Member since 4/4/10
Date: 5/22/10 9:00 PM
I was all fired up to start my summer dress pattern tonight. Got everything pressed and ready to go. But when I tried to lay out the pattern pieces on the fabric there was no way it would work. I measured the width of the fabric and it's only 41"! (supposed to be 45" right?).
Has this ever happened to you? The fabric was from JoAnns.
I can't use this fabric for my dress now and even the person at the store said how beautiful the print was. I am majorly bummed at the lost time in setting it all up too.
Just wondering how common this is. Do you have them measure the width when you get your fabric cut?
Member since 5/15/10
Subject: Fabric width only 41 off the bolt (Grrrrr...) Date: 5/22/10 9:27 PM
Maybe this is a silly question, but did you run the fabric through the wash to pre-shrink it? Because I seem to remember 10% being about right for some fabrics.
Do any of the pieces really use the full width? If they don't, maybe you could wiggle the cutting arrangement around to fit around each other, especially if you bought any extra length (or if there are small pieces that could be bumped to a short length that you go back to the store for). I usually buy a little more than the envelope calls for to leave me some extra to just play with (I tell myself it's for a matching bag; funny how I never so much do that...).
-- Edited on 5/22/10 9:29 PM --
New York USA
Member since 1/21/10
Skill: Advanced Beginner
Date: 5/22/10 9:27 PM
Yes. This *has* happened to me. Once from a piece I ordered online from Fabric.com. It was beautiful raisin knit I got for yoga pants. I ended up making the short version of the pants instead, so I was able to salvage the project, but it was frustrating.
And, a second piece I got at Joann's too, intended for a nice summer shirt. I was able to rearrange the pieces, but it made the cutting process twice and difficult / time consuming as it should have been!
Is there no way to save the project? What if you ignore the 'cut on fold' directions and cut the whole piece? From these project problems I've had, I've realized that the lay out in the directions wastes a lot of fabric!
Hoping it can still work!
Member since 4/4/10
Date: 5/22/10 9:31 PM
I did wash the fabric. It's a basic calico cotton. I washed on a cold handwash setting and a very low heat dryer. I have never had cotton shrink 4 inches so I just don't see how it could be that....
The problem is it's a summer dress, and it flares out at the bottom. So the 2 main pattern pieces really need the full width of the bolt. I will try laying it out UN-folded as the previous poster suggested and see if I can make that work somehow.
Otherwise, it'll make a nice blouse but that's not what I wanted!
-- Edited on 5/22/10 9:32 PM --
|Doris W. in TN
Member since 2/9/04
In reply to milksocket
Date: 5/22/10 10:02 PM
This has nothing to do with it being JoAnn fabric. This has been a problem for the past 12+ years. Some fabric companies are honest, and actually print the true 42" or 36" width on the end of the bolt.
I have posted about this problem here on PR. We consumers must measure the fabric width, ourselves, before we buy it. We can not assume it is 45" wide. We cannot believe what is printed on the end of the bolt. Ask me how I know. And apparently the manufacturers have leeway to be off in their stated width, which is different from what I was told 10+ years ago. Maybe the rules changed...
I have had this happen with Benartex and other name-brand cottons, as well as FreeSpirit flannels. None were bought at JoAnns. The flannels were purchased online, and the vendor said 44/45" wide but they were not, so.... .I had to order more because these were to be pajama pants, and paid the shipping charge .... again. I later stumbled upon the same Free Spirit flannel at a local independent fabric shop, the bolt end even said 44/45" wide, but I measured it and it was only 43" wide. And we all know flannel shrinks. The Benartex was sold at my Bernina dealer.
I now have a small measuring tape in my purse. And I must remember to ask the online vendor, before I buy, to measure the fabric to confirm the width stated on their web site. In the case of my flannel vendor, they put what was written on the bolt end by the manufacturer.
And FWIW, I have watched unwashed quilters cottons shrink in the width as I spray starched it. Years ago, I had one fabric that lost over an inch ~in the width~ , from the moisture in spray starching it.
And people wonder why women give up on sewing and quit.....
-- Edited on 5/22/10 10:04 PM --
iPad's auto-correct is my enema.
Member since 7/1/07
Skill: Advanced Beginner
Date: 5/22/10 11:57 PM
I attempted to make a friend flannel pajama pants. Prewashed 1 length & when I went to gather supplies thought it looked too narrow so measured. 41". Went back to unwashed, it was about 42" so no excessive shrinkage.
I did have 1 piece of stretch denim shrink to 45" from 58". I had bought 3 yds to allow for shrinkage so was tight but worked. As long as it does it's shrinking BEFORE I sew it I can live with it.
Member since 9/3/06
Date: 5/23/10 1:06 AM
Some of the bolt ends are now saying 43" and the selvedges seem to be getting wider. I just bought a piece of embroidered cotton and noticed that the embroidery stops four to six inches from the edge. That one isn't going to be fun to layout!
Seems like we are getting back to the old 35" wide fabrics. I also had a piece of denim shrink. It ended up at 38"!
2012 86.3 yds..
Everyone who sews seriously has a stockpile of fabrics, because it is natural to purchase more than can be sewn in any one season" Singer, Timesaving Sewing, 1987
Member since 4/8/02
Subject: Fabric width only 41 off the bolt (Grrrrr...) Date: 5/23/10 7:06 AM
If you're sure the pattern fits, you could try reducing the seam allowances on every piece. There have been times when I was able to make that work; it's surprising just how much room those wider seam allowances take.
“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.” -Robert Heinlein and Ann's father. Thanks for the reminder, Ann.
Where are we going, and what am I doing in this handbasket?
Matthew 25:40 (New International Version)
The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Member since 11/30/04
Subject: Fabric width only 41 off the bolt (Grrrrr...) Date: 5/23/10 7:47 AM
Yes, it has happened to me. When this happens to you once, you tend to remember to check fabric width. I tell my sewing students to ALWAYS check. It happens, and when it does it's quite disappointing.
Big 4 Pattern size 12, RTW bottom: 6, RTW jacket 8, RTW top (no size fits me well!)
Measurements: 34 HB/36 FB (34C bra)/27.5/36 (and working hard to keep it that way.)
Machines: Sewing: Elna 760, vintage Kenmore Model 33 (1967), Janome Gem Gold 3, Singer Model 99, Singer 221/Featherweight. Sergers: Babylock Imagine and Babylock Enlighten. Embroidery Only: Janome 300E. Embroidery/Sewing Combo: Brother Dream machine. Coverstitch: Babylock BLCS. Straight Stitch: Janome 1600P.
If you think your sewing is better than everyone else's around here, get out of my way b****. I hate sewing snobs.
My blog: www.phatchickdesigns.blogspot.com
Member since 10/1/06
Date: 5/23/10 8:19 AM
yes it has happened to me. it seems that manufacturers are dropping the width by a couple of inches. very frustrating
you might be able to salvage your project if you are willling to add some design "features". someone else posted a solution to a full skirt where she pieced the fabric on the flair of the skirt, kind of looked like a gogot in the side seams. I don't know if I explained that right. sometimes you can cut your pattern into pieces, add seam allowance and you have a design feature. hth