Have you ever received one of those super soft baby blankets that feel like you’re holding a cloud? Or given one as baby gift? That super soft fabric and sometimes bumpy fabric is called minky. It’s so much fun to give away a minky blanket— but before you can wrap up a pretty gift, you need to know a few things about the sometimes tricky fabric. Let’s jump into the 11 things you need to know before sewing minky fabric!
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Here are the 11 Things You Need to Know Before Sewing Minky Fabric
1. Buy More Than You Think
Minky fabric moves and stretches a lot. To accommodate for real life sewing, purchase a 1/8 yard more than you think you need. While it doesn’t shrink, you’ll be thankful for the extra ‘wiggle’ room while sewing together a blanket!
2. Applique is Possible!
Minky may seem overwhelming, but did you know that you can applique over it? The only different step I add in appliqueing minky fabric is a cooler iron and minimal iron-to-minky contact.
3. Before You Iron– READ THIS!
Aside from applique, you can use an iron to press minky– but I would use a cool iron sparingly. If you are making a baby blanket, press the blanket using the flannel side and avoid the minky fabric. I’ve found that the ‘bumps’ pop back up after washing, but it’s not something I’d recommend doing every time.
4. It Moves!
Remember tip #1 about extra material? It’s because minky fabric moves! When you are sewing minky fabric, keep the fabric firmly in place. It’s no time to skimp on the straight pins. Just know that minky moves and it’s not a real reflection on your DIY sewing skills. We are not professionals, simply lovers of soft fabric and babies. 🙂
5. Straight Pin 101
If you have ever wondered why you have a tomato push pin full of straight pins, it’s because of minky. Pin your fabric in place. Then, go around your fabric and fill in any empty spots with more straight pins! Since it moves so much, you can minimize some movement with overzealous pinning.
6. The $$ Per Yard (& A Bonus!)
Minky fabric tends to cost about 50% more per yard than traditional flannels. But don’t fret— it doesn’t usually go on-sale often, so that means you can use a coupon! I usually pick mine up with a 50% coupon at Jo-Ann Fabrics.
When I make minky blankets, I’ll usually make one blanket with a minky and a flannel side. Then any other blankets are both in a flannel material that coordinates together.
The best part about bolts of minky are that while pricier than traditional fabric, the bolt width are about 58″ wide! That means you can get almost 2 blankets out of each cut! Essentially– it cuts your yardage total cost in half per blanket.
7. The Sewing Allowance
When it comes to sewing minky fabric, give yourself a very generous sewing allowance. Since it moves to much and requires careful feeding/watching, I always err on the side of at least 1/2″ sewing allowance. If you’re brand new to minky, go for 3/4″ or in-between where you feel comfortable.
When you’ve finished sewing, trim off your excess material. It won’t be pretty, so just cut it away. 🙂
8. Keep It Simple (And 1 Layer)
While one of Aubrey’s favorite blankets is a two thick minky from when she was a baby, I would not recommend sewing two minky pieces together. It’s very possible to do, but it would require a very thick and durable needle (check your sewing machine manual) and even more pinning!
9. Don’t Forget to Top Stitch!
When you are making your baby blanket, treat the minky & flannel like any other blanket. Turn it right side out and close the opening. Then top stitch to secure it in place. This keeps the minky lying flat and adds a little interest around the outside border. For minky I use top stitch with either a tighter zig-zag stitch or a straight line. The needle is already doing quite a bit of work moving between that fabric that I don’t want to risk breaking it by creating a more decorative stitch.
10. The Big Clean Up
Minky leaves behind thin pieces of fuzz. If you’re sewing a large blanket, build-up under your machine’s foot will occur. You’ll want to clean your sewing machine afterwards. I recommend looking at your sewing machine manual and learning how to open the area under the foot and using a soft brush to pick up the extra fibers.
11. It’s Totally Worth the Effort!
The labor of sewing minky fabric is totally worth it! It’s such a fun texture that makes for a soft blanket, even if it requires a lot prep. There is nothing better than wrapping up in a minky blanket, or holding a little one with a blanket. When I give them as gifts, minky baby blankets are always passed around “feel how soft…”
Minky is a wonderful material for making super soft items. When you are sewing with minky fabric, simply be prepared for a little bit of extra TLC. The extra attention pays off beautifully and you’ll create a gift that everyone will be wanting to hold!
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