Tips For Sewing With Minky Fabric

One of the most common thoughts I hear about sewing with minky fabric is how difficult it is to sew with. Many people, especially beginners are too nervous to try sewing with it for fear of diaster! The good news is that with these few easy tips, anyone can be successful sewing with minky – even you!

Minky Tip #1:
Don’t allow the fabric to stretch as you cut it. This is especially important if you’ll be sewing it to another non-minky piece of fabric, which most likely won’t have any stretch. Let the fabric lay flat, and adding a few pins here and there to keep the selvages together (if you’re cutting with a folded edge) can help to reduce it slipping out of place while cutting.

Minky Tip #2:
Pin, Pin, Pin!!! Was that clear? Whether you’re sewing minky to minky, or minky to another fabric, pinning every 1″ along the edges of the fabric will make a huge difference as you sew. Not enough pins means that the fabric will likely slide under the presser foot, and stretch as the feed dogs try to guide it, which can result in puckers. I’m not exaggerating when I recommend to pin it every 1″. Even a 2″ gap between pins can allow the minky to slip and stretch. It’ll be more than worth the extra time it takes to pin every 1″.

Minky Tip #3:

Use a Walking Foot, also called an Even Feed Foot. I know a lot of people who don’t think a walking foot is necessary and get by without one, but they are so worth the $20-$30 investment. I purchased a generic brand on Amazon for around $20, and it works wonders. The brand I use is Distinctive, and will fit most sewing machines. A walking foot has feed dogs on the presser foot, allowing both the top and bottom layers of fabric to be grabbed and pulled along at the same rate. Normally fabric is guided by the bottom feed dogs on your machine only. Having the fabric fed evenly under the presser foot is another huge help in preventing the fabric from slipping and stretching while being sewn.

If you are absolutely against using a walking foot, make sure to sew with the minky fabric on the bottom, so it will be guided by the feed dogs on your machine. But, like I said, use a walking foot :).

Minky Tip #4:

Prewash any fabrics being sewn with the minky. Minky will not shrink, so does not need to be prewashed, but always prewash all other fabrics being used in the project to prevent any shrinking problems with your finished project.

Minky Tip #5:
Do not iron minky. If you’re sewing a blanket with minky and cotton, for example, keep the heat on low even if ironing on the cotton side to prevent any damage to the minky. Too much heat can ruin any dots or other embossing on the minky.
Minky Tip #6:
Pay attention to the nap of the minky. Make sure the nap is laying the direction you want before cutting it. Also keep in mind that topstitching in the direction that the nap lays flat will give you a nicer finished product.
Following these simple tips will make your life (at least when you’re sewing with minky!) a whole lot easier and more enjoyable. Do you have any other tips to add that have made sewing with minky easier for you? Please share!

Comments

  1. You are a star!!!! I ordered some minky yesterday and it should arrive tomorrow. I have never sewn it before and was a tad nervous. However I feel a little more confident about it after reading these tips!

    PINS At the ready!

    Dazie
    x

    • Anonymous says:

      thanks for the advice.

    • Don’t be afraid of minky fabric, follow these tips listed. I use all kinds of minky. The low pile, re: dimple dot, smooth or embossed you need to be watchful of it rolling on the bottom. As your sewing make sure both pieces are lined up, pinning is indeed necessary, I go 1/2 on pinning the fabric that slide more, some fabric is more “slippery” than others. If your cutting the animal fur, or swirl I wear a painters mask, there will be micro fibers everywhere. Also after your done cutting, throw it in the dryer to remove as much of the fibers as possible. I vacuume in between every step on a project, also keep your machien every clean, it just avoids problems that can arise. Minky is a very forgivable fabric too. I like it better than regular fabric.

  2. Thank you!

  3. I’ve never sewn with minky before. I do have a walking foot that I haven’t used so I guess it’s time to purchase some minky! Great tips.

  4. thank you for posting this, I have the hardest time with minky!

  5. Ooh, great tips, thanks! Trying minky is on my ‘to do’ list, and you’ll be pleased the know my walking foot is barely off my machine ;o)

  6. i sewed with minky for the the first time a few months ago and the best advice you gave was to use LOTS of pins!!!! i sewed a chenille blanket using minky as my backside! tons of work, but so beautiful of a result!
    i don’t have a walking foot, just used a regular foot, so it can be done! but plan on working with the fabric more so i will look into getting one!

  7. this post could not have come at a better time because i’m making a quilt right now and minky makes the bottom of it. so helpful! Thank you!

