I’m trying to make a simple blanket out of polarfleece for my daughter. This blanket is just a rectangle of fleece, edged with a satin stitch. I tried stitching about 1 inch from the edge, but the edge stretched and distorted and now my blanket looks lettuce-edged! I suspect this problem is what the differential feed was designed to tackle, but my machine only has a standard feed. What should I do? I don’t have much experience with fleece. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Your blanket rippled because fleece is a very stretchable knit, and the close satin stitch basically crammed too much thread into the edge, stretching it out. You will probably wind up cutting off the satin stitch and starting over (you could try ripping it out, but the fabric may be stretched or damaged).
Since fleece doesn't ravel, you can get away quite nicely with a simple pinked edge. It will work fine. A hand-worked blanket stitch with yarn will also work (although it may tend to catch on things). But if you want something fancier, and since you have not worked much with fleece before, here are some suggestions:
Malden Mills, the premier maker of fleece, has a little on-line primer on sewing fleece at their website, http://www.maldenmills.com.
Patricia Cornell has written two excellent books on sewing with fleece, "Adventures With Polarfleece," and "More Polarfleece Adventures." They are filled with hints and tips, including embroidering on fleece, for which you need a stabilizer, and I recommend them. You can check them out at http://www.amazon.com.
And at http://www.sewingworld.com, there are discussions about working with all kinds of fabrics. The sewists there are very helpful. Try looking under the "Favorite Tips and Tricks" topic for outdoor fabrics, and just "Fabrics" for more general discussions.
*A simple zig-zag may work better than a satin stitch, as may a serged edge. Another option is a narrow band of spandex/lycra, used the same way bias tape would be applied, over the edge. You can either cut your own, or purchase it from fabric stores.
*Hi. I read of your blanket mishap with polarfleece. I've made several things with that material and here are mt recommendations. 1. Do you have a way to lower the presser foot tension on your machine? If so, dial down to 2. 2. If you cannot accomplish that with your machine you should buy some rip and tear stabilizer--sold by the interfacings in JoAnns or Hancocks,etc. 3. Fold under 1 1/2 " of the polarfleece and press lightly. VERRY LIGHTLY---DO NOT PRESS ON HIGH TEMPERATURE. 4. Cut a 2" strip of rip and tear and place it underneath the feed dogs, then place the polarfleece piece face-up(hem allowance is on top of rip and tear) 5. Stitich with 5/8" away from the rolled under edge. The rip and tear will prevent the fabric from rippling. Just use a straight stitch. If you want something more decorative, take a strand of embrodiery floss, undivided and make a wide fairly large 3 width, 4 length zigzag. Use same color thread for zigzag or contrast thread color. 6. Rip away the rip and tear . 7. Trim fabric less than 1/4" away from stitiching on the back side. HAPPY SEWING!!!!
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