Easy Fleece Gift Ideas

Easy Fleece Gift Ideas
The holidays are upon us! Looking for quick-to-sew family stocking stuffers, colleague or neighbor gifts, or for family or friends? Among the easiest of fabrics and most forgiving to sew is fleece.

Consider the following easy-to sew gift ideas using fleece:

Lap blanket into pillow - when folded and stuffed into an attached pocket becomes a neat compact pillow. Great for TV watching or as a gift for dormitory-living college student or for air travelers who seek an alternative to stiff u-shaped neck pillows. A 36-by-48-inch rectangle is a standard lap blanket size. Cut thick fleece fabric to this size and blanket stitch all edges if desired. Cut a pocket out of the same fleece 12-inches by 12-inches. Top stitch sides and bottom only of the pocket to one short side of the blanket having centered the pocket evenly on the middle edge leaving a little of the blanket edge showing to account for fullness of the fleece fabric when stuffed into the pocket. Do not sew the top of the pocket edge to the blanket as this opening will allow the blanket to be folded and inserted into the pocket. To fold compactly, lay blanket down with the pocket facing down. Fold the long side edges of the blanket over each other just until edges of pocket can be seen. Then fold down from the top until the last fold lays on top of the pocket. Turn the pocket inside out and up over the folds.

Finished result is perhaps less than a pillow and more like a square stadium cushion. Great to keep in the car for when a lap blanket might be needed on frosty drives.

No-sew child's slumber bag – great for TV watching, quiet reading in a cozy corner, nap time or kiddie sleepovers. This is a variation of the long popular fringed fleece tie blanket. Two yards of fleece will make this cozy fold-over sleep bag. Fold fleece wrong sides together, in half lengthwise. Use a few pins along the cut edges to keep the folded fleece neatly together. Cut side and bottom fringe along these edges 1-inch wide and approximately 4 or 5-inches inches long. Use a length of masking tape or blue painter’s tape along the bottom and side edges or yardstick ruler to ensure the strips are all evenly cut from the edges. Note: a square will be removed from the bottom cut corner and discarded allowing for unobstructed. Tie all fringe strips along the edges two together using a single over hand knot. No need to double knot. Remove pins. Many other knotting edge techniques can be found online as well.

Floppy fringed hat – using a measuring tape, measure the circumference of the baby, toddler, child or adult head that might wear the hat. Or for gift giving find a comparable model to use. One-third yard of fleece fabric should be enough for most sizes. Fleece can come in a variety of stretchy-ness so keep that is mind when choosing the fleece fabric. Fabric stretch will go around the head. For a child-size, cut fleece approximately 16-inches by 20 or 21-inches depending on head measurement. Fold lengthwise with wrong sides together, then begin stitching the raw edge 4-inches down from the top and stop 3-inches from the bottom edge. Turn the tube right-sides out. Finish stitching the seam edge that will become the bottom band edge by stitching the raw 3-inch seam edge to close. Once the band is turned up the seam will be on the inside of the band. Cut 1/2-inch wide strips (or narrower if desired) on the other top end to make top fringe. Gather fringe tightly and use an elastic coated hair band to secure tightly. Finish the band edge on the hat if desired.

Fleece tunnel scarf – make scarf as long as desired. Generally, cut fleece 12-inches by 60-inches long. Fold right-sides together lengthwise and pin. Sew long edges together using a narrow seam. Turn right-sides facing out. Cut short ends of scarf edges about one-inch wide by 6-inches long or however long the fringe is to be. Top stitch across fringe inner edge to keep fringe even. Fringe hangs free. This scarf provides lot of warmth since the fleece fabric is doubled over.

Fleece tips: Fleece fabric is fun to sew but can be somewhat bulky to handle when sewing. Loosen the sewing machine’s tension setting and use a long stitch length. Test the stitch on a fleece scrap first to determine what tension settings and stitch length are best. A ball point needle is great to use to avoid skipped stitches. Fleece does not ravel so no need to finish edges unless desired. No need to pre-wash (use cool water and low dryer settings for later laundering) as shrinkage is minimal. Avoid ironing. To find the right or wrong side of the fabric, stretch on the crosswise edge and the fabric will roll to the wrong side.

May the fleece be with you. Sew happy, sew inspired.

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This content was written by Cheryl Ellex. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Cheryl Ellex for details.