Fleece comes from 100% polyester and is usually warm, making it perfect outdoor clothing. In addition, it features a soft feel, does not wrinkle, and taking care of it is pretty straightforward. Also, fleece is a knit fabric, unlike most others which we use for weaving.
Its knit also goes hand in hand because its edges are not prone to fraying, unlike most fabrics. For this case, one may wonder whether the material requires hemming or not. Read on to know more about hemming fleece!
Does Fleece Need To Be Hemmed?
No. Hemming fleece is not a must because its material does not fray, so you need not hem it to secure it in place. However, if you want to sew, you should use a zigzag stitch or a stitch made from a stretchy material.
How to Sew a Hem on a Fleece Blanket?
Sewing a hem on a fleece blanket is a straightforward technique. Once you make your materials ready for sewing, you will be good to go. In this case, ensure you first measure and cut the size of the blanket you want and the go-ahead to do the finishing. Here is the process:
Step 1: Fold the Edges
It might help if you first determine where you want your hem to reach. Then fold that edge to create a hemmed edge on the edge. When making the fold, ensure that you make it about a half inch or 1.3 cm of the material. Also, make the folds on all four sides of the blanket.
However, you also have the option of leaving the edge as it is. In this case, when sewing, you will sew along the raw edge. Remember, fleece is not prone to fraying. As such, you need not have a folded hem. Again, it goes down to personal preference.
Step 2: Secure the Edges in Place
After folding, it is essential to ensure that you secure the folds in place. You can use some pins for this purpose.
Step 3: Adjust Your Sewing Machine Setting to Zigzag Stitch
Depending on how you want your hem to look, you can opt to set the machine to the zigzag stitch. If you choose this stitch, ensure you make the settings long and wide. To do this, turn the width and length of your machine to the highest setting.
Your sewing manual should guide you on how to achieve the zigzag stitch setting on your machine. In most devices, there is a digital control that you can use to select the kind of stitch you want.
While using a zigzag stitch is expected, some people may prefer to sew over the raw edges. This option is also viable if using a zigzag stitch is not your taste.
Step 4: Start Sewing Along the Edges
Start by raising the presser foot on your sewing machine, then place the blanket under the presser foot. Next, lower the presser foot and start making zigzag stitches along the edges of the blanket. Ensure you hold the fabric firmly when sewing.
How you sew will depend on whether you fold the fabric or not. If you have a fold on the material, you should position the needle about ¼ inches from the edge with the fold. As such, the sewing needle will be running over the raw edge of the fabric.
If you are dealing with unfolded edges, you should sew from about 0.25 inches from the raw edges of the blanket.
Also, for an easier sewing time, you can place tissue paper under the presser foot. It will ensure an even movement on the fabric as you sew. Moreover, you should also put a tissue or wax paper over the feed dogs. The tissue paper will ensure that the material is not caught on the feed dogs as you sew.
Ensure you make zigzag stitches all around the blanket before moving on to the next step.
Step 5: Secure the Last Stitches
Once you finish making hems all around the blanket, it is time to ensure that the last stitches are intact. To do this, you will need to make backstitches on the fabric.
Start by pressing down following the reverse direction lever on your sewing machine. As you do this, ensure you are still maintaining some light pressure on the pedal.
Make back stitches which should be about 1 inch. Then, release the lever and start sewing forward again. Finally, make stitches on the last edge of the blanket and once you complete, stop the machine.
Step 6: Cut Excess Thread
Do not forget to cut all excess thread around the blanket. Your hem is now perfect!
How to Sew Fleece Without Hemming?
The sewing process of fleece is pretty easy, and it is more straightforward when you do not have to do the hemming. Here is what you may need to do when sewing fleece without hemming.
Step 1: Prepare the Fabric
When dealing with any other fabric, you need to prepare your material before you start sewing. One of the preparations you need to do is washing the fabric. Ensure you prewash it even before you start cutting it to shrink it and also allow the color to run.
Also, it might help if you fix the pattern choice on your fabric so that you can cut and sew your fleece depending on the pattern you choose. Moreover, you need to select the stretch factor on your material to match the design of your wool.
Step 2: Cut the Fabric
Before you start cutting, it is essential you first determine the right side or the wrong side of the fabric. To do this, cut a sample from the material then cut it across. Usually, the fabric will curl towards the wrong side, and also, you should notice that the wrong side is fluffier.
You should then cut the fabric. Ensure you use sharp scissors to ensure the edges do not burr. If your fleece fabric is thick, cut it into single layers. You may need to mirror some pieces, and to do this, flip your fabric when you are looking at cutting the second shape.
Step 3: Secure and Mark the Fabric
Once you cut the fabric, you need to secure it in place. You can use safety pins for this, and if you lack them, long quilting pins should work.
Then, mark all around the fabric on the places where you want to sew. You can draw using either Tailor’s tacks or make some running stitches on the material.
Step 4: Prepare Your Sewing Tools
Ensure your items for sewing are ready. These items include a thread and, in this case, ensure you are using a good quality polyester thread, and it should match your fabric color.
Select a good-quality needle for sewing. Fleece works well with ballpoint needles or micro-tex ones. For the sewing machine foot, you can try using an all-purpose foot. However, if you are dealing with a thick fleece, a walking or Teflon foot should work well.
Step 5: Stitch the Fabric
You can start stitching the fabric using the zigzag stitch following the pattern of your fabric. Ensure the stitch is small as it helps with the stretch of the material, therefore, preventing stitches from snapping where there is some extra movement.
You can adjust the zigzag stitch of your machine to have a length of about 3.0 and a width of 1.0. Ensure that the stitches do not break when you stretch the fabric. On the neckline of your material, you can use stay stitching since the fabric is stretchy.
You can use a Serger when sewing fleece since the seam already has its elasticity. Also, if you are dealing with a super thick material, consider using a flat seam. Moreover, you can make the tension on your sewing machine a bit loose to make it more stretchy.
Step 6: Finish Off Stitching
If you are not hemming the edges, you should trim them off. To do this, use sharp and straight scissors or pinking shears to cut off the excess fabric.
For some fabrics, you can make a few backstitches towards the edge. You can make the stitches using your hand or the machine.
Step 7: Iron the Fleece
Once you finish sewing, you can press iron on the fabric. Ensure you are extra cautious when pressing and do not use a hot iron on the material since it may melt. You can use a cotton pressing cloth in between the iron and the fleece for safety.
Step 8: Clean the Fleece
You can finish off by washing the fleece. Using your hand when washing is much safer, but when you choose to use the machine, ensure you frequently check the bobbin case.
Is Fleece Easy to Sew?
It Is easy to sew fabric, and there are many reasons for this. For example, fleece is not prone to fraying, and also it does not stretch as much. Therefore, sewing it should be easy.
Moreover, the fabric that makes fleece is 100% polyester which is pretty much light for sewing. Generally, the fleece fabric is usually light and is super comfortable both for wearing and for sewing.
What Size Needle Do I Need to Sew Fleece?
You should use a size 12 needle when sewing fleece. On your sewing machine, it should indicate a size 12 or 80, which is the universal sewing needle.
Ensure you also adjust your sewing machine to a long stitch which should be about 8 to 10 stitches per inch. Moreover, adjust the stitch and use the zigzag or straight stitch since it works well with this kind of needle size.