A lot of beginners think that sewing with fleece is difficult but the truth is, it’s actually quite easy. You just need to know the proper techniques so you’ll enjoy working with this versatile fabric. Fleece fabric was introduced in 1979 and is a purely synthetic fabric made of polyester fibers.
There are many reasons why it’s very popular. First of all, fleece is affordable. It’s also warm, it has excellent insulating properties and it’s very soft. Care and maintenance of fleece fabric is easy as well. You can put it in your washer and dryer, and not have to worry that it will get damaged in the process.
If you’ve never used fleece for sewing before but are thinking of doing so, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1. The fabric stretches considerably.
This is good news when it comes to easing seams. But edges along the cross grain can really stretch so make sure to stitch it properly.
2. Fleece is bulky.
You need to find ways to reduce or eliminate the bulk such as by using lining material for the cuffs and collars, among others.
3. Use fleece fabric “with nap” yardage requirements.
Because it’s a non-woven fabric, it doesn’t have any real grain. However it does have a brushed appearance that moves uni-directionally. You’ll need to use the “with nap yardage requirements” to address this and make sure that your patterns are laid out in a single direction.
4. Fleece has two sides.
You need to be aware of this because if pulled gently along the cross-grain, it will bend to the wrong side.
5. Its edges do not fray.
You don’t need seam finishes for fleece fabric although you can always opt to do so to make it appear nicer.
6. Scissors and machine needles need to be sharp and new.
Fleece is thick so it may pose a challenge for scissors and needles. You need to make sure your scissor blades are clean and that your machine needles are new. Using a Microtex needle is also a smart choice.
7. Stitching can be a challenge.
Due to the bulk of fleece fabric as well as its tendency to stretch, you’ll need to be extra patient when stitching. What you can do is lower machine tension or reduce presser foot pressure so that shifting is also reduced.
8. Use longer stitches.
That means if you usually use 2.5mm as your stitch length, you need to extend it to 3.5mm for fleece. This way the seams will be smoother.
9. Use narrow zigzag stitches.
You can go for the narrowest setting for zigzag to prevent the stitches from popping when stretched.
Fleece is a wonderful fabric to use when sewing winter clothes and accessories. This fabric is so easy to work with however, newbies may discover that working with it is a bit different from what they’re used to. Still, these tips should come in handy when you decide to work with fleece fabric.