  8. Thanks for all the tips! I might be ready to tackle mine now, too!

  9. Thanks for the great info! I’ve sewn chenille into several quilts before and have many of these same problems. Do you think the same tips would work for chenille too? If not, I would love to see you post tips on incorporating chenille into a quilt with mostly “regular” cotton. Thanks

  10. This could not come in a better time!!! I am just planning to sew Minky as the back of my quilt and I was wondering it can work for a back of a quilt with the seams and all – would love to know what you think!
    thanks!!!

  11. Thanks for these tips. I have some Minky laying about (that will eventually become a baby blanket back), and I’ve never used it before, so these tips will help a lot.

  12. Hi! thanks for the tips. i have been avoiding minky…..maybe I will try it now. Where is that bunny fabric from? who makes it! I love it!

  13. Thanks for the tip.. I am using alot of minky.. 5 new gbabies… But I love the Bunny fabric, Did you add the bunnies to the flannel? will you email me at funnymesjc@gmail.com

  14. thanks for the pin advice! hehe
    have you used basting spray?? I use the spray all the time (not on minky yet) wondering if you have??

    • I LOVE basting spray! I use it all the time and it saves TONS of time. I made a quilt with Minky on the back this summer and used the spray and it worked great!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Are you using a batting with the minkee as the backing?

  16. lej619 – I’ve never used basting spray, but I’d love to hear how it works if you try it!

    anonymous – I wouldn’t normally use batting with a minky blanket, but you could if you wanted to.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I agree that sewing with minky fabric can be a pain, but it is so nice when it is done. I just sewed a rag quilt for a full sized bed and I used minky fabric on the back. It makes the edges rag so much better! Just beware of all of the lint flying all around from it. It has taken me weeks to get all of it off of the furniture!

  18. When I sew with minky I use either a fabric or Elmers glue stick in stead or along with the pins. It keeps it from slipping and washes out very easily!

  19. Anonymous says:

    I have backed a couple toddler quilts with Minky. I used spray basting to stick it all together before sewing. It worked AMAZING!!!!

  20. I get minky at 75% off a lot and use for baby gifts. Thanks so much for the tips. Blankets, loveys, toys and skirts with tuille added are some of the things I make with minky.

  21. I’ve NEVER been successful at sewing with minky! I love it’s feel, but get nauseous when I think of using it. I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog! I’m going to order a walking foot, and try again! Thank you!

  22. Jessica Fetty says:

    To keep minky from stretching I use strips of muslin or other scraps to use as a twill tape. I bet seams great would probably be good to use if you are making clothing. Good luck!

  23. I purchased some wondet clips from Joanns (with a 50%of coupon). made sewing minky a breeze!!

  24. I am having problems with my thread breaking!! I have rethreaded my machine several times, put a new needle on and I am using a walking foot…any idea why my thread would be breaking.Oh, I do have my tension set to automatic. I’m just trying to hem the minky (making pants for my 15 month old) and can’t get the hem done from all the breakage. Thanks for any advice!
    Holly

  25. Holly – I’m sorry, I know that’s frustrating! You’ve checked all the most important things it sounds like. Are you using a bobbin that you’ve used before with your machine? Sometimes a machine can be finicky if it doesn’t like the brand of bobbin. The other thing that I’d try is a different brand of thread. Some machines don’t like certain brands (I always use Coats brand and haven’t had any issues, but I know others who’s machines don’t like it). Lastly, I’d check your walking foot and make sure that all the mechanisms are moving like they should, in case it’s catching the thread somewhere. Let me know how it goes!

  26. I am trying to make a baby blanket with minky and cotton. Someone mentioned adding “something” between the layers so the minky doesn’t stretch. It sounded like “witch stiching,” any thoughts on what she might have meant?

  27. Rebecca – I’m guessing they meant “stitch witchery” that melts when ironed, and acts like glue to hold two pieces of fabric together. I can’t say I’d recommend using it with minky, as it will stiffen it up quite a bit – do you know what they suggested to do with it exactly?

  28. Hi! Thanks for getting back to me. The lady cutting my fabric said that minky stretched a lot and may cause the the blanket to sag on the minky side. I was hoping to avoid this problem. Thoughts from your experiences with minky?

  29. Rebecca – Minky does stretch, but I haven’t had any bad experiences with it stretching bigger after it’s sewn to the cotton. I think using a good quality minky would help, and you could also do some quilting through both layers (even an “x” from each corner to corner) to hold it in place if your worried about it. Hope that helps!

