Tips for sewing with fleece
I love fleece. It’s beautiful, soft, warm, lightweight, and best of all easy to sew. It doesn’t ravel, so it needs no time consuming finishing and it is one of the easiest fabrics to cut. A pair of sewing shears cuts smoothly through fleece and a rotary cutter works like a dream. Fleece can be used for blankets, throws, pillows, ponchos, shawls, caps, scarves, jackets, baby and children’s clothes and a host of craft projects. It comes in a wide array of colors and prints.
Here are some tips for making sure your next fleece project comes out just right:
- Be aware that there is a right side and a wrong side to fleece. Both sides may look alike, but when fleece is cut, the cut edge will curl to the wrong side; however, the selvedge edge generally curls to the right side. On some fleece fabrics you will notice the manufacturer’s name on the selvedge edge; this is the right side of this fabric. Knowing the right and wrong side of fleece is important when you are making a garment; sewing the seams with the right sides together will make for a smoother fitting garment. With craft projects, throws, blankets, and so on, the right and wrong side of the fabric do not matter as much.
- Uses longer machine stitches (3mm or longer) when sewing fleece. Shorter stitches may cut the fabric and pull through.
- A size 14 or 16 machine needle is a good choice for fleece.
- Pick a loose fitting garment pattern for fleece. Although it works wonderfully for a variety of garments, it is too bulky to use for a form fitting outfit.
- Layout your pattern according to the nap layout. This way you will avoid having a fleece garment with the pile running in two directions.
- Standard straight pins are easy to lose track of in this plush fabric. Use longer straight pins with bead heads so that they will be easy to see.
- If you are using a rotary cutter on layers of fleece use a 45mm or 60 mm blade. This will prevent the underneath layer from shifting as you cut. You may also consider cutting fleece as a single layer.