Felt is easy for children to handle when they first start to sew. It is easily available, comes in many colors, doesn’t fray, it’s thick, yet easy to cut and it’s stiff. It’s stiff. That’s a good thing. But not so good for cuddling. And after a while, felt (I can only find acrylic/polyester felt) starts to pill. Then the whole project just look worn.
Fleece is a better choice as it is softer and better for cuddling. It doesn’t fray either and not difficult to cut. I do prefer fleece for softies. But living in the tropics, it’s not easy to find. However, I found out recently that Ikea sells inexpensive fleece blankets/throws which comes in a few colors. So far I have acquired it in cream white, red, light blue and Mikey (from Monster Inc) green. I believe I saw one in tiger print too! These are fantastic for crafts! I don’t remember how much but they were way under $10 each and came in a huge piece!
Last week, we had a workshop, sewing snowman and snow bear by hand. My students (youngest being 5) had no issues handling fleece.
I wish they have it in brown Coz I’m thinking gingerbread man softie would be so cute! As would brown bear!
Oh, and no problem with laundering. Just put your softie in a laundry bag and toss it in together with the rest of the wash.