6 Top Tips For Sewing With Sherpa: Everything You Need to Know

Sara SJ Kim
by Sara SJ Kim
8 Materials
5 Minutes

This tutorial is all about sewing with Sherpa. Sherpa fabric is perfect for cold weather. It’s so fluffy, soft, and warm. Sherpa is used in jackets, sweatpants, shoe linings, blankets, and more to keep you cozy when it’s cold outside.

This snuggly and winter-classic fabric can be challenging to sew so here are top tips for sewing with sherpa fabric.

Sherpa is also called faux shearling because of its wool-like appearance. It’s usually made from polyester or a cotton blend. There are no animal products involved. Here's how to sew Sherpa:

Tools and materials:

  • Sherpa fabric
  • Sewing machine
  • Serger (overlock machine) - optional but recommended
  • Walking foot
  • Wonder tape
  • Clips
  • Ballpoint, knit, or stretch needles
  • Long sharp needle
Serging the edges of the Sherpa fabric

1. Finish the edges

Sherpa fabric frays and sheds a lot because of the curly fibers. So, it's best to finish all the edges with a serger before sewing.

Sherpa fabric may be too heavy to serge two layers together, so use the right settings for your serger. The finished edges look nice enough to leave as is.

Using a walking foot to sew Sherpa

2. Use a walking foot

Sherpa is very thick and fluffy. A walking foot will help pull the Sherpa fabric through, making it far easier to sew. 

Types of sewing needle to use with Sherpa

3. Use a ball point needle

Ball point, knit, or stretch needles move better through Sherpa. 

Adjusting sewing machine settings for Sherpa

4. Adjust the settings on your machine

When you’re sewing Sherpa, decrease the foot pressure and increase the stitch length.

Using Wonder Tape to help sew Sherpa

5. Use Wonder Tape

Sherpa has a stretchy knit structure and needs stabilization.

How to use wash-away Wonder Tape

Use wash-away wonder tape to help keep the Sherpa in place for clipping and folding into place.

How to sew with Sherpa fabric

6. Stabilize the fabric

When you’re sewing with sherpa, use a sharp object like a needle to push the fabric as flat as possible when feeding it through the machine.

Create more tension by pulling the fabric slightly with your left hand as you feed it through the machine. This helps hold the layers together.

Make sure the pull is firm - not too strong and not too weak. Like Goldilocks, aim for just right! It does take practice to get the tension right.

Sewing with Sherpa to make clothes

Sewing with sherpa tutorial

All these tips can help you when you’re sewing with Sherpa!

Let me know which tips for sewing with Sherpa you tried, though I hope you try all of them! Keep warm and cozy!

Suggested materials:
  • Sherpa fabric
  • Sewing machine
  • Serger (overlock machine) - optional but recommended
See all materials

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