Sewing with Flannel: Tips and Techniques

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Flannel is a popular fabric choice when it comes to making many different garments, like flannel pajamas or jackets, as well as home decor projects like pillow. ZJ Humbach shares several tips for sewing with flannel that can make preparing and working with the fabric much easier.

Flannel Sewing

ZJ first shows several examples of flannel fabric available on the market today and explains how you can find many more colors and prints as you could in the past. ZJ then explains some of the main attributes of flannel, which is a cotton fabric, and talks about some of the methods needed for sewing with flannel, as well as for sewing with different fabrics.

ZJ explains that one of the biggest differences between flannel and other cotton fabric is that flannel has a nap, which means that it needs to be treated similar to a directional fabric in some instances. ZJ explains why this is overly important when making a garment, such as a shirt, when cutting out the pieces. While flannel is a woven fabric, and working with knit vs. woven fabrics has many differences in terms of preparing and sewing with the fabric, flannel fabric still has a small amount of stretch. ZJ explains how to utilize this and/or work around it when sewing with flannel fabric.

Washing Flannel Fabric

The topic of whether or not to pre wash fabric for garment making is constantly debated, however ZJ recommends pre washing and pre shrinking flannel prior to using it, especially if you are intending to make a garment in a specific size. Pre shrinking flannel helps ensure that your garments will stay the size you want, even after multiple washings. Removing some of the lint when washing it can also help eliminate some of the lint that may otherwise end up in your machine. ZJ gives tips on how to help reduce the amount of raveling that can occur when washing the fabric by stay stitching the edges.

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5 Responses to “Sewing with Flannel: Tips and Techniques”
  1. thebrookegeorge

    Ticket 20093 What did ZJ say to add to the flannel after you dry it? I couldn’t quite catch what she said. Thanks!

    • Customer Service

      Dear Brooke,

      Thank you for your patience. In regards to your question-

      Spray the back side of the flannel with sizing and press with a hot iron. A light spray is sufficient—you don’t have to saturate the fabric. Sizing won’t leave a residue like starch or scorch as easily. You can find it in the laundry aisle in any grocery store next to the spray starch.

      Happy Sewing!
      ZJ Humbach

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