric or a heavyweight fabric.
A domestic sewing machine may struggle to create decent stitches in a heavyweight fabric. And, lightweight fabrics often need a slow, gentle hand for the best outcome.
RELATED: What Does Weight of Fabric Mean?
5.) Minimize Fitting.
Fitting is time consuming. Necessary, but time consuming.
Choose patterns with relaxed, loose-fitting silhouettes to cut down on fitting. Fitting a waist takes less time than fitting a waist, shoulders, AND bust.
6.) Pick Easy Sleeves.
There are three main types of sleeves:
- Set-in sleeves: Most traditional. Attached at the armhole of the garment.
- Raglan: Think baseball-shirt-style sleeves that start at the neck.
- Grown-on: Sleeves are part of the bodice pattern pieces. Sometimes called “kimono” or “dolman” sleeves.
Set-in sleeves are the hardest — i.e., most time consuming — of the three types to sew, because their seams are the most curved compared with raglan and grown-on sleeves.
Grown-on sleeves are the easiest because there are zero sleeve pattern pieces to sew.
7.) Avoid Closures.
You know what takes a fair amount of time to sew?
- Zippers of all kinds
- Buttons and buttonholes
- Hook-and-eye fasteners
- Button loops
For the fastest sewing experience, sew garments that you pull on/up/over your body.
Along with being an additional step in the sewing process, I find sewing closures/fasteners takes me out of the stitching flow. And, a lot of closures call for hand sewing, which is S-L-O-W.
8.) Skip Pockets.
Hot take: Not every garment you sew needs pockets.
Especially if you want that garment, like, yesterday.
As fashion designer of your me-made clothes, you’ve got the power to omit pockets.
(Plus, speaking of knit fabrics, pockets in knit garments often aren’t sturdy enough to even hold your phone without distorting the garment.)
Jersey Fabric Patterns You Can Sew Fast
I kept those eight tips in mind as I curated the following collection of 28 (!!) instant-gratification jersey fabric patterns.
With each of the following sewing patterns for knit fabrics, I tried to satisfy as many of the eight guideposts as possible. But, you can’t win ’em all.
I’m confident, however, that you can look at these patterns and see what I’m getting at when it comes to choosing knit fabric sewing patterns that are fast to sew.
Also, when it comes to the fabric recommendations, always cross check with what these jersey fabric patterns suggest, especially when it comes to stretch percentage and direction of stretch.
The knit fabric suggestions in this article are my gut reactions to the patterns based on my own sewing experience and personal style.
P.S. I marked complimentary patterns with a 👏 FREE. Because we like to clap for free patterns, yay! And a hearty thanks to designers who put in the time to share freebie garments. Big hugs and high fives.
RELATED: 33 Knit Fabric Examples for (Almost) Every Sewing Project
Cass T-Shirt from Sie Macht
This sewing pattern has only three pattern pieces — front, back, and neckband — and features grown-on sleeves. Its relaxed fit pretty much eliminates the need for fitting.
Rayon jersey knit with tons of drape.
Elliot Sweater and Tee from Helen’s Closet
This knit top has raglan sleeves and three views and three neck options. The fit is relaxed with generous ease around the bust and belly.
Striped cotton jersey for a fun angle at the raglan sleeve and bodices.
Bobbie V-Neck Top from Jalie
The Bobbie V-neck *technically* has grown-on cap sleeves, but practically it has more of a sleeveless look. The neckline is cleverly finished with a facing — no knit neckband sewing here.
Bamboo jersey for maximum cool temperature control.
RELATED: Easy French Binding for Knit Necklines (How To)
👏 FREE Uvita Top from Itch to Stitch
Uvita’s dropped shoulders make sewing the full or three-quarter-length sleeves to the body of the shirt easy. It also has more than 250 five-star reviews on the Itch to Stitch website.
Different colors or patterns of cotton-spandex jersey for color-blocking fun.
Linden Sweatshirt from Grainline Studio
Another top with easy-to-stitch raglan sleeves. This longtime darling of the online sewing community can be stitched with long cuffed sleeves or short hemmed sleeves.
Beefiest non-spandex jersey you can find to maximize its sweatshirt DNA.
