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Forum > Plus Size Sewing > How much Fabric? ( Moderated by JEF)

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How much Fabric?
How Much do you purchase for different garments?
waikikimum
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waikikimum
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AUSTRALIA
Member since 5/1/08
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Date: 3/4/11 1:22 AM

A local fabric store has a 50% off sale and they always stock lovely fabrics. I normally start with a size 18 pattern for my shoulders but do a very substantial FBA and add a lot at waist and hip so the pattern fabric requirements are not accurate. I was wondering what other plus size ladies use as a general rule of thumb for purchasing fabric for different garments. When I see fabric I love I generally know if it is going to be a top/dress/ pants etc but not a specific pattern. Have you got a set amount you always buy and know it will be enough for dress/ top etc. I want to ensure I buy enough but do not want to waste good money on extra fabric I do not need.

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Kathy
Waikiki, Perth, Western Australia
http://waikikimum-sipandsew.blogspot.com/

petro
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Date: 3/4/11 2:15 AM

A rule of thumb I was taught by my sewing teacher was like this - bust or hip size plus eight inches will tell you if you can get a straight up and down pattern out of one width of the fabric for the body part of dresses and skirts. So if the answer to that is yes, its once length plus 3/4 yard for sleeves. Trousers need more than this width, because of the crotch extension. In a size 18, especially for wide leg trousers with italian pocket detail, I generally allow twice length plus a quarter of a yard, though sometimes you can squeeze them out of once length,plus a quarter of a yard. Jackets will usually come within the formula above as you can often get the front facing out beside the sleeves, but you have to watch out for very wide lapels or dramatic collars as they eat fabric. Any flared skirt and dress patterns, or bias cut, throw the formula out the window and get plenty. Is this any use?

Cathy Loves Fabric
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Cathy Loves Fabric  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/4/11 3:03 AM

I get 2 yards of 60" fabric for a t shirt or simple top (long or short sleeve). Actually I can get a princess seam blouse with collar, cuffs, long sleeves, facings and plackets out of 2 1/4 yards of 60" fabric. For 45" fabric I might need 3 1/2 yard. For a skirt 2 1/2-3 yards. For jackets about 2 1/2 or 3 depending on the width. Check your favorite patterns.

I need 2 1/2 yds for pants and 3 1/2 or 4 yards for a dress depending on the pattern. Also, if I want pants/skirt and a matching top/jacket I get 5 yards. Have fun at the sale!

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My hope is to sew to the very end. They'll find my head slumped over my precious Kenmore 19606 and have to pry the seam ripper from my cold, dead hands.

jeanau
jeanau
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Pennsylvania USA
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In reply to waikikimum


Date: 3/4/11 10:53 AM

This is a great question, and I really appreciate the responses

michellep74
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michellep74  Friend of PR
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In reply to Cathy Loves Fabric


Date: 3/4/11 12:21 PM

Quote: Cathy Loves Fabric
I get 2 yards of 60" fabric for a t shirt or simple top (long or short sleeve). Actually I can get a princess seam blouse with collar, cuffs, long sleeves, facings and plackets out of 2 1/4 yards of 60" fabric. For 45" fabric I might need 3 1/2 yard. For a skirt 2 1/2-3 yards. For jackets about 2 1/2 or 3 depending on the width. Check your favorite patterns.



I need 2 1/2 yds for pants and 3 1/2 or 4 yards for a dress depending on the pattern. Also, if I want pants/skirt and a matching top/jacket I get 5 yards. Have fun at the sale!

I use pretty much these exact same rules of thumb, and they work well for me. I start w/a size 16 at the shoulders and grade out/FBA from there. (Disclaimer: I'm 5'2", and do some adjustments for my height--but tend to like to wear things a little longer than I probably should.)

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--Michelle

***
Blog: http://happilycaffeinated.blogspot.com/

2014 Fabric IN: 153.13 yards
2014 Fabric OUT: 88 yards
2014 Fabric Sewn: 38 yards
2014 Fabric Donated: 50 yards
pre-2014 Stash patterns used in 2014: 7

KarenTeel

KarenTeel
Illinois USA
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In reply to waikikimum


Date: 3/4/11 4:03 PM

I agree with everyone about how to estimate yardage. However, now I get about 1/4 - 1/2 yd more and make undies!

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Karen

AdaH
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AdaH  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/4/11 5:09 PM

umph, we all use the same amounts.
disclaimer; watch out for 42" wide fabric if the salvege edge has a wide amount of those little needle holes and buy extra.

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Ada

waikikimum
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waikikimum
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Date: 3/4/11 7:43 PM

Thanks everyone for your input. I will now go and convert the "yards" to "metres" so I know where I'm at and put it in my purse for reference. Sale shopping here I come


Edited for Spelling
-- Edited on 3/4/11 7:54 PM --

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Kathy
Waikiki, Perth, Western Australia
http://waikikimum-sipandsew.blogspot.com/

Fictionfan
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Date: 3/4/11 9:53 PM

Trudy Jansen Design has a page of articles she's written with great sewing information. Look on the left of her home page for the link to Articles. The very first article is a chart of How Much Fabric Should I Buy? with both metric and yard measurements for 115cm and 150cm wide fabrics. The estimates are based on the lengths of the garments, plus hem allowances and such. For example, a jacket from 115cm fabric would be 2 times the length of the jacket plus 1 times the length of the sleeve plus 30cm for hem allowance and collar, average 2.3 meters. A jacket from 150cm fabric will only be 2 times the jacket length plus 30cm for hem and collar, average 1.8 to 2.0 meters, because you can fit the sleeves next to the front and back pattern.

Have fun shopping!

ETA: Trudy has comments in the table and in the paragraph above the table on how to adjust the length needed if you are larger than average, and of course to use common sense for buying additional lengths if there are design details that will take up extra fabric. You will need extra length to match a plaid or stripe, for example,and how much extra will depend on how big the repeat is or if the pattern is not even.
HTH
-- Edited on 3/4/11 10:00 PM --

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Fictionfan

Cathy Loves Fabric
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In reply to waikikimum


Date: 3/6/11 1:34 AM

And I'm much bigger than everyone here and do a huge FBA so you should be fine with these estimates. But I do need to edit the blouse with collar to 3 yds of 60" fabric with long sleeves and 2 1/2 for short.

Btw fictionfan, I checked out the Trudy Jansen link. It's great. Thanks for the tip.
-- Edited on 3/6/11 1:38 AM --

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My hope is to sew to the very end. They'll find my head slumped over my precious Kenmore 19606 and have to pry the seam ripper from my cold, dead hands.

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