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Sewing with fleece
Any tips?
Everyday Sewist
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Everyday Sewist
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Date: 11/24/02 3:14 PM

Hi everyone,
I have some "polar" fleece which I bought to make pajama pants. I also have some microfleece for the same purpose.

This is the first time I have worked with fleece. Do you have any tips to offer? Specifically, I have some questions:

--What type of needle is best, for the thick fleece and for the microfleece?
--I didn't pre-wash. Is this necessary?
--What do I do with the seam allowances? I know that fleece doesn't fray, but should I just leave them, or can I treat them like knit seams where I stitch a second line at 1/4" and trim? (I don't have a serger and my machine's overlock stitch is not great.)
--Should I press as I sew? Or does it matter?

Thanks! :D

AnneM
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AnneM  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/25/02 9:22 AM

I can only answer some of your questions, since I am by no means an expert but do have some fleece experience.  No, it is not necessary to prewash Fleece, as it doesn't shrink.  At least that is what Malden Mills says, and they should know.  Maybe it is different if you use cheap fleece, but I have not had any problems as of yet with either type.  

I have used size 12 needles with fleece, usually universal although I have used the ball-point as well.  Both seemed to work fine.  Someone else could probably better comment if my choices were good, but at least they worked!  (I used that on both my serger and my regular machine.)

The material  doesn't seem to fray, so you can leave the seams plain if you want.  (I have hemmed an edge by just turning over once and zig-zag stiching; that looks very nice.)  I guess it would just depend on how you want the finished product to look.  For seams that show (inside a hood), I have done a flat-fell seam (at least, I think that is what it is called).  For pajamas, I personally would probably just leave the seams.  

Be careful pressing.  I scorched some microfleece, which seems to be more sensative than regular fleece to heat from the iron.  Regular fleece can also scorch (yes, I managed to do that also).  I tend to do minimal pressing with my fleece projects, although I do some.

Good luck!  

Anne

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With a great wardrobe that's still in the flat-fabric stage.

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Date: 11/25/02 9:32 AM

Betty, Maldenmillsstore.com offers both an e classroom page and a FAQ page which may be able to answer your questions. HTH, Barbara

Marita_old
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Date: 11/25/02 11:43 AM

Betty, I've just finished some fleece garments and they are such a breeze to make. I used my sewing machine only and had Singers size 80 ball point needle, used zig-zag stich to sew (a very narrow one), almost straight, requiers no pressing necessarily, since I like my seams flat I topstiched  with a zig zag as wide as my Pfaff makes it or you can use twinneedle  and woolly nylon in your bobbin and very loose tension, also I took almost all the tension off the upper thread, steam a seamed the hems and stiched them with the twinneedle, the outcome was very good. I've only done a few fleece garments  before this autumn, and I swear I don't know what got into me because the week before last I bought something like 10 meters of the stuff, go figure this out? :0
Hope this helped you a bit, it really isn't difficult at all!!!
Happy sewing hours  :D

Everyday Sewist
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Date: 11/25/02 10:42 PM

Thanks, everyone, for your helpful tips!

I went ahead and started sewing. I used an 80/12 ballpoint needle with a zig-zag and it worked great as you described.  Barbara, I will definitely look at that web site.

I tend to avoid polyester but the fleece just looked so comfy for winter. And you're right, it is nice to sew. I don't know what's gotten into me either--I just bought a yard of polyester stretch velvet today too. :0

Sana
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Date: 11/21/12 7:57 PM

I've somehow missed the fleece bandwagon until now, so I was looking for tips. I'm used to prewashing everything so the above surprised me. Do you really not have to pre-wash?

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"Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God." (G. K. Chesterton)

rinnerin
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Date: 11/21/12 11:23 PM

I prewash fleece mostly to get the dust and chemicals off from the store, and to get rid of the lint. I never press and use a universal or a ballpoint needle, whichever works best or I have on hand. One trick I've found is to use the longest pins you have. I like the flower head pins that are almost 2 inches. They tend to not get lost like shorter pins can.

Fleece is pretty user friendly, IME. I use it for my boys' clothes, especially hoodies and winter pants.

------
Babe - My grandmother's 1936 Singer FW 221
Shiny - Pfaff Ambition 1.5
Pinky - Brother NS-40
Stinky - Babylock BL4-738D

HowSewBlogger

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Date: 11/22/12 6:58 PM

I like sewing with fleece, too. And the kids love virtually anything I make out of fleece, so it's instant gratification. :)

If I really have to press fleece, I use a press cloth.

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diane s
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diane s  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/22/12 8:54 PM

If the fleece is thick, it will feed through the machine better if you loosen the presser foot pressure and lenthen the stitch.

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My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

ryan's mom
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Date: 11/22/12 9:20 PM

Needle size will depend on fleece thickness and seams joined. 12, 14, or 16 depending on what your stitching--2 layers vs. 4 or 6 layers when joining pieces or seams.

At stress areas I use a narrow zigzag stretch stitch. In low stress places I use a 3.0 or 3.5 stitch length (regular straight stitch), something that is longer than my machine's default stitch length. I do not recommend using a narrow zigzag everywhere in case you make a stitching mistake. I'd rather stick myself with 100 pins that seam rip a narrow zigzag in fleece fabric. Blech.

I don't prewash fleece, and I have done lots of sewing with it. Another tip is to use a quality fleece if you want your projects looking nice for a long time. Cheap fleece tends to look very poor after just a few washing. Malden Mills fleece, IMO, has always been top notch. Microfleece from Wazoodle is also the cat's meow. Great stuff that looks great for a long time.
-- Edited on 11/22/12 9:21 PM --

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Big 4 Pattern size 12, RTW bottom: 6, RTW jacket 8, RTW top (no size fits me well!)
Measurements: 34 HB/36 FB (34C bra)/27.5/36 (and working hard to keep it that way.)
Machines: Sewing: Elna 760, vintage Kenmore Model 33 (1967), Janome Gem Gold 3. Sergers: Babylock Imagine and Babylock Enlighten. Embroidery Only: Janome 300E. Coverstitch: Janome CP1000. Straight Stitch: Janome 1600P.

If you think your sewing is better than everyone else's around here, get out of my way b****. I hate sewing snobs.

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