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Snapping Up Polar Fleece

Snaps and Polar Fleece fabrics make a great combination when care is used to prepare the fabric. For example, Polar Fleece fabrics are bulky, yet the loft of the fabric will compress to accept a snap. With the correct fabrics, interfacing and snap products, the task of attaching snaps to this incredible fabric can produce wonderful results.

If the fabric is prepared correctly, a long-prong snap is the best choice for a closure on Polar Fleece. Try our Size 24 Capped Prong Snaps with our Size 16 SnapSetter™ and Size 24 Tool Adapter.

What's even more important is choosing your patterns wisely for Polar Fleece. Look for patterns that call for Polar Fleece fabrics or use patterns from companies that test their patterns to ensure perfect results. We recommend the Kwik Sew Pattern Company and Great Copy Patterns.

Eliminating the Bulk

Whether or not your pattern calls for Polar Fleece fabric, consider looking at the construction method and determine where the bulk of the fabric can be eliminated. Doing this will reduce the thickness of the fabric to accept prong-style snaps and provide you with a "bulkless" facing application.

If you examine ready-to-wear Polar Fleece garments in the store, you will see that most manufacturers use this method of "bulkless" facings. By using this pattern drawing as an example, there are three areas where the fabric bulk can be eliminated from the original pattern instructions.

(Note: This pattern example is intended for use with Polar Fleece. However, I would never have constructed the garment according to the pattern instructions. At one point of the construction, there were 6 layers of Polar Fleece to seam together. Just imagine trying to get this many layers of Polar Fleece under the presser foot of your serger or sewing machine!!)

1. Cut the collar from the bulky fabric and cut the under collar from two layers of coordinating woven quilt cotton. The second layer of quilt cotton will act as the stabilizer for the collar.

2. Cut the facing from the two layers of a coordinating, woven quilt fabric. One layer will be the facing and one layer will be the interfacing.

3. As with the collar, cut one tab from the bulky fabric and the other from two layers of a coordinating, woven quilt cotton.

Facing Alternatives

Look at your pattern to determine if there is a separate pattern piece for the facing or extra fabric for use as a fold-over facing. If there is a separate piece for the facing, consider cutting the facing from a coordinating woven quilt cotton or a lighter weight fabric such as flannel to eliminate the bulk. If there is extra fabric for a fold-over facing, try this method to alter the pattern to accommodate this type of facing.

(Note: Work from the original pattern and trace the pattern front using the tracing material of your choice.)

1. If the pattern calls for a fold-over facing, trim the facing to within 1/4" from the front fold line. Cut two garment fronts according to the pattern instructions.

2. When it comes time to complete garment front closure according to your pattern instructions, cut a strip of 2 layers of a coordinating quilt cotton or flannel 2" wide by the length of the front edge of your garment. Align the strip to the cut edge of the garment front. With right sides together, stitch the 2" strip of fabric to the garment with a 1/4" seam allowance.

3. Understitch the seam allowance to the facing and overcast the unfinished edge of the facing as desired. Turn the facing to the inside of the garment. Do not press -- the understitching will keep the facing in place. Finish the garment according to your pattern instructions.

You'll be amazed at how nicely the garment lays next to the body by eliminating the bulk from the facing. By adding the lighter layer of fabric as the garment facing, the bulk is reduced from the closure area, allowing the snaps to penetrate the fabric with added stability.

Fabric Compression

When using Polar Fleece fabrics, another way to help make snap attaching easier is to compress the fabric with a sewing machine before the snap is set. This can be done by using one decorative stitch (such as a star) or an 'x' to compress the fabric layers to accommodate our long-prong snaps.

Post-Style Snaps on Polar Fleece Fabrics

What happens when you punch a hole in a knit fabric? Unfortunately, it can run without proper fabric preparation. Keep this in mind when considering the type of snap you would like to attach to Polar Fleece. A "post-style" snap requires a pre-punched hole in the fabric to accommodate the snap. Therefore, when attaching a post-style snap to Polar Fleece, use a woven fabric to surround both sides of the garment underlap and overlap to create a woven placket. The woven fabric sandwiches the Polar Fleece and absorbs the stress the fabric endures from the snap use. For best results, we recommend using the above instructions for setting prong-style snaps to your Polar Fleece garments.


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