Sherpa fleece jackets and coats are hugely popular right now, at least here in Sweden, which makes sense due to our chilly weather. Actually, we in Sweden call this type of fleece teddy fur, because it looks similar to the fur of a teddy bear.
So I was curious to see how my latest sewing pattern the Eivy Cardigan would work with this material. Especially since the Eivy has a collar option that is very similar to those fashionable sherpa jackets.
Well, this is the end result, and I’m loving it! I did add some extra ease to accommodate for the fluffy fabric. So if you want to use the Eivy pattern for this purpose you can either size up (if that is an option) or you can do as I do and use this quick method to add extra ease to your original size.
This was the first time I sewed sherpa fleece and I was honestly winging it, so maybe I am not the right person to give advice on how to best work with this material? But sometimes we just have to dive in!
With that caveat established, let’s take a look inside to see how I constructed it.
I used a regular 4-thread serger overlock stitch to sew all the seams, with a slightly longer stitch length since the fabric is so thick.
For the hem, I overlocked the edges and then used a regular sewing machine blind hem stitch (which is perfect for hemming stable knits).
I also covered the facing with bias tape that I cut from some old lining scraps that I had. This was probably the only tricky thing sewing this jacket, since the fleece is soo thick, it was hard to get the tape to wrap around the edges properly, so if you look a bit close the finish is a little uneven.
Since the fabric is so fluffy I didn’t mess with buttonholes (but I think bound buttonholes in a thinner fabric could work). Instead, I just added large metal snaps and I think they worked perfectly.
I also added a bias cut strip to cover the back collar seam. Basically, it is just a strip of fabric folded in the middle and then attached to the front-facing pieces and the back seam, just a regular back facing would be attached. The only difference is that you stitch the lower edge to the garment afterwards.
Another option is to a use decorative band to cover the back neckline (tutorial). Both methods will achieve a similar result, but they are done in slightly different ways.
I actually finished the sherpa version of the Eivy Cardigan the day before we had our first snow, talk about timing. And today as I write this we have so much snow and it’s really cold. So this project couldn’t have better timing.