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Fabric Stash - True confession time.
How do you know how much to buy?
PKPudlin
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PKPudlin
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North Carolina USA
Member since 7/19/05
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Date: 3/4/06 6:52 PM

Call me kooky, but I don't have a fabric stash. I
have a small amount of fabric hanging around that I originally bought for something specific and then it didn't work out, but I'm paranoid about buying fabric without knowing what I want to do with it. I'm scared that I will not buy enough, or buy too much - you get the picture. So I see all these posts about people's wonderful fabric stashes, and my question is this: How do you know how much fabric to buy, especially when you don't have a pattern to go with it yet? Is there a set amount? I will buy patterns until the cows come home, but as for fabric - that's another story.

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Just a Yankee girl in a Southern world.

Trinity.
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Trinity.
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Massachusetts USA
Member since 10/9/05
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Date: 3/4/06 7:19 PM

What's the largest amount of fabric you would need to make a blouse? Or pants? Or a dress?

When I buy knits that are probably for tops, I only buy 1 yard. That's all I need. But if I might want to make pants, that's 2 yards for a total of 3 yards. Bottomweights, 2.5 yards minimum. Blouse fabric, 2-3 yards. I never buy less than a yard of anything unless it's ribbing, and it's in a color I won't use alot.

I also sew for a family of 6, so nothing ever goes to waste. My stash is probably only 350 yards or so, which is a drop in the bucket compared to some of the ladies here.

Melissa

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Trinity

http://thimblesthreadsandneedles.blogspot.com/

SewingSkater
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SewingSkater
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Michigan USA
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Date: 3/4/06 7:32 PM

I don't know how big my stash is. I started counting once and only got through my lycras (swimwear/skatewear fabrics). That was 80 yards, only a mere fraction of my total, and has since grown. I estimate somewhere around 400 yards... and I've only been sewing 2 years. It scared me, so I stopped counting.

For tops I buy 1-2 yards depending on the fabric. If it's a plain color and I would want to make a tank and maybe a long sleeved shirt out of it, I get 2 yards. If its a unique print, I only get 1-1.5 yards (depending on sleeve length). For anything that says "pants" I get 2.5 yards. I don't make a lot of skirts or dresses, so I usually don't stash for those. I usually buy 2.5 yards if I am thinking it will be a blazer.

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Leslie
_________________________________
"Don't dress a certain way because that's all you've done in the past. Fashion is a very underrated motivator. It's just pieces of fabric, but it's such a powerful tool. It can change people's perception of you." - Daniel Vosovic, Project Runway


"The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it." - Moliere, French dramatist, actor (1622-1673)

seKimberlyso
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seKimberlyso
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Florida USA
Member since 5/7/04
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Date: 3/4/06 7:33 PM

Actually I rarely think of a pattern when I buy fabric. I buy fabric and then decide what to do with it; seems easier to me. How much stash, oh, don't ask me I have two cabinets full and then some, but I too sew for 6 so its always being used. Getting a stash is a slippery slope if you don't think you can sew enough of it. It really depends how much you sew and what you can afford. Many of us collect fabric. Sure we eventually sew it, but we derive pleasure from the unsewn textiles too.

When I buy fabric and I know its only for me I often go for 3 yards, enough to make most things, with a bit left over if need be. If it costs higher than usual then I decide what article of clothing I will probably make with it, and then go from there, as Xenophea said.

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Kimberly

barbc
barbc
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New York USA
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Date: 3/4/06 8:02 PM

If I like a fabric for a jacket I buy two times my body length and arm's length. If I like it for a skirt I buy one or two times the length of my waist (or a bit above) to a bit longer than I want the length. If I want it fuller I take that into account. Dresses are two times my length and then length for sleeve length. Pants are two times my pants height. I am sure you get the idea. Take into account what style you want and if you need extra fullness, bias, nap and that type of thing then allow for it.

I did discover one thing, the stash is better uncut than cut and left to age. I have ruined fabric by cutting and then letting it sit and sit.


