Tuesday, 31 March 2015

How to tie a knot in thread in 4 seconds!

With this quick video tutorial you'll learn how to tie a knot in the end of your thread in only 4 seconds!  Pretty rapid,  I know!

I was so excited when I first learnt about this trick.  It's saved me so much time faffing around tying knots in the end of thread, especially when I was a primary school teacher tying knots in 30 threads! 

So let's not keep it a secret any longer, sharing is caring after all!

Just click the link to watch it. 

Why not try it out on your next Cuddle Crew sewing pattern?

Monday, 9 February 2015

A guide to sewing with fleece fabric

I've received several emails over the past few years asking me if there's any difference between the different types of fleece fabric available.
I love fleece, it's so easy to use and it looks great with all our toy sewing patterns.
Here's a quick guide to which fleece is which.  

Polar/Blizzard/ Anti Pill/ Medium Weight Fleece

The majority of Cuddle Crew sewing patterns are designed to work with polar fleece*.  Polar Fleece can be divided in to two categories, anti-pill and non anti-pill.  Anti-pill tends to be a more high quality fabric, and doesn’t “ball up” or “pill” after several washes.  Non anti-pill is cheaper, but will get little pills after wearing and washing.  I personally recommend spending a little bit more money for the anti-pill as it will look nicer longer.  Polar fleece can come in different weights, a medium weight tends to be the most common one that you will find in your local fabric store.

Sewing on fleece can be easy because it doesn’t slip under the needle or fray. However the more stretch the fleece has, you will want to sew with a ballpoint needle.  Stretch can vary greatly between brands and grades.  Typically the cheaper the fleece, the lest stretch it has (and you can get away with sewing with a standard needle).  If you experience trouble with sewing your fleece, try changing needles and lengthening your stitch and/ or using a zig zag stitch instead of a running stitch.

*Please note that the term “polar fleece” is a copyrighted term that is often misused for medium weight fleece.

Micro Fleece
Softer than polar fleece, micro fleece is wonderful to touch and is mostly geared for baby and children projects.  There is a very clear right and wrong side to most micro-fleece.  One side has the heavenly feel with its tiny (almost furry) fibers.  It is thinner than the medium weight fleece. And while it doesn’t fray the ends don’t fray they can be stretched out of shape, so it recommended not to leave exposed edges raw.

Minky or Cuddle
While debatable if this is truly a fleece fabric it is often clumped in with the fleece group.  Named Minky (also known as cuddle) for its simulated feel of mink, this fabric is truly heavenly.  However it does require special care.  Sewing on Minky can be difficult as it will slide under the needle.  This means lots of pins, a jersey ball point needle or a walking foot to sew on this fabric.  The edges can ruffle and lose shape so finishing is recommended.  You should also never wash Minky in warm water or dry it on a high heat as it will lose its signature softness.  You can buy double sided Minky (uber expensive) but most often it is a single sided fabric.

Coral Fleece
Coral fleece is more closely related to Minky or cuddle fleece. It had a more fur like texture (longer fluff)! Because of it’s construction and texture it’s not recommended for no sew projects as it will shed and stretch more that polar fleece. The edges need to be finished so it won’t get stretched out in the washer. If you wash it cold, do not use fabric softener and dry it low, it will help to maintain it’s soft fury texture. Hope that answers your questions!

So there’s a quick guide to fleece please comment or email me if you have a question!

Are you ready to start sewing with fleece? Take a look at our range of toy patterns.  Only £5 for instant downloads or £7.50 for paper patterns.