It’s getting colder, so you are probably pulling on a fleece jacket every morning. What great fabric – it’s cozy, lightweight and keeps you warm. It’s also easy to cut and sew. You’ve seen fleece in the stores. They are stocked with an array of colors and prints, team logos and kids licensed characters. We’ve been in the fleece business for over 10 years designing fabrics and projects.
Here’s a few tips we have to share.
1. Fleece has a right side and a wrong side. Pull gently along a cut edge and it will curl toward the wrong side.
2. Fleece stretches. That’s great to make a hat, you won’t need elastic, but for fitted necklines you’ll want to stabilize with stiches or interfacing so it doesn’t sag.
3. Fleece has a nap. To find the direction, ‘pet’ the fabric with the nap going down. Cut all the pattern pieces out with the nap going in the same direction so it doesn’t look shaded.
4. Sew with polyester thread and a longer stitch. A Universal needle works well as does a ball point needle for knits.
5. If you can set a narrow zigzag, use it for curves or areas where there will be stretch. Serging is even better because it makes a small seam with no bulk.
6. Raw edges won’t fray, so you don’t have to hem unless you like the look.
7. Don’t iron fleece. You want it to be fluffy and it usually has a low melt point. Bad news for your iron.
8. Clean your machine after sewing, there could be extra loose fibers that should be vacuumed out.
Try making a fleece scarf, hat, or blanket for yourself or gift giving. You’ll love it!