Toaster Sweater No. 1 from Sew House Seven
This is a tried-and-true pattern for me. I’ve made it in sweatshirt fleece, knit jacquard, and Merino jersey for three different looks. Here’s a vid of the different iterations!
Same as Linden sweatshirt, if you’re committed to jersey fabric.
Saybrook Tank from Cashmerette
It’s a tank top for those who are bigger of boob; it’s designed to cover your bra from all angles. Saybrook has three views, two front necklines, and two back necklines.
Lightweight jersey blended with spandex for improved stretch and recovery.
👏 FREE Sylvan Tank (Dress) from Mood Fabrics Sewciety
The racerback of this tank might actually cover bra straps, hooray. I love the depth of the neckline — not too high or low.
Soft cotton ribbing for extra stretchiness.
👏 FREE Lago Tank from Itch to Stitch Patterns
This is the most-relaxed-fit sleeveless top of the collection. The mostly straight hem hits at the hip.
Breathable, lightweight linen jersey.
Luz Cardigan from Fibre Mood
Roomy Luz has easy-to-sew dropped shoulders, an unusual pocket, and only five pattern pieces. You can make the sleeves and cardigan any length you please.
Salma Wrap from Style Arc
Welcome to the wearable-blanket section of CardiganWorld™. I love that this cardigan has only three seams: one in the back and one for each “sleeve.”
Brushed drawn textured yarn (DTY) knit in a poly blend to give it some slinkiness.
Cardigan 3721 from Kwik Sew
Kwik Sew patterns are beloved by people who like to stitch knits. This waterfall-style cardi has grown-on sleeves for the front bodice and raglan sleeves in the back — fascinating.
Solid cotton jersey, because the wrong side of the cardigan will show on the waterfall front.
Made-to-Measure Leggings from SewHere.com
OK, so before you can make the leggings, you have to draft the pattern. But, after they’re drafted, you can sew these leggings in less than an hour. Say bye to RTW leggings!
Super-stretchy performance jersey (but be sure to test opacity).
Yoga Pants and Top 3115 from Kwik Sew
The sewists of PatternReview.com love this pattern; it has more than 90 four-and-a-half-star reviews. I mean, can you really fight the wide yoga waistband?
Treat yourself to super-soft (and wicking!) Merino jersey.
Lucinda Knit Pant from Style Arc
These are pull-on knit pants that somehow look dressy; I think it’s the front tucks and straight legs. Because these pants don’t have pockets (front or back), they should sew up fast.
Drapey interlock twist yarn (ITY) knit to make these pants P-E-R-F-E-C-T for travel.
Straight Palazzos from Patterns for Pirates
You can sew these palazzo pants with a yoga waistband or an enclosed waistband. They look insanely comfortable and quick to sew — only 3 pattern pieces (front leg, back leg, waistband.
Try a buttery soft double-brushed polyester (DBP).
Dresses and Skirts
My definition of dressy dresses are dresses that you could wear to an office job with at least a business-casual dress code.
Cowl Neck Dress from Sew Over It
Sew Over highlights that this dress only has three pattern pieces — front, back, and sleeve. It doesn’t have facings or closures, either.
Slinky ITY in a solid color so you can appreciate the drape of the cowl.
Sheridan Dress (Free Add-On) from Hey June Handmade
The deal with this pattern is that you buy the Sheridan sweater and get the dress length add-on for freebies. I fell in love with the sleeve options for this garment — bell, cuffed, or elasticated.
Warm Merino jersey.
Catalina Dress from Blank Slate Patterns
The pattern view with the grown-on cap sleeves makes it a dressy dress. Pull on this dress and GO, and you’ll look pulled together, thanks to the waist elastic. (Omit the pockets to sew it even faster.)
Colorful double-brushed poly (DPB) print for levity or a solid color matte rayon jersey to increase its seriousness.
My definition of casual dresses are dresses that look cute with sneakers. Obviously this is subjective and we can fight about it, if you please.
But, let’s just sew dresses instead.
This dress is reversible, because the dress body pattern pieces are the same! That, combined with the unusual side cowl, give this deceptively simple dress a high fashion soul.
Activewear jersey or ITY for drape and slinkiness.
