Learn how to make a fleece blanket in this easy tutorial with both sewing and no-sew options. There is a blanket style to suit everyone here! This fleece blanket just uses 1.5 to 2 yards of fabric so it is very economical and not to mention easy for all sewing or non-sewing levels.
What is a Fleece Blanket?
Fleece blankets are a square or rectangular blanket which are made from polyester fleece. They are considered extremely warm and cozy for winter and are great for keeping warm on the couch. Fleece is a desirable fabric to use for blankets since it is light while still retaining warmth. Best of all it is inexpensive and readily available at all fabric stores. The best type of fleece to use when learning how to make a fleece blanket is fluffy on both sides and nice and thick.
How to Make a Fleece Blanket
The great news is that because fleece is a polyester fabric it does not shrink and so pre-washing is rarely needed. Most fleece does not bleed color but it is always wise to do a color test on a scrap of your fabric. If you do wish to pre-wash your fabric, refer to the washing instructions at the end of this article.
Cutting the Fleece Blanket Pattern
Fleece blankets can be any size so cut according to your taste. Fleece fabric normally comes in 60 inches (150cm) widths so purchase 1.5 to 2 yards (1.35-1.8m) in length for a good-sized blanket.
For my couch blankets, I made them in a 1 ½ yard (1.35m) size which is perfect for covering my lap while I watch some great television shows in the evenings.
Always double check that the store person has cut the edges square and neatly. You'd be surprised how many times I've come home to discover my fabric is cut really crooked! The easiest way to cut the fabric is to lay it out on your floor and smooth it out. If you have floorboards it is easy to line up with a the lines on them to get everything straight and squared up.
Rounding the Corners
Once you have cut your rectangle of fabric, you may want to round the corners. This gives a nice finish to your blanket and makes it look deluxe! Most styles look nicer with rounded corners with the exception with the fringing option where it is not needed.
Grab a small plate or bowl from the kitchen and use the edge as a curve template. Once you have done the first corner, fold the blanket so you can get the other corners exactly the same.
Finishing the Edges
The best thing about fleece is that the edges do not fray so you can leave them raw if you don't want to sew. Alternatively, here are several ways to finish the edges.
How to Sew a Fleece Blanket on the Edges:
- Plain edges
- Hand Sewing
- Blanket Stitch
- Machine Sewing
- Bias Bound
How to Make a Fleece Blanket - No-Sew
If you are looking for a no-sew fleece blanket pattern, you are done! Your edges won't fray so go and start using your blanket. You may want to cut the selvages off if they don't look clean and neat. These are the sides of the fabric which may have small holes where it was held on the loom. The sides won't fray but sometimes curl and look unattractive.
Creating your own fringing is a great way to decorate your blanket without sewing.
- Mark the depth of your fringe and draw a line across. Fleece can be difficult to use many marking tools like chalk on. If your fleece won't mark, use a long basting stitch. A basting stitch is just a simple up and down stitch. Your stitches can be really long to save time.
- Cut the fringing in narrow strips up to the marked line.
- For corners, cut a square out of the corner and continue cutting fringing on the next edge.
- If you used a basting stitch to mark the cutting line, remove the stitching now.
- You can leave the fringing loose or tie each one into knots to give the edge some texture.
How to Make a Fleece Blanket - Hand Sewing
If you like hand sewing, the best way to finish the edges is with a blanket stitch. This attractive hand stitch creates a strong border and is great for introducing a bit of color contrast.
- Fold the edge over to the wrong side by ½ inch (1.2cm) and pin in place.
- Thread your 6 strand embroidery floss single and knot the end.
- Bring the needle through the hem to the edge. This way the knot will be hidden.
- Insert the needle about ⅜ inch (1cm) to the right and bring it up at the hem bottom.
- Put the thread under the tip of the needle and pull through.
For a full tutorial on this stitch including a video, go to my article on how to do blanket stitch.
How to Make a Fleece Blanket - Machine Sewing
Bias Bound Edges
Double-sided bias tape is wonderful to give the edges of a fleece blanket pattern a pop of color. Use a fun contrasting bias tape and don't forget you can make your own! There are a couple of methods you can use to sew bias tape but here is the easiest way.
- When you look at your double fold bias tape you will notice that one side is narrower than the other. Place the narrower side on top and then slip the bias tape over the edge of the fleece blanket.
- Pin securely
- Stitch the bias tape along the edge.
- At the end fold the outside edge over and stitch.
- On the wrong side of the blanket, turn the edges over by ½ inch (12mm) and secure with pins. Many fleece fabrics do not have a right or a wrong side so just choose one.
- To secure the hem it is best to use a wide zig-zag stitch since most fleece stretches slightly. This will prevent the stitches from popping. Use stretch needles to eliminate skipped stitches.
Trims like ric-rac and pom pom trim can be used along the edge of your fleece blanket pattern.
- Place the ric-rac so the edge lines up with the raw edge of the blanket. For really large ric-rac, you may be able to put the edge slightly off the fabric. The important thing is that the center of the ric-rac is positioned on the fabric so you can sew on it. Experienced sewers may be able to just hold the trim in place, but beginners are best using pins or a basting stitch first
- Stitch down the center of the ric-rac with a small straight stitch. For wider ric-rac you may be able to use a narrow zig-zag.
- Learn more about sewing ric-rac.
Pom Pom Trim
- Place the braid of the trim on the raw edge so the pom-poms fall off the edge.
- Use a wide zig-zag stitch to sew through the center of the braid.
- Learn more about how to sew pom-pom trim.
Caring for your Fleece Blanket
Fleece is simple to wash and can be thrown into your washing machine on a cold cycle with a small amount of gentle detergent. Excess detergent can be hard to rinse clean and can make your blanket stiffer. It is best to wash it separately on a gentle cycle in case some of the fluff comes off on your other items. Fleece blankets should not be bleached as it can cause damage to the polyester fibers.
If your blanket does experience some pilling after washing, have no fear! Just read my article on how to remove pilling for some great removal ideas. A commercial pilling shaver is usually your best option.
How to Make a fleece Blanket - In Conclusion
Thanks for reading this how to make a fleece blanket tutorial. Fleece blankets keep you warm and cozy and are so comforting and easy to make.
Here are some more blanket patterns from my blog:
Make a Baby Blanket Pattern
Baby blankets can be made from flannelette and cotton fabrics that are slightly thinner than fleece. This easy pattern will show you several sizes of a reversible baby blanket.
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