As someone who mostly makes stuffed animals and costume hoodies and hats, I love using fleece. It is the first “real” fabric that I ever used, and I find that it is very beginner-friendly and easy to use. Here are some of my favorite tips for using fleece.
- Fleece does not equal felt. For whatever reason, these two are often confused by beginner crafters. Their names do sound slightly similar, but they are two very different fabrics. First, unlike fleece, felt is not a woven fabric but is rather a lot of fibers pressed together. Thus, it is much thinner and much stiffer than fleece. You really can’t use felt to make any sort of garments.
- Fleece has a “right” side and a “wrong” side. Because the sides of fleece look similar, it can be difficult to tell which side of the fleece ought to be facing outwards. One trick is to make a horizontal cut so that there is a little tab of fleece. Pull this tab so that it curls slightly. Whichever side it curls toward is the wrong side.
- Fleece can sometimes become jammed in sewing machines. This may be a problem that I encounter with my particular machine, but fleece often becomes caught in the teeth of my sewing machine. To prevent this, you can place a layer of tissue paper between the fabric and the machine, which will prevent catching.
I highly recommend fleece for beginner sewers who wish to experiment and practice basic skills. Unlike other fabrics, it does not fray. It also comes in a variety of colors and can always be found for a good deal. These are the places where I often buy affordable fleece:
- Hancock’s holiday sale. Hancock’s Fabrics normally carries fleece from $10 – $12 per yard depending on the brand. During the holidays, they go on sale for around $2.50 a yard, which is quite a steal. I definitely love stocking up during this time!
- Joann’s online sale section. Joann’s online sale section has an option of buying fleece fabric remnants at a discount. The price ranges from $3 – $5 for a yard. Unfortunately, the colors are random; this system works well for me though because I use so much fleece and enjoy having a variety of colors to choose from.
- Walmart. Certain Walmarts will have fabric cutting sections. Walmart fleece tends to be very thin and not of very high quality, but they do sell for under $3 a yard. If you are looking for the color more than the quality, Walmart would be a good option.