  30. Just in time to work with Minky, thanks for the advice :)

  31. I’ve sewed with minky a couple of times. I need to get a walking foot, but in the meantime I placed tissue paper over the minky, and that helped a lot. The tissue paper breaks away easily after sewing.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Would tear away stabilizer work under the Minky to keep it from stretching?

  33. I have used basting spray, and it worked really well. I’m sure Holly has found a solution to her thread breakage issue by now, but I’m suspicious of her needles. I always use a Schmetz brand Microtex fine needle when working with Minky or other microfiber fabrics. I also change my needle after every project, or after 10 hours of sewing machine use. The issues I have with my machine have been virtually eliminated by this habit, and regular cleaning, especially after using a shedding fabric like Minky.

  34. I just finished up my first (possibly last) minky blanket. I had a heck of a time with it but now that all is “said and done” – I love it!

  35. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been sewing for years but have never experienced minky until I decided to make a quilt using it, chenille and flannel. So far the sewing is a pain but the blocks look OK. Yes, do PIN! Yes, sew with the minky on the bottom. Will let you know how the project comes out. Already knew how badly it sheds since I work in a quilt shop. Grin!

  36. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for these wonderful tips. I’ve only sewn with minky a couple of times and struggled with it. I love the fabric and can’t wait to make a blanket for my unborn baby girl now!!

  37. Anonymous says:

    I have my minky pinned and ready to sew….I keep putting it off! I fear I will mess it up!

  38. Thanks for the tips. I also adjust the pressure of my presser foot when sewing with minky. this helps reduce the slipping as well.

  39. I bought two pieces of minky the same size 1 1/2 yards each. The color & patters I wanted. I tried to put them together but it was like one of them was not cut on the grain. Very frustrating. No matter what I did they would not line up. So the blanket sags. Gr… Two other pieces the same size are fine?? Any ideas? what did I do wrong? I did pin the heck out of it. Help!

  40. Bscholze says:

    Pick a beautiful day with a breeze. Set up your cutting mat on the patio table, cut and shake out your pieces. No clean up, and soft fuzzies for the birds! I also set up a shirt box and sprayed and pieced 95 blocks.all in an afternoon enjoying the beautiful day!

  41. I love minky, I use it on the back of quilt.So cozy.I was not afraid to use it but it is difficult to work with but I will definately use it again,the comfort and quality is solo worth it.Thank you for the tip on the walking dog!

  42. Thank-you for helping me feel less nervous about my sewing task. I will be employing all of these tips.

  43. I’m glad to find these comments too! Currently working on a few 3″ tall bench cushions with minky running around the 3″ outer edge and cotton fabric on the top (sitting surface) and bottom. Oh and some dreaded piping on each edge of the minky which was cut in a l-o-n-g 4″ strip. I couldn’t figure how to use my walking foot in place of a zipper foot to attach the piping:( Just the act of sewing the piping on stretches the minky, never mind the attaching the top and bottom fabrics. I tried 500 pins, then I tried hand basting. I haven’t tried an “iron on” since so many tips I’ve read caution against ironing. Hopefully staystitching and/or hem/twill tape will eliminate the stretching issue. In any case there will be a big celebration when and IF I ever finish these!

  44. Be sure to lengthen the stitch on your sewing machine! I use 3.5 when sewing with Minkee. That will also help with stitches that break.

  45. The minky needs to be washed before using it, as well. The reason for this, is that they spray it with a pesticide to keep bugs from getting into it. This needs washed out before using it as a blanket or anything else. Just an FYI, because you mentioned that it doesn’t need washed before sewing, I just wanted to make sure it does get washed before giving to a baby. I love your tips, tho. I am not a big sewer, and need ball the help I can get. Thank you!!

  46. Cheryl in PA says:

    I used minky for the back of my extra large king quilt. All your advice is spot-on! The only other thing I did was to tape the minky to the floor before pinning it so it did not slip or crease/fold over while in the process of pinning. I love the minky on the back of my quilt!!!

  47. Caz in the UK says:

    I have just finished my 3rd quilt using Minky for the backing !
    I use 555 spray on the Minky backing …. Batting and quilt top …..I also only use cotton batting ! This works fantastic with no movement at all ! No pins required ……also a walking foot is a must ! as is a longer stitch length ! Mine is set at 4 when using Minky ….. Another thing to bare in mind is the quality of the Minky ….. The better the quality ithe better the result ……

  48. i love the minky blankets and have everything to get started. my question is how do you keep the center of the blanket together with the lining. i don’t want to put stitched in the center. i suppose if i make it small enough it might stay together by itself. any ideas?

