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Forum > Fabrics and more... > how do you buy fabric? ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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how do you buy fabric?
aka4512
aka4512  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/31/12 4:11 AM

Hi everyone. I 've just watched a tour of someones sewing room on youtube (hopefully I'll have my own someday). This person mentioned she purchases her fabric by the bolt and made me ponder on this idea. I always thought bolt purchases are only for businesses etc.

I currently purchase fabric by the yard but might have a habit of bulk purchases lol.

so back to the question how do you buy your fabric? by the yard like me or do you buy in bolts (future me)?

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Janome 300E
Bernina 1120
Bernina 1130s
Bernina 750QE
Bernina 1150MDA
From Sydney

marymary86
marymary86
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In reply to aka4512 <<
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Date: 7/31/12 6:00 AM

It depends!!

If I find a great fabric that sews easily in a neutral color on sale, I'll buy the whole bolt. I have a bolt of navy wool crepe for example.

I just discovered matt jersey at Jo-Anns thanks to a PR member. The next time I get a 50% off coupon, I may buy a whole bolt of black. It seems like a good basic for a skirt, wide leg pants (cropped and another pair of long). It also seems like a good fabric to use while I work on mastering sewing with knits.

I've also bought entire bolts of cotton prints for smocking little girls' dresses when the price is right and the print/color is just perfect.

------
Mary


minggiddylooloo
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minggiddylooloo  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/31/12 7:19 AM

I've bought items like silk organza, silk crepe de chine, and cotton muslin by the bolt. I use these for interlining, linings, and slopers. I can't remember buying fashion fabric in entire bolts, never had the need to make so many items out of the same kind of fabric. I do buy more yardages of print fabrics if I really love it, they are more difficult to find than the solids.

The key to buy staples you know you'll use up to take advantage of bulk sale prices. (Just remembered I've purchased bolts of linen and cotton duck for home decor projects!)

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I'm finally a blogger!
sewming.blogspot.com

aka4512
aka4512  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/31/12 7:43 AM

here's a silly question, how many yards are in a bolt of fabric? does it vary from fabric to fabric?

------
Janome 300E
Bernina 1120
Bernina 1130s
Bernina 750QE
Bernina 1150MDA
From Sydney

minggiddylooloo
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minggiddylooloo  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/31/12 7:55 AM

I have found it does vary. The silk organza and crepe de chine (from Dharma Trading) never lists exact yardages for bolts, only estimates and they charge for the actual amount on each.

Here's a picture from when I was buying my bolt of linen in Korea, they were calculating a yardage estimate based on weight because they didn't know how much was on there.

Starting to buy bolts can be much more dangerous for your wallet than doing so by piecemeal since it adds up so quickly... at the same time, you might find it easier to bargain for the best price.

------
I'm finally a blogger!
sewming.blogspot.com

iBaloo
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In reply to aka4512 <<


Date: 7/31/12 8:06 AM

Quote: aka4512
here's a silly question, how many yards are in a bolt of fabric? does it vary from fabric to fabric?

It depends...

The quantity is usually on the label.
FWIW I just counted the length of a bolt of cotton fabric, just over 15 yards.

All I have to do now is put it all back on the bolt :)

------
Brother SE400 & 3034D, it's a start :)
I really don't want to become a klepto-machine-iac.



Member since 12/31/69
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Date: 7/31/12 11:22 AM

I have seen them from 10 yard bolts to over 1000.

I buy by the yard, but my neutrals (navy, brown, orange) go on sale so frequently that I wouldn't get a discount for buying in bulk.

Courtney Ostaff
Courtney Ostaff
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Date: 7/31/12 11:51 AM

I never plan on buying the bolt, but it frequently happens to me! Because I am a plus-sized person, and so is my mother, it takes a minimum of 5 yards for a matching skirt and top, or a dress. If I buy 5 yards for me, and 5 yards for mom, then that's often an entire bolt, or the the remains of a bolt. I actually just used 7 yards of a beautiful dark blue rayon chenille for a jacket and ankle length skirt for a suit for myself for my brother's wedding.

allycovey
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allycovey  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/31/12 12:30 PM

I have bought a couple of bolts before and got tired of the fabric before I used it all. so I I buy anywhere from 2 to 5 yards depending on what it will be good for. I did accidently get too much black really light really stretchy black knit recently, come to find out DH didn't like it so I have a ton of it left.

CM_Sews
CM_Sews
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Date: 7/31/12 1:39 PM

How To: Buy Fabric (Dress-A-Day)

Your question reminded me of this wonderfully funny (and all too true) blog post by Erin of Dress-A-Day, where she lays out some basic rules and guide lines for fabric acquisition. Excellent advice it is, too. She begins:
--
Margo left a comment recently asking me how I bought fabric. I thought replying just "Like a drunken sailor on shore leave, if drunken sailors bought fabric" probably wasn't helpful, so I thought I would lay out some rules for buying fabric that have served me well over the last few decades.
--
I can really relate to the "Like a drunken sailor on shore leave, if drunken sailors bought fabric." description.

I buy muslin by the bolt. I have often bought everything left on the bolt, especially quilting cotton on sale. It takes a lot of yards to back a quilt, so I snap them up. I also do garment sewing, and I consider 5 yards a minimum purchase for a basic dress with a fullish skirt. Whatever I might make out of that particular fabric, 5 yards almost always gives me enough.

Lately, I've slowed down a bit on fabric purchases. I'm running out of room. I have fabric and patterns for many projects. I seem to be good at the Idea phase of sewing, and the Buying the Stuff I Need for the Idea phase of sewing. I decided I needed to slow down until I complete more of the Actually Sewing Something phase of sewing.

CMC


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