A Beginner’s Guide to Sewing With Minky Fabric
For someone who’s just beginning to explore the sewing world, working with some fabrics can be challenging. Minky fabric is soft to the touch and quite easy to work with, yet it might be tricky sometimes. For this reason, we’ve put together this guide.
Let’s dive in!
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What Is Minky Fabric?
Before we explore the best ways to approach this material, let’s discuss its characteristics first. Minky fabric is a soft and rather warm variety of fleece fabric. It’s made with 100% polyester or microfiber, which makes it a synthetic fabric.
Originally, it was used for making baby products such as clothes and blankets because it’s comfy as well as lightweight. Now, more products besides those include the minky fabric.
It’s also available in a wide variety of colors and textures, which makes it the perfect candidate for plenty of applications.
Minky Fabric Uses
Wondering why it’s best to learn to work with minky? This is because it’s become quite popular in many uses.
As we previously mentioned, minky is used to make baby products including garments, bibs, blankets, soft toys, and seat covers. Its softness isn’t the only reason why it’s ideal for these products, but also because it’s easy to wash.
In addition, minky fabric is great for other items like adult blankets, pillows, cushions, and more. Its various colors make it easy to use anywhere around the house.
Not to mention that it’s an incredible material to use in making jackets, mittens, scarves, slippers, and hats. Because it’s an offspring of fleece, it should provide a nice level of warmth during winter without being heavy.
Tips for Sewing With Minky Fabric
Now, we get to the fun part. Sewing with Minky isn’t very hard, but for a beginner, its softness might be an issue at first. Not to worry, we’ve got your back.
Let’s find out how you can work with minky with minimum mistakes.
Choosing the Right Type
Your first step into mastering sewing is to pick the right type of fabric. When you visit the store, you should determine which of the following Minky textures is best for your needs.
- Smooth Minky: a plain option with the fabric’s characteristic softness
- Minky Rose Swirl: includes rose-like patterns
- Printed Minky: features designs of all kinds
- Minky Dot: features a raised dot pattern
- Sherpa Minky: combines the smoothness of minky fabric as well as the looks of sherpa fleece
After making your decision on the texture, it’s time that you look for other features such as quality and pile length.
As a general rule, the higher you go in price, the longer the fabric should last with you. It’s best that you steer clear of cheaper options and focus on better quality.
In addition, make sure that you pick a fabric with more pile length. This way, it should be able to trap more air, and therefore, be more suitable for cold weather.
Check out our Beginner Guide to Buying Fabric Online for a list of some of our favorite retailers.
Before working with minky, you should wash it first. It’s also a great idea to wash other fabrics that you intend to use with it to eliminate shrinkage later.
Wash Minky fabric in the machine using cold water. Later, you can either dry it flat or tumble dry it on low heat.
For more information on pre-washing, read ‘Should You Pre-Wash Fabric Before Beginning a Sewing Project?’
Cutting the Fabric
After washing and drying your minky, quickly square up the fabric before cutting.
If you’ve chosen one with a certain pattern, then you should make sure that all the pattern pieces are in the same direction before cutting. Also, be careful of the direction of its stretch since the material can be quite stretchy. The selvage matters here.
After that, cut the pieces that you need using sharp shears since the fabric can be a bit on the bulky side.
Note that, as you cut, the fabric will shed a lot of fibers.
Using Thread and Needle
Stick to a polyester thread since it’s ideal to work with the stretch of the fabric.
As for the recommended needle, go for a fine to medium universal or stretch needle to get the work done with ease.
When using a sewing machine with Minky, the fabric’s ability to stretch and its bulkiness can make it harder to sew. Therefore, you’ll need to make sure it stays put while you work on it.
The first thing you can do is fit a walking foot to the machine. Another option you might prefer is to put strips of tear-away stabilizer under the seams until you finish sewing.
For stitches, you can either use a narrow zigzag or a stretch stitch to make sure that the thread doesn’t come off. As for the seams, use a half-inch allowance for the best results.
The Bottom Line
Even though minky fabric provides the right amount of softness to use in many products, getting it under control for sewing might be tricky.
However, after a good amount of practice, you should be able to work with it with zero mistakes.
To get started, we recommend trying to sew a soft minky blanket. This one is large enough for adults to enjoy, but kids will love it too!
For the babies, how about making a minky crib sheet. It is super gentle for baby’s skin, and you really can’t have too many crib sheets available.
Don’t forget to pin these tips for later, and check out some more sewing techniques listed below.