Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Confession


As I mentioned on Wednesday, I got a bit swept up in the Memorial Day sales and bought some fabric over the internet. I didn't have a specific pattern in mind, and was kind of stymied over how much to buy. I thought that 3 yards was probably enough for most anything I'd want to make, but then I got nervous that I'd run out and (here's the confession part) I ended up buying 4 yards of each... Yikes!

So, how about you? How much fabric do you buy when you don't have a specific pattern in mind? Do you have rules of thumb for the general amount of fabric needed for shirts, dresses, skirts and pants?

Photo credit: heidielliott

14 comments:

www.dressed2atee.blogspot.com said...

I always buy 4-5 yds. If it's a really great sale I'll buy the whole bolt.

Lindsay T said...

When I shop in the garment district without a specific pattern in mind, I generally stick to 2 yards. That covers most of my needs—jackets and tops.

gwensews said...

Have fun with all those bargain fabrics! I generally buy 3.5 yards if I'm thinking 1 garment from it--such as a jacket, and 5 yards if I intend to add slacks or skirt. I always have mroe than enough, which is better than having less!

Anonymous said...

I buy 2 (of 60") for a top or skirt and 3 (of 60") for pants or jacket, and that seems to generally work for me. I don't wear dresses in general, so I only buy for a dress when I have an occasion and pattern in mind. I try to err on the side of getting too much so I will have enough when I finally get to making the garment - but I do hate it when I have big scraps left over that are not enough to use for another garment. I would ask what you do with the leftovers?

Lois K

Cause said...

I usually buy 2-3 yds for skirts, tops 3 yds for dresses and 4 yds if I think I'm going to make pants. I haven't actually sewn pants but I've got plenty of fabric when I do :):)

CarlaF-in Atlanta

eword10 said...

I have been stymied by this question for a while. I used to buy only 2 yds for tops, but I've found that a lot of my patterns ask for a little more than 2 yds and I get frustrated.

I heard that you need 5 yds for dress, is that right?

Anyway, to answer your question, I now usually buy 3-5 yards.

Faye Lewis said...

For me it's 2 to 2 1/2 for tops, 2 for skirts, 3 for pants and 2 1/2 to 3 for jackets. If I'm thinking of matching 3 pieces- jacket, skirt and pants I always get 6. I have a handy little card that I refer to sometimes that gives you yardages estimates for different garments with fabrics of different width. I got it from Louise Cutting - Cutting Line Designs. I laminated it and keep it in my wallet. It has helped me out on several occasions. You ask the most interesting questions - did I tell you that before?

Paulette said...

I think Sammy should guide you...the more fabric the better is what it looks like to me!!

As for me, personally this is how I buy:
Tops - 1.5 yards 60"; 2.5 yards 45"
Pants - 1.5 yards 60"; 2.5 yards 45"
Dresses - 2.5 yards 60"; 3.5 yards 45"
Jackets - 3 yards 60"; 4.5 yards 45"

THEN of course we have to consider, "will I ever be at this fabric store again and/or will I ever be able to get this again?" I used that alot when shopping in London for fabric - it served me well in purchasing more than normal. I was just being safe, right?! :)

KARIMA said...

My rule of thumb:
8 yds if the fabric is 44-45"wide
6 yds if the fabric is 55"-60"wide
thats for fabric that i'm going to make clothing with. If it's for quilting, I might buy 1 Yd to 10 yds depending on how much it cost.

gaylen said...

well I need to start making more "looking for a job" clothing and less "I have a job" clothing. When I'm purchasing to look for a job - 4-5 yards will give me enough to make a skirt and jacket or pants and jacket. When I have a job I usually purchase 3 yards for a great funky skirt. g

Summerset said...

It is rare that I buy a fabric without a plan. I usually have a general idea of what I will make out of it, even if I don't have a specific pattern. I buy 4 to 6 yards for full skirt vintage dresses; 3 yards for jackets or dresses, 2 yards for knit tops, blouses or skirts. If I buy anything smaller than that, it has to be 55-60" wide and a pretty simple straight garment.

Becky said...

I'm trying not to just buy fabric without a purpose...or at least not without using up stuff I have! But when I just can't resist, I usually go with somewhere between 2-3 yards, depending on if it looks more like a potential top or a potential skirt. (I like to make long skirts when I can, so those take a bit more.)

Claire said...

Back in the day when I was melting down all my credit cards and building my stash, I would buy 5-7 yards. Now that I'm paying off the mess I created, I'm on a strict diet. However, before the strict diet began I withdrew slowly and would purchase 2-3 yards, depending on the fabric, and what I thought I might, some day, make from it.

Christy Sews said...

Depends on the type of fabric -- a print that I think would be nice for a dress -- 3 yards; A knit that I want a shirt - 1.5 yards; dress - 3 yards; if it's a print that I want a wrap dress or vintage dress, then 5-6 yards; if it's a solid and I think I want a jacket/pants or dress/jacket or any combination -- 6 yards; if I really like it and don't want anyone else to have it -- I'll clear a bolt. 2 yards for a skirt.