French Terry vs. Stretch Sweatshirt Fleece

Today I’ve got another fabric comparison post for you!  Just like last time when I compared 3 different fabrics using the same pattern, this time I used the same pattern to compare 2 fabrics.  Both these fabrics are suitable and recommended for making this hoodie pattern, so it really comes down to personal preference.  

The pattern I used is the Halifax Hoodie by Hey June Patterns.  I made view C which is the view with the zipper front and pockets.  For exact details, I’d love if you’d head over to my Skirt Fixation blog.

The two fabrics I used are stretch sweatshirt fleece and french terry.  These two fabrics are similar, but have some unique differences.  Let’s take a look at the fabrics themselves first, and then compare how they sew up and wear as garments.  In all the photos, the stretch sweatshirt fleece is on the left and the french terry is on the right.

Fabric contents: 

French Terry: poly/rayon, poly/spandex, 100% cotton, bamboo/cotton/spandex, rayon/spandex

Sweatshirting: rayon, poly/cotton, 100% cotton

Fabric width (both): 58”- 60”

Fronts

The photo above shows the front of each fabric.  Both fabrics are smooth.  This particular french terry has a heathered look, but you can get some that are completely solid in color.

Backs

This next photo shows the back of each fabric.  As you can see, the back of the sweatshirt fabric is a little fuzzy, while the back of the french terry fabric has loops.

Weave

Here, I’m holding the fabric swatches up to the window so you can see the tightness of the weave which also affects breathability.  You can see more light through the french terry, and that the weave is quite a bit looser.  This is what makes french terry suitable for a summer garment as well as a layering piece like a hoodie.

Stretch comparison

This photo illustrates the difference in the stretch of the fabrics.  The sweatshirt fleece has good 4 way stretch, about equal in both directions.  The french terry also has 4 way stretch, but it has quite a bit more stretch on the horizontal than the vertical.

Drape

These small swatches don’t really show the drape well.  While both finished garments sit nicely on the body, the french terry does have better drape in my opinion.  The stretch sweatshirt fabric is a little more stable.

Ease of sewing.  Both of these fabrics are very nice to work with on both a sewing machine and a serger.  Even at the thickest parts, neither of my machines had any trouble sewing through the layers.  As is quite common when sewing installing a zipper in fabrics with stretch, there was some waviness to the zipper area after installing it.  But a good dose of steam with the iron had them looking just like they should!  

Fronts Modeled

Wearability.  Both of these hoodies is super comfortable and totally wearable!  They are perfect for layering through the fall.  These hoodies are the kind that we’ll be wearing for years and years, they’re that good!  For more modeled photos and information on the pattern used and the adjustments made for my daughter and I, please visit the Skirt Fixation blog.

Now let me know, do you have a preference between french terry and stretch sweatshirt fabric?

Audrey from Skirt Fixation

Audrey, a mom of 8, sews and blogs at Skirt Fixation, your home for everything skirt related! There's lots of other sewing goodness too...after all can't leave the boys out of sewing adventures! She also designs and sells pattern through Savvy Patterns.

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4 thoughts on “French Terry vs. Stretch Sweatshirt Fleece”

  1. I so appreciate this post. I was doing the Halifax but as part of Sew My Style 2018 pattern. But I did not selw it because I couldn’t decide which fabric to use. I often find it difficult to pick fabrics for patterns and feel comfortable with the choice. I’m so glad I found your blog.

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