Fleece fabric is a durable, soft, insulating fabric made from polyester fibers with the qualities of lightweight wool. Fleece retains its insulating qualities even when wet making it an ideal fabric for outerwear in cool weather. The best fleece fabric is anti-pill, comes in a variety of weights, and relatively easy to sew.
Clothing sewn from fleece fabric is not only comfy to wear but most forgiving to the beginning sewer. No interfacing is needed to give the fabric body, lining is not needed as its soft loft is thermally comfortable to wear, and best of all, the cut edges of the fabric do not have to have finished edges as knits or wovens require. If a finished edge is desired, the fabric lends itself to an easy to do traditional top-stitch, zigzag stitch, serged with any number of decorative threads, or customarily seen decorated with a blanket stitch easily applied to the cut edge by hand or machine. In addition, fleece blankets take a modern edge as they can be fringe tied, crocheted or even braided on their edges.
Fleece is the ideal fabric for cooler weather, as it wicks moisture away from the body keeping the wearer warm even in damp cold, it is somewhat wind resistant dependent on fabric density, and dries quickly when wet. Extra nice that the fabric provides warmth without weight. Mostly high-tech polyester, the fleece yarns can be blended with other fibers and come in every conceivable color of the spectrum in solids, prints too numerous to mention, and even your favorite baseball, basketball, soccer, football, or college sports team logos.
Fleece lends itself to be made into a variety of easy to sew scrap projects - fleece berets, cozy neck warmers, scarfs, hats, slipper socks, fashionable headbands, mittens and warm ponchos.
Some tips for sewing on fleece fabric:
Use the best quality, 100% polyester thread and a slightly longer stitch length than used with knits or woven fabrics.
Lessen the presser foot’s pressure and use an even-feed foot if possible to apply even pressure on the top and bottom fabrics as they pass over the feed dogs.
Use a new, ball point needle. Needle size will depend on the thickness of the fleece.
Fleece does have a nap, so use the napped layout of a printed sewing pattern.
Fleece fabric can be very stretchy so best to stay-stitch on stitching lines at seams that travel cross-grain like the neckline/collar seam on a vest or jacket.
Instead of pinning fleece fabric pieces before sewing try using clothes pins or quilt clips as short head pins easily get lost in the loft of the fleece fabric.
Either side of the fabric can be used as the 'right' side, however to determine which side of the fabric is the manufactured right side, tug along the selvage as the fleece will roll to the intended right side of the fabric.
Fabric Tips for Sewing Fleece - a video from National Sewing Circle.
Fleece Blanket Edgings - as seen on Pinterest.
Sew happy, sew inspired.