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How to Sew a Fleece Blanket With 3 Edge-Finishing Options

Baby, its cold outside and there’s nothing like a warm and comfy throw to take the chill off. It’s also prime season for making projects out of fleece, which coincidentally, is a perfect choice for a simple yet cozy throw or blanket. Forget those uber-simple, no-sew throw kits — been there, done that! How about sewing your own?

throw

A fleece throw is one of the simplest projects to make, washes beautifully, and if you buy the fleece when its on sale, its less expensive than one of the kits. The best part, it can be made in no time at all making it a great weekend or evening project. Christmas gifts, anyone?

Let’s get started making our cozy fleece throw!

Part one: Prepping the fabric

1. For a standard size throw you will need two yards of fleece.

2. Trim off the selvage edges. A rotary cutter works best for the cleanest cuts and is lightning fast. The corners can remain square if you like, but rounding them off looks better. Simply match up all the four corners. Draw the rounded curve using either a large plate or pan cover as your guide. Then cut through the four layers with a sharp scissors or rotary cutter.

trim corners

 

Part two: Finishing the edges

The next and last step – see I told you this was easy — is to finish the edges. Your options include using your sewing or serger machine or to finish them by hand. Either way here are some ideas to consider:

Option 1: Serger

Using a serger is one of the fastest and easiest ways to finish the edges. Both a 4-thread or 3-thread overlock stitch will do the job well  — the 3-thread looks better. Set the width and length to the largest settings and practice on a scrap of fabric to test tension settings.

3 thread
Option 2: Decorative sewing machine stitch

When using a sewing machine to finish the edges you are limited only by the number of utility and decorative stitches your machine has to offer.  A simple zigzag will do the job just fine but a decorative stitch, especially on a solid colored fleece, will give the edge a more impressive finish.

Pictured below are two stitches that are especially nice: the feather stitch and the blanket stitch. In both cases, the cut edge is folded over by approximately 1/4″ for a smooth and polished edge. Also, embroidery, topstitching or any other heavy thread can be used to better define the stitch.

feather
Option 3: Do it by hand!

Hand stitching gives the throw the best overall finish. Though the process will take much longer to do it’s worth it, especially if you are giving the throw as a gift. In spite of the added time many hand stitches are easy to do and look especially nice on fleece.

The blanket stitch is one of the easiest to do and lends a hand crafted look to the throw. Again, fold over the cut edge by about 1/4″ for a smooth outer edge. Here are the steps:

blanket hand stitch
blanket 2

When it comes to finishing the edges whether using a regular sewing machine, a serger or hand sewn stitches, the choice of thread is important and will further enhance the overall look of the throw.

Embroidery thread whether used for hand stitching or machine stitching will give the edges a more handcrafted and defined finish.  The thread color is also something to consider. A contrasting or multicolored thread will make the edges pop, but whatever you choose it should complement the color or pattern of the fleece fabric.

Master sewing with fleece fabric!

sewing with fleece

Join this online class now & instantly access the included patterns & step-by-step instruction to make your own snug hats, toasty mittens & cozy cute jackets.Enroll Now »

34 Comments

Zakiyah

I needed this today. It’s right on time.

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Kelley P

Nice! So many think fleece blankets must be tied. Those are good, too, but it’s nice to see other techniques.

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Linda Reynolds

My sentiments, exactly. This is easy and fun to do in an evening. Thanks for the comments.

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Aleks

Nice! I know where can to buy quality and beautiful organic fleece blanket. This site lavendersky.ogr was found on Etsy

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Aleks

Oh, sorry! Lavendersky.org

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Linda

I can’t wait to buy one from there, Thank you for the link!

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Carol

Any advice for sewing 2 fleece patterns together. ..was going to do the ‘tie’ technical but rather see. Thanks so much.

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Julie

I make many fleece blankets for kids–I just sew them right sides together, turn them inside out and then topstitch around the outside OR I do them right sides out, and serge around the edge with a decorative thread. I have also done piping around the edge. They are very easy to make–I usually do a solid on one side and a print on the other. Have fun 🙂

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Jo Barry

Julie…I was thinking of this option with three layers – top, batting, backing. Do you think it would work with three layers? I’m making blankets for the our local homeless shelter and having pucker problems with turning inside/out.

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blod

I cannot seem to get my settings right for a 3 thread overlock when sewing two pieces of fleece together! There is no spacing between the upper thread, like on the top side of your picture….please help!?!!

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Melinda

Have you adjusted the pressure on your foot? You want to reduce pressure so the thick fabric will feed.

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Ria

Simply beautiful tutorial, clear, easy to follow and looks great. Exactly what I needed. Thank you so much 🙂

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Cindy

Is there an illustration of the feather stitch? I’m new and may be missing it.

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Courtney

I love this tutorial! I wanted to hand sew the edge but with double fleece. Any suggestions on how to do this?

