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How to Sew with Fleece Techniques for Sewing Fleece Fleece Sewing with Fleece

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"How to Sew with Fleece Techniques for Sewing Fleece Fleece Sewing with Fleece"
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Sewing with fleece isn't hard, but it does require some different techniques than sewing with a more stable fabric such as cotton. Fleece is a knit so there is some stretch to this fabric. This particular fabric is very versatile because it can be used to sew clothing such as pants, ski jackets, casual jackets, or winter hats and mittens.

Fleece can also be used to create some wonderful blankets, and because fleece comes in a variety of prints and solid colors, the possibilities are endless. These blankets can be a no sew project because the fleece may not need anything more than having the edges trimmed. If a more decorative edge is desired, the edges of the fleece can be cut using decorative edged scissors or pinking shears. Or, a hand stitch, such as a blanket stitch or buttonhole stitch, can be sewn around the outside edge of the fleece. A very easy and quick way to create a fleece blanket is to serge around the edges of the fleece. Matching or contrasting serger thread colors can be used. When I sew fleece blankets, I like to use about two yards of fleece and simply serge around them. These fleece blankets make really good gifts and are quick and easy to make.

Sewing fleece blankets is easy and quick and doesn't require any special sewing techniques. However, if using fleece to sew garments, there are some special techniques to remember. Fleece is a high loft fabric and has a nap, which makes it thicker when cutting out a sewing pattern for a garment. Pattern pieces should be laid out according to the "with nap" instructions in the pattern. Some seamstresses like to use weights instead of pins to hold the pattern on the fleece. Although pattern weights are sold in fabric stores, cans of food can be substituted as pattern weights. I have also used long quilting pins to hold a pattern piece in place on fleece. Some seamstresses may prefer using a rotary cutter instead of scissors to cut out sewing patterns on fleece.

If interfacing is required for the garment you are sewing, use a sew in interfacing, rather than a fusible interfacing. Fleece can not be pressed because pressing will flatten the nap. When pressing seams on fleece garments, hold the iron slighlty above the fabric and finger press the seams open. One great thing about fleece is that it doesn't ravel so the seams do not have to be finished, which saves time when sewing.

Some seamstresses find that using a regular sewing machine presser foot and increasing the stitch length works well when sewing seams on fleece. In addition to increasing the stitch length, some seamstresses may use a size 14 regular Universal needle. I tried using a size 14 sewing machine needle, increasing my stitch length to 3, and using a standard presser foot, which worked fairly well. I also tried using a teflon presser foot when sewing on fleece, but I later discovered that I preferred using a walking foot or even feed foot, increasing the stitch length to 3 or 3.5 in some cases, and sewing with a 75/11HS sewing machine needle. This seemed to produce the best results when sewing with fleece. The 75/11HS sewing machine needle is a needle designed to be used with knit fabrics, so it accommodates the stretch in the fleece very well. Sandra Betzina, in her book "More Fabric Savvy" recommends increasing the stitch length to 3, using a satin stitch or embroidery sewing machine presser foot, and using either a 70/10H, 80/12H, or 75/11HS sewing machine needle when sewing with fleece. According to Betzina, fleece is not needle particular.

Fleece is a great fabric, but not every sewing enthusiast enjoys working with this particular fabric. Experiment with different presser feet and different size sewing machine needles to see which techniques produce the best results for you.

For more information about sewing with fleece, I highly recommend "More Fabric Savvy" by Sandra Betzina. She has more detailed information about sewing with fleece, as well as other fabrics. As I have continued my own journey into the sewing world, I have found Sandra Betzina's books to be a great resource for my own sewing needs.

Happy sewing!

More about this author: Belinda Beasley

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