I love sewing with minky (also know as minkie or minkee). Minky is a super cuddly microfibre fabric that is perfect for making cuddle blankies, toys and anything that is going to be touched a lot! It is especially good for sewing baby presents with it, as little ones just love to touch it too. The issue with minky is that it can cause you a whole lot of frustration when trying to sew with it as it can twist, slip, and do all sorts of annoying things bringing you to the brink of giving up. There is hope. Here are my top 10 tips for working with minky to reduce the frustration and increase the joy that you get from creating something so soft and cuddly from minky. Watch the video below or read on.
Or watch the video on YouTube
Tip #1 – Use LOTS of Pins
When I pin minky ready to sew I would place the pins about 1 inch apart from each other. This will help to reduce the amount of slipping and movement while you are sewing. It’s definitely worth the extra pinning time.
Tip #2 – Use a Wide Seam Allowance
I would recommend using a 1/2 inch or 5/8 inch seam allowance. This will give you a bigger margin for error if your fabric does slip and move on you. Minky also tends to want to curl up sometimes as well and it can be a little annoying to lift your presser foot constantly to make sure the seam stays under the foot while you’re sewing.
Tip #3 – Use a Walking Foot
A walking foot has feed dogs built into the top of the foot so it helps pull the top layer of fabric through at the same rate as the bottom layer of fabric. This foot definitely helps reduce slipping and twist. if you haven’t heard of a walking foot before, you can see what it’s all about here. I’ve have also done a comparison test between a walking foot and a standard sewing machine foot so you can see the results here for yourself.
Tip #4 – Adjust the Pressure of your Presser Foot
If you can adjust the pressure of your presser foot, I would highly recommend doing that as it will also help reduce and slipping of fabric. Check your sewing machine manual to see if that feature is available on your sewing machine. I have a Janome DC4030 and I’m embarrassed to say that I had been using this machine for over a year before I realised that the pressure of the presser foot could be adjusted on it.
Tip #5 – Sew at a Slower Speed
Sewing minky at a slower speed will help you have more control over what your fabric is doing and stop to adjust before going too far. My sewing machine has an adjustable speed, which I have on medium when sewing minky (and when using a walking foot).
Tip #6 – Cut Your Minky With a Rotary Cutter
I try to cut minky using a rotary cutter as it can shift and stretch while you are cutting it with the fabric scissors. sometimes you just have to use the fabric scissors, but if your project is a square cuddly blanket, then the rotary cutter would be perfect to use.
Tip #7 – Take Note of the Nap
The nap or pile is the way the fur runs on the fabric. Brushing your hand one way will be soft and smooth and the other will lift the pile. It’s kind of like patting a cat. From head to tail the cat’s fur is smooth and from tail to head the fur lifts up. Work out which way you want the nap to be going before you cut your minky fabric.
Tip #8 – Use a 14/90 Sewing Machine Needle
I use a 14/90 needle for most of my sewing projects. It’s a universal needle that can be used for many medium weight stretch or knit fabrics. I just find I get better results and less issues when using this size needle.
Tip #9 – Don’t Iron Minky
Minky is a synthetic material that shouldn’t crease too much. If you find you have some stubborn creases from where it has been folded you could try steam ironing from a distance or spraying with water and popping the fabric in the clothes dryer for a few minutes. If the minky is embossed, like the dotted minky, you will iron out the embossing,
Tip #10 – Have a Lint Roller Handy
Cutting minky creates a lot of fluff so having a lint brush or roller handy can be a great way to capture that fluff before it starts travelling all over the house!
I hope you’ve found these top 10 tips for sewing minky useful. if you have any other useful tips to share pop them in the comments below. I’d love to hear your ideas.
Where to Find Minky Fabric
You can usually buy minky fabric from your local sewing centre in the cooler months of the year. If you can’t find it locally you can always get it online. I recommend checking out Fabric.com for a great range of minky.
Happy sewing with minky!