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Lori

I also want to make a hand sewn blanket using 2 pieces of fleece. I don’t really care for the knot or braid technique. Would it work to use the blanket stitch?

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Deanna Brooks

Yes. Use pearl cotton, a crewel needle, and do a blanket or feather stitch.

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Abigail

Beautiful photos and finishes! These will make great Christmas gifts! My question is for the hand sewn blanket edging, what length of thread should I cut for the 2 yd. blanket? Do you use one long length of thread, or several smaller lengths? How do you tie off and start again for the smaller lengths of thread while finishing the blanket edge? Thank you!

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Kimberly

Thank you SO much for the pictures of how to do the “folded edge” blanket stitch! I was given 3 patterned pieces of fleece (lap blanket size) that are pretty plain.I wanted to crochet a decorative border and knew I had to start with a blanket stitch foundation…but (thanks to this tutorial!) It never occurred to me to fold it over first…it will make it non- droopy and hang so much neater and the crochet additional stitches will be much stronger!Thank you! Sometimes two heads are better than one, please keep posting, you have no idea how much you help!

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Kimberly

Thank you SO much for the pictures of how to do the “folded edge” blanket stitch! I was given 3 patterned pieces of fleece (lap blanket size) that are pretty plain.I wanted to crochet a decorative border and knew I had to start with a blanket stitch foundation…but (thanks to this tutorial!) It never occurred to me to fold it over first…it will make it non- droopy and hang so much neater and the crochet additional stitches will be much stronger!Thank you! Sometimes two heads are better than one, please keep posting, you have no idea how much you help!Also- I’ve been told that fleece is made from recycled( finely spun ) plastic bottles…what a great way to recycle if this is true!

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TheOncomingStorm

blimey, i’ve been stitching my edges wrong! i noticed you make the fold-over and how nice it looks. it also looks like it eliminates the gather effect that i’m fighting with. thanks for the tutorial!

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Aynne

Can I accomplish this great finish with a single layer of fleece for a baby blanket?

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Lucy

Thanks so much for great ideas on fleece blanket edges , wish you could post how to do the feather stitch. It sure is pretty and I have 3 baby showers to attend in the next few months .

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Pat

I’d appreciate instructions on finishing off a thread and starting another one.

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Pat

I have another question: How does one deal with the thickness of the folded over edges where the pillow is attached at the bottom of the blanket? Pillow plus blanket folded over before blanket-stitching makes a four-layer thickness. It seems too bulky. Do I trim the 1/4″ off the pillow to reduce this to three layers?

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Rairs evai

You can also use the blanket stitch to sew on a nice applique.

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Anne B.

I found that to keep the distance between blanket stitchs the same size in hand sewing the hems, I marked my thumb with a marker the distance between two stitches – and used that as a guide – works great for me.

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Mariette Forget

Hi and thank you very much . ??

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Anna

I am trying to make a block quilt out of fleece. Everyone is telling me this to hard that it stretches. I have 4 different patterns I was trying to treat is as a quilt made with say cotton material. Do I stitch it together like a regular quilt or should the seams be showing. Any help you can give me would be appreciated. Oh and I am brand new to sewing and quilting. Thank you

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DONNA GASKINS

I have pieced fleece for a quilt top…worked well. I used 6″ x 8″ pieces, and stitched them just overlapping seam with zigzag stitch. Pin generously, & stitch blocks (long) side by (long) side into a strip Don’t stretch the seam; let the feed dog teeth pull fabric through. Then match corners of patches & sew strips together. Tip* If you don’t have a ‘walking foot’ for your machine, a Teflon coated presser foot works just as well, in my experience. I backed these quilt tops with printed cotton, rolling print over block edges and top stitch. Came out really cute, & the kids loved them. Wish I had pix, but didn’t think to do that. Hope this will help with your project.

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Peach fur fleece

wow! awesome blog, it is very useful for me to folding an edge of stitch blanket. I get a great idea to make blankets in my own way. thanks for sharing this special post with me.

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Darlene Warner

Thank you for all the great tips!

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Debbie

I sewed two layers of fleece together to make a blanket and one of the layers stretched so much that I had to rip the seam out all around. How do you sew fleece and keep it from stretching? I have arthritis and I don’t want to make cuts all around. It’s an adult sized blanket.

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DONNA GASKINS

When layering fleece, be sure to match selvage edges of both pieces, they stretch more in one direction, just like most knits. Possibly, your fabrics got turned cross ways. Be sure to let the feed-dog teeth pull fabric under the needle without pulling it with your hands…it has to feed itself; you only guide it . Use a bit longer stitch, and don’t get in a hurry! Sometimes you will notice the fabric wanting to roll or stretch, but you can prevent that by following the tips above. (Also, I pin generously, to keep edges matched…saves time ripping out.) My Teflon coated presser foot is a life saver for these fleece projects. I like it even more than a walking foot. Hope these tips help.

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KimB

Should the fleece be washed fist?

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