fleece fabric samples

Sewing with fleece 101: essential info about this versatile fabric

Practice topstitching on fleece

Audition any threads you might want to topstitch with to see how they stand out against the fleece.

You don’t have to have a perfectly matched thread color when you sew with fleece.

testing thread colors for coverstitching

Individual stitches will mostly get buried in the fleece itself. If you like, you can pick a thread color that’s in the general ballpark of the fleece’s color.

A lighter colored thread on darker fleeces will work well with coverstitching or a double needle. On the flip side, darker colored threads will show up well on lighter fleeces. Play around on your scraps and see what you like!

Test out embroidery stitches on fleece

Instead of finishing off seams with plain topstitching, you can test out embroidery stitches for a different look.

decorative stitch on sweatshirt
decorative stitch on sweatshirt fleece

Sweatshirt fleeces especially take well to embroidery.

Working with fleece is a good time to test out how to embroider on a regular sewing machine. You can even try to embroider your kids’ art.

Stabilize seams on fleece

To keep shoulders from stretching out on fleece, add a little strip of fusible knit interfacing to the back shoulder before you sew the seam.

You can also finish off the back neckline on fleece with a strip of knit fabric or twill tape.

Twill tape is a particularly nice finish on hoodies where that back neckline can get really bulky.

Sew the seam as normal, then stitch the tape to the seam allowance from shoulder to shoulder. Keep the top edge of the tape even with the stitching line.

After that, open the seam so that it lies flat. Stitch through all layers to catch the bottom edge of the tape for a professional finish to your neckline.

Should you line fleece?

This is a personal preference, but sometimes lining fleece adds a nice interior finish. Linings work well on fleece hoods, and it can cover over pocket guts well.

And lining is always a chance to add a little personality to an otherwise plain project.

Use a moderate stretch knit like ponte or a cotton knit when you line fleece.

Clean your machine after you sew fleece

For our last tip in sewing with fleece 101, let’s talk about your dirty machine.

In the aftermath of sewing fleece, definitely give your sewing machines a good cleaning.

Lint + your machines = sad face and fleece kicks up a lot of lint.

Be good to your best sewing tool and get out that lint. Also, step away from the canned air.

Take a deep dive on how to clean a sewing machine (+ your serger & coverstitch!).

So there’s some tips to get your feet wet in this sewing with fleece 101 lesson. Be sure to check out some more of the special fabric guides below for more sewing tips!

Sewing with faux fur
Sewing with faux fur

A literal no-fluff guide to the faux fur

Sewing with sweater knits
Sewing with sweater knits

Because sewing a sweater is so so fast.

Stitching with leather
Stitching with leather

Leather + you = no fear

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