Home Video Tutorials How to Sew Fleece: Tips and Tricks

How to Sew Fleece: Tips and Tricks

written by Sarah

Have you been longing to sew fleece? With fall here and winter in the works, there is no better time to experiment with fleece. You may have heard sewing fleece is difficult, but just like sewing any fabric, there are tips and tricks to taming the beast.

In this video, we go over some basic tips and tricks I use when sewing fleece. I’ve always found that a 90/14 ballpoint needle gives me the best stitches. I’ve also heard people swear by universal; you can try both if you like.

I always increase my stitch length to at least 3.0 mm and decrease my stitch tension. If you have a presser foot pressure dial, reduce it as well. This is one of the most important tips. If you don’t adjust your stitch settings, you’ll encounter the dreaded thread nest.

You don’t have to use a Walking Foot to sew fleece, but I’ve found it to be incredibly helpful because I don’t have to pin as much (or sometimes, not pin at all). Fleece has a tendency to shift around, so having an extra set of feed dogs really helps. If you don’t have a walking foot, utilize long straight pins or Wonder Clips. If you have more than two layers to sew or your seams must be perfect, I recommend hand basting first.

Speaking of hand sewing, let’s talk about thread. Polyester All Purpose thread is your best choice. It’s strong and resilient enough to hold up to the weight of fleece and to accommodate fleece’s “give”.

Fleece has a natural 2-way “give”. This “give” causes high-stress seams to break easily. Simply stabilize those seams and all closures. If you plan to embroider, use a clear water-soluble stabilizer on the top of your fabric in addition to stabilizing the back.

It’s intimidating to sew something new, but I really encourage everyone to give it a try. Not only is fleece soft and warm, it’s incredibly versatile. It can be used to sew home goods, craft items, and even clothing. I hope this video was helpful and that you feel more confident sewing fleece. Thank you for watching and feel free to leave any questions in the comment section below. Happy Sewing!

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38 comments

Sheri December 16, 2016 at 6:43 am

Sarah, for zipper, did you stitch originally on the right side of zipper foot, then on left side of the foot? I saw two rows of b e a u t i f u l stitching. Your videos are awesome.

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Sarah December 16, 2016 at 1:02 pm

Yup, that’s what I did. Thank you for your kind words and for watching our videos!

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janet November 3, 2016 at 6:00 pm

i’ve benn sewing for 50 years and fleece is something i never learned in school so i’m an old dog learning new tricks, very easy to understand. thanks janet

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Patricia Gabhart November 3, 2016 at 4:28 pm

Very good info. Thanks.

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Barbara November 3, 2016 at 11:12 am

Do you use a stretch stitch? I had heck sewing fleece last year. I told myself it would be a while before I tried again. With you tips I can sew my other projects. Thank you for the very informative video.

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Sarah November 4, 2016 at 10:30 am

Yup, you can definitely use a stretch stitch if you’d like.

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Teresa November 3, 2016 at 9:32 am

Great info,will be starting today with fleece,very helpful. Thank you!!

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FRANCES SCOTT November 3, 2016 at 8:27 am

VERY EASY TO UNDERSTAND WITH YOUR VIDEO CLOSE AT HAND THANK YOU

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Judie November 3, 2016 at 7:37 am

I just wish I had seen this a month ago. I finished a fleece jacket lined with fleece and having 3 separating zippers a couple of weeks ago. I finished a flannel lined hooded fleece poncho yesterday and working on another today. I ended up using a sharp needle on the sewing machine and ball point on the serger.

I enjoy your videos but would like it if there was contrasting thread and maybe lighter colored fabric to make it easier to see. Your camera work is excellent, the shots are very ckear.

Thank you

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michele Ring November 3, 2016 at 7:18 am

Thanks, your seams are so STRAIGHT! Not a waver in the zipper line, mine always have a blip, LOL.
Learned a lot. Very much appreciate your time and expertise.

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Robin November 3, 2016 at 4:31 am

Wonderfully informative

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Jane November 2, 2016 at 9:57 pm

I just don’t understand what a stabilizer is. What is it’s usefulness?

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Sarah November 3, 2016 at 9:52 am

Hi Jane! Stabilizer is essentially a thin piece of flexible material that is either sewn to or fused on to fabric to add structure, strength, and stability to both seams and the shape of the fabric. Stabilizer comes in a variety of weights and types, depending on your project.