    • sewmuchado says:

      I don’t usually stitch through the center, for baby blankets they seem to stay together just fine without the front and back getting out of place from each other :).

  49. M Williams says:

    I have not yet tried this but was recently told to try using a wash- away stabilizer in between the minkee & whatever it’s being sewn to. I’ve definitely had issues sewing with minkee & I’ve found personally I have to pin it to death!!

  50. I just purchased a charm pack of 5 inch Minkee squares. What kind of mess would I be in if I washed them first. There is lint, fuzzies everywhere.

  51. I am getting ready to make Minky monsters, has anyone made stuffed animals with it? What about the spray stabilizer, trying to get it out of a stuffed animal???

  52. Great advice to use minky as the bottom layer and I figured out the pin and more pins rule a while back. It does save headache of puckering later. I love minky but does have a mind of its own!

  53. what kind of needle do you use? just bought some minki and am starting to make a baby quilt.

  54. Has anyone had any problems with quilts falling/ slipping off beds that have minky on the back of them?

  55. Hi! I just tried sewing with minky for the first time and paired it with cotton. I’m having problems doing the topstitch. I can’t seem to get the tension right. I end up either having loops on the bottom or the bottom thread being pulled through to the top. I use a Brother machine. Any tips to help? I’m a very newbie sewer. Thanks!

  56. Selena, everytime I have had a problem with the bottom stitch looping it has been a dull or ever so slightly bent needle.
    I change the needle and the problem is solved. I agree with the person above….change your needle very often and make sure you are using the correct needle for the correct material. Needles are pretty inexpensive with a coupon and are well worth the investment for no frutstration.

    • Hi April, thanks for responding. I changed the needle but still had the problem. Googled and found out what it was though! Rookie mistake :) I threaded the bobbin thread under the machine’s plastic guide, but it didn’t catch the metal guide beneath it! Once I got that right the problem was solved. Hopefully this will help sm other newbies like me!

  57. I’m making a quilt for my niece’s new baby. I was going to back it with minky. This is my first time working with it and appreciate all the tips. Would you quilt through all layers as usual? I’m debating if I should just stitch in the ditch. I don’t want to ruin all the bumps. Thanks for any suggestions.

  58. Great tips for using minkee. I recently attended a quilt lecture and the speaker uses minkee for the binding. So I’m going to try it on a quilt. I’ll make the binding strips wider that usual and I think that may help. Hope it works out. If you have any binding tips, please email them to me.

  59. June Stevenson says:

    How do I finish the double sided minkys edges. I plan to make a prayer shawl for our church?
    This may also be named, cuddle minky.

  60. With the bubble minky ( with 3d dots that you can feel) after sewn to a fleece… How can you wash it without the dots disappearing?? I would like to wash it before giving it to my baby nephew.

  61. Sharon Kessler says:

    I have made several minky blankets using minky on both sides. Sometimes it’s difficult to get the two pieces of minky to lay flat without ripples on one or both sides. Any suggestions? Is there a way to square minky?
    You are absolutely right about the pinning and the walking foot!!!

  62. Thanks for these great tips. I will go buy a walking foot tomorrow!

  63. Lori C. says:

    Someone bought me material to make a Boppy Cover. I thought they were going to get minky for one side and cotton for the other, but they got the minky for both. I can not get them to pin together correctly to save my life. It is like they keep sticking to each other and no mater how many pins I put in it will not go together, I tried machine basting. Please help, someone if you can. I am about to tell her I need cotton for the other side but I hate to since she said the material was so expensive. :(

  64. Amanda Lynn says:

    Doing a minky dot on back side and a printed minky on the front with a satin binding, had trouble with the binding slipping no matter how much i pinned, never had this problem when doing satin binding on two sides of fleece, so I bought a fabric glue stick that will wash out it says. Its drying now, then do you think I should try a straight stitch around the blanket before i do the binding? Will a heavy needle work? Don’t have a walking foot, do you think I just need to pin a lot more? Satin binding was slipping to the right and underneath as I sewed.

  65. Is there a particular store/website you purchase your Minky from? I am trying to find some quality fabric though the comments differ vastly and it makes it nerve wracking to take a change with such mixed reviews. (I have to buy online as I cannot find any in store where I live). Thanks!

  66. Love all the helpful tips, esp. the pins, better quality minky on the bottom, and the Schmetz – microtex needles! I want to make my newest grandbaby-to-be a silk and minky chistening blanket. Any suggestions?

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