Plush Sewing Basics: Choosing Fabric

Hi everyone! I’ve got a bit of a new feature for you all today! I’ve gotten a lot of amazing people participating in my Monthly Crafting Challenge and sending me emails to say that they’ve learned to sew through my patterns. I’m so humbled and flattered to have so many amazing fans out there! But I was also a little nervous because my patterns assume you have basic sewing knowledge – so I thought I should elaborate more on some fundamental sewing information to make sure all you newbies out there were covered. There are other tutorials out there that have this kind of information, but some of you were interested in exactly how I do things. So here we go!

I’ve always wanted to try doing infographics, and I think there could stand to be more sewing infographics out there so I thought I’d give it a try! This is my first ever, so please be kind, haha! This one is how to choose the plush fabric that’s right for you. Just for you newbies out there that are cutting your teeth on my patterns <3 Hopefully in this infographic format the info will be easier to digest, share, and save.

Choosing Plush Fabric Infographic

So what fabrics do I use?
I personally prefer knits like minky and fleece for my plushies, and I design most of my patterns to accommodate the stretch that they give. I like that fleece and minky are thicker and more huggable. I like cotton, flannel, and felt for accents and other detail work. The bright colors and patterns from cotton and flannel make them great for details, and their thin nature makes them easy to sew tiny pieces. With this guide hopefully you’ll see why I suggest fleece and minky in the fabric requirements for my patterns!
It’s of course not the end-all-be-all on plush fabric information, but I wanted to give you all something to work off of. Plus there’ll be more infographics in the future to elaborate on these topics! As for where I get these fabrics, I’ve written up a new FAQ that covers all of my major suppliers 😀

20 thoughts on “Plush Sewing Basics: Choosing Fabric”

  1. This is very informative.
    I am familiar in using soft felt, hard felt, faux and fleece.
    And I think I’ve used minky already, though I thought it’s just another type of fleece. lol
    Thank you for sharing this Choly!

    1. Thank you so much!
      The naming can definitely get confusing — I think because minky is still a relatively new fabric and lots of different manufacturers are trying to make their own versions 🙂
      I have another infographic in the works where I try to break down all the different types of fleece and minky that I know of and hopefully clear up some of the naming!

    1. Oh! I didn’t know you had a Pinterest as well! I “Followed” your on there! Awesome! And “Liked” your Facebook page! WEEEE (: <3 You're my favorite seamstress!

  2. Thank you for posting this! I am familiar with using felt because it’s found at dollar stores as a cheap start to making plushies. I have used old clothing (mostly sweaters) to make them repurposed. They smell like clean linen and can be shaped easiy making for good practice with hand sewing (so cuddly). Fleece is my favorite fabric though and I love using felt and this short minky velvety fabric to make details. One day I will get enough money to make great high quality plushies like you <3

    1. You’re very welcome! I’m so glad it could help!
      I definitely used old clothes myself when I started out 🙂 It’s not a bad way to get started and then you can work up to the good stuff <3

  3. Unfortunately both fleece and minky are so expensive! My only alternative is probably felt or cotton.

    Still, awesome information! Thanks ^^

    1. Aw yeah, I understand! Luckily at my local JoAnn fabrics the fleece is often on discount for as much or less than the cost of felt — $3-5 a yard — which makes a bunch of plushies 🙂
      Craft felt is inexpensive everywhere and nearly all the time though ♥

  4. As a sewing newbie, your blog is super helpful! I love the tutorials and patterns because they’re very clear and they’ve helped me a lot with my first plush sewing projects 🙂 I’m wondering though, do you buy your minky and fleece fabrics online or in local stores? It’s quite hard to find those fabrics where I live (for a decent price, that is) and I was wondering if you have any suggestions for websites where I can get those fabrics ^^

  5. This is amazing stuff! Thanks so much for taking the time to make this infographic. I’m still new to sewing and visual learner, so this is nice being able to see how the different fabric materials will lay when they’re sewn up and stuffed. I’ve saved it on Pinterest so I can always come back to reference it. 🙂

    1. Unfortunately I’m not familiar with fabric suppliers in that area. But many people find it cheaper and easier to use old clothing or blankets instead of buying brand new fabric 🙂

  6. okay, I need help, I want to make my plushies with no plastic but all the stuff that are made out of natural material arent fluffy but i want my plushies to be any other fabrics that are fluffy but arent made out of plastic?

  7. Your tutorials are so amazing. Thank you so much for posting this because I often am indecisive with choosing fabric types in my sewing. Thank you and keep sewing!

  8. Hello and thank you for your great patterns!
    I was wondering why you don’t consider velour (in Germany Nicki or Nicky) as a possible material? It is like velvet on a knitted basis and available in at least 80% cotton and sometimes even completely cotton (thinking of all the micro plastic).
    Did you try such a fabric, is there anything to consider?

    Keep up the great work and I have to sew all your dinosaurs for my son 😉

    1. Hello! Thank you for the kind words about my work 😊
      It could be due to what’s available in my country, but the velour I encounter is not terribly consistent. Some brands have no stretch, or a great amount of stretch. And they’re also very thin compared to the fleece and minky I recommend, so it can result in lumpiness and small mistakes look very noticeable.
      It can certainly still be used, and I mention that in my starter guide. But the result has less of a guarantee that it will look like my finished examples. I hope that answers your question ♥

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