Oct 9, 2012

How Much Fabric Should I Buy?

When you begin designing/drawing your own patterns, after the pattern is drawn, I often get asked 'How much fabric should I buy?'  As you know, with Sure-Fit Designs, you're not working with a traditional pattern, where the envelop tells you how much yardage you'll need for your size.

Estimating your fabric yardage requirement is actually pretty easy.  I'd like to share with you some guidelines that I know will help you.

1.  If the design you are going to sew is similar to one of your existing commercial patterns (you've all got mountains of old commercial patterns in your stash), simply use their recommendations as a guideline.

2.  Do a mock-up of a layout.  Once your pattern pieces are all drawn, simply mark off a width (on your cutting/sewing table) that is half the width of the fabric.  Many fabrics are 58" to 60" wide, so half this amount would be 29" to 30" wide.  Mark one edge as the "Fold' and one as the 'Selvage'.  Then begin laying down your prepared pattern pieces.  Many of you are so familiar with doing layouts that this will come second nature to you.  Those pieces that are on the fold, will be placed first, and then you will fit in the other pieces.  When you're done, measure from one end to the other - and that's how much you need.   You might want to purchase another 1/2 yd. for safety. There is a clear illustration on page 13 of the Sure-Fit Designs Dress Instruction book on how to do this.

3. Your height and girth will play a role in your requirements, but after you've done this process a few times, you'll get to know how much you need.  As an example, you'll start to remember you need 1.5 yards of 60" wide fabric for pants or 1 3/4yd. for a long sleeve blouse.  Make a little note and tuck it in your handbag.

4.  And when all else fails, you can generally buy 2 1/2 yards and get many different designs from this quantity.  You really will start to understand your needs.


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