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Evelyn Evans November 2, 2016 at 9:43 pm

I am 90 years old and have been sewing since I was 7 so I have ha a LOT of experience but I was glad to learn about using stabilizer in fleece. This is something I haven’t tried. Thank you.

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Dolores Bono November 2, 2016 at 8:59 pm

Very helpful. Thanks. I plan on using fleece to back a quilt. Tension and stitch size is a great idea. Any other helpful tips for a quilt back, please let me know.

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Frances Osborne November 2, 2016 at 8:59 pm

Thanks for your instructional video sewing with fleece. The use of stabilizer is definitly the answer when sewing a zipper.
Fran

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Paula November 2, 2016 at 8:55 pm

Great video! I look forward to more of your helpful tips. Thank you!

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Connie Ward November 2, 2016 at 8:33 pm

I love your videos❤️ You are a great teacher❤️ Thanks❣️

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Connie Ward November 2, 2016 at 8:31 pm

I love all your videos ❣️ You are a great teacher❣️ Thanks

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Catherine Richardson November 2, 2016 at 7:56 pm

I didn’t know these lessons were available . I just learned a lot about sewing fleece. Did not know any of the lesson and I have been sewing forever but not fleece as I could not seem to do a good job. . Thanks much

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Sandy Brantley November 2, 2016 at 7:46 pm

Great video on sewing fleece.

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Rebecca kamysz November 2, 2016 at 7:26 pm

Great video!

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Mary L Mastin November 2, 2016 at 7:22 pm

an idea I’d like to present to you, would you share with us by video about edge stitching, even after sewing for over 60 years I am not satisfied with past endeavors, i.e. attempts, not top stitch but edge stitching using the foot you recommend – this would involve several layers of fabric on a dress jacket of medium weight cotton (front piece plus facing of same material) thank you for considering…or if there is already one on your sight, please advise me as to finding it

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Sarah November 4, 2016 at 10:31 am

I’ve added edge stitching to our tutorial list =)

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Mattie Hayes November 2, 2016 at 7:07 pm

Very informative! Thank you!

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Laurie Miles November 2, 2016 at 6:54 pm

Great video. Question: Did you sew the zipper down twice? We only saw you do it once, but the finished image looked like it was sewn twice. Once really close to the teeth and once where you showed us.

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Sarah November 3, 2016 at 9:24 am

Hi Laurie! I did sew it down twice. You don’t have to, but I like the look for two rows of stitches on fleece.

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Sandra November 2, 2016 at 6:47 pm

I love, love, love the extension table in this video. Does Sewing Parts online carry it for the Janome 8077?

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Sarah November 3, 2016 at 9:41 am

Hi Sandra! It is a WONDERFUL quilting extension table. We don’t have one listed specifically for your machine, but if you can measure the width and depth of your sewing bed (with free arm attachment removed), then we can find a acrylic table to match your machine. Otherwise, we have this huge universal extension table available. It’s not clean, but people usually love the size and built in storage area: https://www.sewingpartsonline.com/extension-table-universal-et-60.aspx

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Beryl Lockett November 2, 2016 at 6:35 pm

Beryl Lockett

Really good info…..just about to sew fleece. Have a big Janome like the one in your video and looked like you used the walking foot that came with that machine.
Thanks. Pls. include me

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Jane November 2, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Also, must note nap. Ruined coat, when back seam showed I cot pattern piece in 2 different directions.

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Sarah November 3, 2016 at 9:25 am

Hi Jane! Yes you make an excellent point! Following the nap is crucial!

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ADK Kate November 2, 2016 at 6:19 pm

Great tips and very nicely explained. Thank you! You covered it all — from stabilization, thread (tension & length), needle and feet. Answered all my questions.

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joel November 2, 2016 at 3:45 am

Very informative. Thank You.

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Kathy November 2, 2016 at 9:31 pm

Quilting FLEECE lint messed up my bobbin casing. No thanks.

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Ruth gold November 2, 2016 at 1:27 am

Please put me on your video list. Really enjoyed the video

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Barbara R Showerman November 1, 2016 at 11:30 pm

I always learn something new…so much appreciate the videos!

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Carrie Cunningham November 1, 2016 at 10:40 pm

Another great video! Love the tips!

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