Barb C.

MrsKeds
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MrsKeds
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Missouri USA
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Date: 3/4/06 8:22 PM

I used to be the queen of 2 yard cuts. I could make a blouse and have some left over. I could make a skirt.

Then I began to make jackets, and would purchase fabric in 3 yard lengths for jackets, allowing a little extra.

Then, I became more concerned about having suits, so the length went to 5 yards to give me enough with some to spare.

On occasion, the old Hancock's that I shopped at would have tremendous sales. Most ladies would be going for the quilting cottons or the fleece. I'd head for the garmet fabric. Sometimes I would see 9-10 dollar a yard fabric for as low as 1.99. Call it sold! I'd buy 10 yards if I really liked the fabric. I could get pants, skirt, jacket and something else if I felt like it. At that price, I could stock up if for nothing more than for muslins. I have yet to use any of it for a muslin, but have made some wonderful coordinating items. I miss that store, and the last time I went there they said they missed my business. I told them that I missed their fabric. Oh well, it is where I collected the majority of my stash - which measures with well in the 4 digit range, if not the 5 digits. DH is glad we're hundreds of miles away now.

Nickle
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Nickle
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Michigan USA
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Date: 3/4/06 8:28 PM

Also keep the width of the fabric in mind. When I buy a fabric I usually know what type of garment I'm going to make out of it and buy accordingly. After a while you'll get to know what you need. I also buy a little more than I need to allow for shrinkage and grainline.
ETA- I never kept much of a stash till I discovered FM Bundles.
-- Edited on 3/4/06 8:29 PM --

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Penny

Fabric Mart Bundle Fabric sewn- 10.5 yds

barbc
barbc
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New York USA
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Date: 3/4/06 8:35 PM

I thought of something else that decides how much I buy. If I am in a nice fabric store where the fabrics are beautiful but priced a bit higher. I ONLY buy if I intend to make something from it. If I come across fabric that I like and the price is lower, I will buy more and buy it without a clear plan.

Then there is the roulette wheel of Bundles...... ;-)


Barb C.

GorgeousFabrics
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GorgeousFabrics
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Date: 3/4/06 8:54 PM

I don't think of a pattern when I buy fabric, so much as I think of "What kind of garment am I most likely to make with this?". If it's a top I buy either 2 or 2.5 yards, depending on the width (45 inches or 60 inches respectively). Pants are 1.5 or 2 yards, jackets are 2.5 yards almost universally. Dresses are 3-4 yards unless I think I will want a very full skirt and buy 5 yards, and formalwear (which I almost never buy-ahead) is at least 5 yards. I figure that if I have extra, then I can fix any mistakes, or make an accessory to match, or give the remainder to my kids' schools.

HTH!
Ann

Mary Reed

Mary Reed
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Arizona USA
Member since 6/2/03
Posts: 326
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Date: 3/4/06 9:48 PM

For me it is price and likely garment. Fabrics that are destine to become a costume and cost less than $1/yard I will buy 20-25 yards - if it is a really "period" fabric, may be up to 30 yards.

A killer deal like a fabulous charcoal RPL knit for $1/yard found at Wally World then may be 8-10 yards or all that they had.

If it is reasonably priced, good fabric, than I use my "rules": 2 yards for long sleeve top; 1.5 for short sleeve; 5 yards for a dress; 2 -3 for skirt.

I rarely buy patterned fabrics for my stash, they don't age gracefully.

And I gratefully accept all "donations." My stash has radically increased when people give me their stash - finds have included 10 yards of Irish Linen from the 1950s (from the store label and reciept still folded inside the fabric); a delightful, midnight blue silk broadcloth from the same era; of course, I also accepted the full bolt of of 60" polyester double knit. I donate what I know I will never use.

I had a huge stash, but my dh wouldn't all of it. We compromised and moved 900 pounds of my favorites.

Stashes are addictive. Sometimes, I just sit and play with my stash.

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