Sewing with Cuddle (Minky) Fabric
Sewing with Minky is not difficult, but there are a few things to know before sewing with this ultra soft fabric. In knowing them, maybe you won't get frustrated! I know I did! It does not sew like cotton! But after a while, I accepted it's stretch and fluff because the outcome is so gorgeous!
I am going to do this as a question/answer type blog that way you can find your issue more quickly.
What needle should I use?
In general, use a 90/14 needle when sewing with Cuddle. I have used different needles, but I do get a more consistent stitch with this one AND it is recommended by Shannon Fabrics.
If you are going extra thick (multiple layers) move up to a 100/16.
What stitch length is recommended?
According to Shannon, you should use a minimum of a 4mm stitch length. I have used a little less than this and it turned out fine, but for ease - go with the 4mm.
What pressure foot should I use?
Save yourself the heartache - get a walking foot. Every time I forget to put it on (in a hurry), I regret it. A walking foot will save you from lots of issues plus, if you ever want to try quilting on your domestic, you will want a walking foot.
When I sewed with minky, it was uneven at the end. Why?
Cuddle (minky) has stretch in ONE direction. If you are sewing on that stretch, just like when sewing on a bias, care has to be taken. The biggest thing - SLOW DOWN! I mean slow way down. When you stitch fast, the upper fabric will feed faster.
In all honesty, I always have a little left over. Just trim it off. This is the beauty of Cuddle - it hides all sorts of issues.
I can't keep minky straight!
Yep, I hear this all the time! First, you have the stretch, then you have the nap.
Plan for and use a wider seam allowance. I use 1/2" on all Cuddle. It is a given, use more if you need it. You can always cut the seam down.
Pin, Pin, Pin, Pin - when you think you have pinned enough, pin some more. Pins are your friends - so are Wonderclips and SewTites.
OH, Flower Head Pins are best because they do not get buried in the nap of Cuddle Fabric.
What is the easiest way to sew Cuddle?
My favorite way is to spray baste it to a stabilizing fabric - such as muslin or batting. Use 505 Spray by ODIF. It is very helpful when making the Sweet Strip Lap Quilts or when using Cuddle in applique. It holds fast.
When sewing with Cotton Fabric, sew with the cotton on top and Cuddle on bottom for a more even feed.
Can you embroider on Cuddle?
YES! A resounding YES! I love using Cuddle with Embroidery and Applique! It is on my embroidery machine quite often. You will want to use a wash away stabilizer on top before you embroider to hold down the nap.
Cuddle can be a little fussy when you get started, but after a project or two, it is just another fabric and gets easier and easier. The finished projects are beautiful, well-loved and well, just plain cuddly!
- Jennifer Armentrout