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It's a treat sewing with fleece -- the edges don't unravel, so there's no need to finish seams. Fleece is kind of stretchy, plus fleece garments are normally a little loose, so fitting isn't a big issue.

Even though fleece is easy to sew, there are two sewing tricks that can make your fleece experience much more pleasant!

First, you want to use a longer stitch length when you sew fleece. Rather than your normal setting of two or so, you may want to go up to a four or a five. Some people even suggest a basting stitch for fleece!

The reason is that fleece stitches can pull through the fabric if the stitch length is too short. Longer is better when you sew fleece. The plus side of this is that it makes your sewing much faster!

Next, you want to make sure of your "right-side/wrong-side" when you sew fleece. Some people are surprised to find that fleece has a right/wrong side -- the print usually appears the same from both sides. Solid colors have the same color depth regardless of the side. How can right/wrong side come into play?

The catch is that fleece will always curl to one side or the other. The side it curls towards is the "wrong" side! When you cut a piece of fleece, you'll not the cut edge will always curl in a certain direction. Take careful note of this when you assemble fleece garments or projects; match your right/wrong sides carefully to up the quality of your finished product!

To make this a little confusing, the salvage edge of fleece doesn't follow this rule! The salvage edge normally curls towards the "right" side! For best results, don't leave your salvage edges raw -- trim them instead. After all, fleece edges won't unravel, so there's no real need to keep the salvage edge.

Keep these two tricks in mind when sewing fleece and you'll find your sewing experience much more pleasant -- and the results more enjoyable!

Joey Robichaux operates Sewing Machines and Sewing Projects at http://www.using-sewing-machines.com -- offering free sewing projects and reviews of older mechanical sewing machines -- and Sewing Stash at http://www.sewing-stash.com an extensive sewing and crafts directory.

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Tags: basting, curl, edges, fleece, garments, polar

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Comment by Lisa Bordenave on January 26, 2010 at 7:54pm
Thank you sooo much for this. I'm starting various fleece projects and figured that the selvege edge curled to the "wrong" side. In fact, i was just about to begin to cut the first when i decided to check Sew-What's-New first for any tips. This is why I so love this site!
Comment by Birdie on October 26, 2009 at 8:55pm
oh I thought of another tips. It can be a bear to rip seams with fleece so if I'm working with any new pattern etc where there's a remote possibility that I'll have to rip a stitch, I fold & pin a narrow strip of paper towel over the edge and sew on that. Then if all goes well it comes right off and if not, the stitches are not only easy to see, but it's easy to get under them.
Comment by Birdie on October 26, 2009 at 8:52pm
great fleece tips. All my monkeys are made of fleece and I had to work so hard to keep everyhting in the right direction without this info! Thanks for the great tips!
Comment by maureen on August 13, 2009 at 9:27am
Wow - always something to learn and this is awesome information. Thank you for all of the tips about sewing with fleece but especially the ones about the edges curling!! I know that it will make for a much more professional piece.

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