Luxury Polarfleece® Gifts for $30 and under!

OK, I admit it, I am addicted to Polarfleece®. Not just any acrylic or polyester fleece but Malden Mills Polarfleece®. When I first moved from Texas to the Northwest, my main objective was to get warm and was advised that fleece was not only warm but very soft. My first purchase was a polyester fleece that I purchased for what I thought was a very good price. When washed, the fleece pilled and changed shape which meant that the garment “grew” as it was worn.

Penny Schwyn of Specialty Outdoors finally educated me about selecting polyester fleece. You can find her information at http://www.specialtyoutdoors.com/. After discarding my “great buy” polyester fleece garment and reading Penny’s web page on fleece http://www.specialtyoutdoors.com/tips/fleece.asp I did as she suggested and went to the store looking for “performance fleece”. There is a difference and it is obvious once you educate yourself and your hands to the feel of the fleece.

Fabrics.net PolarFleece Blanket 1yrArmed with my information and luxury concept of performance fleece, I decided to make Malden Mills Polarfleece® lap robes for my family for holiday giving last year. Some of the lap robes I fringed, some I just trimmed and rounded the corners but all of my family LOVED their gifts! My 80+ year old mother was especially pleased with her lap robe, describing it as “Soft as frogs hair” and warmer than her electric lap robe.

Polarfleece® is fun to “sew” with because the edges don’t need to be finished to prevent raveling. Edges can be left raw, zigzagged, serged, top-stitched or decorated with a hand stitch. The product will wear well regardless of the finish!

Fabrics.net PolarFleece Blanket This year my Mom will receive a double velour Polarfleece® blanket for her bed that is machine embroidered with her initial. My cost was $25.98 but these blankets sell in stores for much more. Trim off the selvedge edges and, using a bowl, curve the corners. To monogram the Polarfleece®, trace an initial on a stabilizer either using tear away stabilizer or water soluble stabilizer. Place the stabilizer on the back of the blanket, making sure the initial is reversed and, using a straight stitch, transfer the initial onto the right side. Using a zigzag stitch, stitch over the straight stitching.

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Polarfleece® scarves can be made any width that you want. For the women’s scarf, we made them a little wider. Simply cut the selvedge edge off and cut the scarf the width of the Polarfleece®. One yard of Polarfleece® will give you 3 – 12″ scarves. To cut the fringe, see photo. Edge finish is not necessary because Polarfleece® doesn’t ravel. Fancier edge stitches could include binding with lycra, blanket stitch, pinking, overcast with the serger, or turning under and stitching.

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From one yard of ultra violet Polarfleece® we were able to make 3 pairs of knee high socks, one wide scarf and a pair of mittens. Our cost $12.99 for all 5 gifts but Polarfleece® socks sell for $35 in the store. The socks can be just sewn and the seam allowance left with no finish. These socks can be worn with the seam allowance on the outside or inside. We serged the edges on our socks as we know that people will wear these warm, soft, socks until they are worn out! With the socks, you can double the Polarfleece® for the bottom, use a non stick fabric that is used on children’s footed pajamas, or add puff paint for a non stick surface. For the Polarfleece® socks we used Green Pepper Pattern #793 which has full directions for constructing the socks. Hancock Fabrics carries a full like of Kwik Sew Patterns at http://www.hancockfabrics.com/.

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My son, Chris, who loves hunting and fishing (even ice fishing) will receive a Polarfleece® hat and scarf. The Polarfleece® hat and mittens were made from Butterick Pattern # 3067. Some variation for the mittens would be to add a cuff of ribbing or fringe to the outside of the mitten.

Shop online at the Malden Mills Store at http://www.milldirecttextiles.com/ where you can also find special sales. Notions are also available at the online store as well as patterns and Rotary Cutters.

There are several books about sewing with Polarfleece®:

“Adventures With Polarfleece®” by Nancy Cornwell
“Sew the New Fleece” by Rochelle Harper
“Sewing Outdoor Gear” by Rochelle Harper

All of these books have great ideas about sewing with Polarfleece®. Thanks to both of these Authors, we were able to use their experience and techniques in our Holiday Gifts for this year. All of the above books are available at Amazon.com.

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