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I have been trying to make fleece scarves and blankets and have had to sew them by hand. My sewing machine will not stitch over the fabric. Any hints would be appreciated. Thanks a lot.
Donna from Middletown, NY
Try using a walking foot which will help move the top and bottom of the fabric or fabrics at the same time or try using a tear away stabilizer on the top and bottom. If you sew close to one edge of the stabilizer you can continue to use the tear away until you have used it all up. I have even used adding machine tape, (used or unused), made a good crease and torn it at the sewing line to help remove it. Lots cheaper than stabilizer and is one way to use long lengths of adding machine tape that is used.
When I was sewing if I had a problem seam I used to place a thin strip of tissue paper along the edge being sewn-this gave the foot feed something solid to grip.
I sew fleece quite often and don't have any problems. One thing I have learned that helps is to lengthen your stitch.
Try relaxing the tension on your footfeed. Seems the fabric is too thick to go through the machine with the present tension on the footfeed.
I use a longer stitch just like Robbie. I also use a slight zig zag stitch on anything stretchy. The seams will still lay flat as long as you don't make it real wide.
If your machine has the old fashioned hem stitch (looks like the line on a cardiogram) that works too.
Along with adjusting the tension, make sure you use a sharp needle that is the correct size for the fabric you are using. Sometimes all I needed to do was change a dull needle and everything was fine. Look on the package for the information.
I have made lots of fleece jackets and never had to change the stitch length or tension, and never had any problems, even with making buttonholes in the jackets. For making blankets, what I do is get two pieces of fleece the same size, lay them on top of each other, make sure all the edges are straight, then cut out a 3" square on each corner, then cut fringes 1/2" wide, by 3" long, all the way around. When done doing this, tie the two layers together using the fringes. These blankets are real popular in SD.
I have been making fleece jackets, scarves, etc. If you use what they call tear away, I cut the tear away a 5/8" seam allowance size. I do this mostly for the seams. When done just tear away from finished project, keeps fleece from slipping or sliding for you. Also, with the fleece you may be able to use wash away, same as tear away only instead of tearing the extra sticking out wash away remains and you can wash it away. Also remember to never use fabric softeners or the dryer sheets on fleece as it will loose it's texture. thundeheart54
I have made jackets and the tie blankets from fleece. With the jackets I have never had any trouble sewing them on my sewing machine, and it isn't a top of the line model. I have never used a stablizer when sewing anything. When sewing with fleece and am making something like a jacket I use a lightweight fusible interfacing in the fronts of the jacket and if there is no collar around the neckline, if it has a collar I use it in the collar, and where you turn the pockets down for a hem, I use a thin strip of the interfacing in them too. I have been sewing for about 60 years and that includes making my wedding dress and a comletely lined western style sport coat for my now "ex" and have never used anything like a stabilizer and many other things that people now seem to think they need. I have used the interfacings and really like the fusible ones over the ones that you just sew in.
There are some tips for sewing on fleece fabrics in particular on these pages below that might be helpful...
(step #11 esp.)