Inari Dress and Crop Tee from Named Clothing
If you like to surrender your waistline, Inari is right up your alley. This T-shirt dress with a modern vibe features a neck facing, which means you don’t have to sew a knit neckband.
Any jersey will work — depends on how much drape you want.
Laundry Day Tee (Dress) from Love Notions
This popular knit fabric pattern is the Platonic ideal of a T-shirt dress: no closures and slightly fitted. It’s called the “Laundry Day” tee because it’s supposedly easier to stitch this garment than it is to do a load of laundry.
Double-brushed poly (DBP) in a wild print works well for a simple garment.
👏 FREE Lindy Petal Skirt from Itch to Stitch
Another complimentary Itch to Stitch pattern (what can I say — they all look really good). The two overlapping front panels, back, and waistband create interesting, curve-hugging lines.
DTY knit so the skirt has slightly more body.
Knit Column Skirt from Pamela’s Patterns
Make this sleek skirt to play with a very vertical silhouette. It features a 1.5-inch yoga-style waistband and is fitted at the waist and hip but falls straight to the knees or ankle.
ITY knit to make it a great “dressy” travel outfit for when you’re on vacation and want to go somewhere nice.
A-Line Skirt 1219A from Christine Jonson Patterns
The unusual seaming of this skirt caught my attention. I could see making a few of these skirts in neutrals and in different lengths.
ITY to give the skirt more bounce.
Loungewear and More
👏 FREE Acacia Underwear from Megan Nielsen Patterns
Sign up for Megan Nielsen email to get this pattern for free. Panties sew up quickly because there are few small pattern pieces to cut and the seams are short.
Robert Kaufman Laguna cotton-spandex knit — it’s what I made my me-made undies out of.
Kaye Soft Bra/Crop and Shorts from Seamwork
I have this pattern in my Seamwork stash, and every time I look at it, I wonder why I haven’t made it yet because it looks comfy as heck and fab for layering. It’s a front, a back (and front and back lining pieces), and a piece of elastic.
1×1 organic cotton ribbing jersey to keep the bra close to the skin.
👏 FREE DIY Robe from Melly Sews
This tutorial uses body measurements to draft a basic robe. Aside from the little curve of the back neck, it’s all straight-line sewing.
Colorful and soft double-brushed polyester (DBP); love a wacky print robe in the a.m.
👏 FREE DIY Paper Bag Waist Drop-Crotch Pants from Mimi G
Drop-crotch pants are not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re bumming around your house, who are they going to hurt? This step-by-step video shows how easy these pants are to draft and sew.
Lightweight but opaque bamboo knit — bamboo keeps you cool and lightweight fabric won’t weigh down the generous crotch. (LOL generous crotch.)
Final Thoughts About Fast Sewing Patterns for Knit Fabrics
As you can see, there are TONS OF quick-stitching jersey fabric patterns. In this article I tried to share patterns you might not be familiar with from designers you might not have sewn before.
And, for good measure, I had to sprinkle in some no-risk free options.
By now your sewist eyeballs should be trained to spot garments that will sew up fast…
…Garments such as Sie Macht’s Cass tee, which is available in misses and plus sizes (fitting hips up to 70 inches (177.8 cm) and busts up to 66 inches (167.6 cm)).
Plus, when you buy this PDF pattern, you get step-by-step illustrated instructions for how to hack it five different ways.
Remember the first tip of how to sew fast? Sew something you’ve already sewn. Cass wants to be this pattern for you.
Should you be interested, here are Sie Macht’s best articles on sewing knits:
33 Knit Fabric Examples for (Almost) Every Sewing Project
Sewing Stretchy Fabric without a Serger: Stretch Stitch Settings and More
Easy French Binding for Knit Necklines (How To)
How to Sew a Knit Neckband
Best Serger Hems for Thin Knit Fabrics
How to Hem a Lightweight Knit on a Sewing Machine
How to clean finish a knit with woven bias tape
How to Make a Full Bust Adjustment on T-Shirts (No Darts)
My Must-Have Tool for Twin Needle Sewing
The Great Dress-Off: Knits vs. Wovens
How to press scuba knit and more: Tips for working with scuba fabric
Swimwear sewing tips: 8 can’t-miss resources in one place