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Forum > Beginner's Forum > Fabric Width ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Fabric Width
blugirlami21
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blugirlami21
Intermediate
Maryland USA
Member since 7/8/04
Posts: 22
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Date: 9/29/11 2:25 AM

I am making a dress and the yardage for a 45" wide fabric is 5 yds and the yardage for a 60" wide fabric is 3 3/4 yds. The fabric I want to use is 110" wide, how much fabric do I need?

rmusic1
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rmusic1
Advanced Beginner
UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 7/3/10
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Date: 9/29/11 2:36 AM

try cutting out the pattern pieces and lay them out in an area the width of the fabric you want to buy. I often find I can get away with less fabric then the pattern calls for through a more efficient layout. That way you can buy with confidence.

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Kansas USA
Member since 12/13/08
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Date: 9/29/11 1:03 PM

When I run into this, I do the math:
5 x 36" = 180" (length of fabric in inches)
180" x 45" = 8100 square inches

3.75 x 36" = 135" (length of fabric in inches)
135" x 60" = 8100 square inches

So now you figure out how much of the 110" fabric you need to get 8100 square inches. Work backward:

8100 = 110 x Z
8100 divided by 110 = 73.63"
73.63" divided by 36" = 2.04

So you need about 2 yards, except that doesn't quite get you to 8100 square inches (7920), so you might want a wee bit more just in case... although I agree with rmusic that doing a trial layout would be helpful!

Who said algebra would never come in handy?!
-- Edited on 9/29/11 1:04 PM --

------
~Gem in the prairie

cimmanon
cimmanon
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Date: 9/30/11 5:31 PM

Be careful going the "algebra" route to determine your new yardage. You'll want to check the length of all of your pieces, too! Redistributing your square inches along the crosswise grain isn't going to be helpful if it isn't long enough for your longest pieces.

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Kansas USA
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Date: 10/1/11 5:29 PM

Well, sure, but when are you going to need a piece that's more than 73" long? I guess I brought it up because in the costuming I do, I often use non-traditional fabric sources, like tablecloths or sheets, and it's helpful to know how much yardage I'll get from a king-sized flat sheet, for instance. It usually wouldn't come up if you were using a smaller (less than 2 yards) cut of anything, I wouldn't think, unless you really desperately wanted to make a maxi dress from quilt backing?

It is a good thing to keep in mind, if you're using a border print or something, though!

------
~Gem in the prairie

rmusic1
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rmusic1
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UNITED KINGDOM
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Date: 10/1/11 6:06 PM

going back to my previous post I now have a real life example to illustrate my point. I was standing in a fabric today buying the last bit of fabric on the roll. The width was 1.3 meters, inbetween the normal sizes. They lady in the shop did the maths calculation to convert the yardage to work out how much I would need.

When she measured it out, it was 10cm short. I said I would take it anyway, and when I got home laid out my pattern pieces. I was both lucky and annoyed with myself. Lucky, because the with of the largest piece perfectly fits the width of the fabric.

Annoyed, because (even with it being 10cm too short) I STILL have 40cm too much fabric which I don't need, and drat, I could have saved myself some money! I wish I had taken the cut out pattern pieces with me....

blugirlami21
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blugirlami21
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Maryland USA
Member since 7/8/04
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Date: 10/14/11 8:39 PM

Thanks for all your replies. I didn't have the pattern yet and the website I order from only does whole and half yardages so I was trying to save some many by buying a wider width than needed. I just got 2 yds and ended up with maybe a half a yard more than I needed but it wouldn't be the first time. Thanks again.

Nancy K
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Nancy K
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New York USA
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In reply to stirwatersblue


Date: 10/14/11 10:36 PM

This is how I would figure it too, but I'd add about 15% just to be on the safe side.

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www.nancyksews.blogspot.com

svetlana
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svetlana
Intermediate
Illinois USA
Member since 12/30/06
Posts: 360
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Date: 10/15/11 7:43 AM

Yes, when not too expensive and I have the choice, I get a little extra also as BBA (boo boo allowance).

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Svetlana

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