Thursday, June 4, 2009

Talk Back Thursday

Thank you so much to Ivalyn, Lindsay T, Gwen, Lois K, Carla F, Elizabeth, Faye Lewis, Paulette, Karima, Gaylen, Summerset, Becky, Claire and Christy for talking back to my confession last week!

I wondered how much fabric people buy when they see something they love, but don't have a specific pattern in mind. Some people (like me) struggle with this question each time the situation arises, others have a single quantity that they typically buy and the rest have a series of rules of thumb, depending on the type of garment that they think they might make with the fabric.

You may want to read the comments individually (here) and see if any one person's approach speaks to you, but I'll summarize the guidelines that people reported, giving you, for each type of garment that was called out, the smallest and the largest amounts of fabric that anyone mentioned buying, and the average of all of the amounts suggested.

Note that a couple of people specified widths (45 inches versus 60 inches), but many didn't, so I've fudged a bit and combined all the numbers, regardless of width. You'd probably be safe if you assumed that these numbers were for 60 inch fabric, and rounded up for 45 inch fabric.

• 5 people responded
• Range of answers: 2 yards - 4 yards
• Average: 3 yards

• 10 people responded
• Range of answers: 1.5 yards - 4 yards
• Average: 2.25 yards

• 6 people responded
• Range of answers: 2 yards - 3 yards
• Average: 2.25 yards

• 5 people responded
• Range of answers: 1.5 yards - 4 yards
• Average: 2.8 yards

“Regular” dresses
• 6 people responded
• Range of answers: 2.5 yards - 5 yards
• Average: 3.33 yards

“Vintage” dresses (full skirts, etc.)
• 2 people responded
• Range of answers: 5 yards - 5.5 yards
• Average: 5.25 yards

2-3 Pieces (e.g., jacket & skirt)
• 5 people responded
• Range of answers: 4.5 yards - 6 yards
• Average: 5.3 yards

Nothing in Particular in Mind
• 6 people responded
• Range of answers: 3 yards - 8 yards
• Average: 5.25 yards

If anybody is statistically-minded, I can also provide standard deviations! ;)

It was really interesting to study all the systems that were proposed, and I'm going to make my own type-of-garment-based rules of thumb, possibly rounding up a little bit from the averages calculated here (because I am totally paranoid about running short!)

Thanks again to everyone who responded! (If anyone else would like to provide their own system here, I'll update these results and re-publish them next week.) This was REALLY helpful to me! :)


LaKaribane said...

Very interesting, this pops-up often enough but it's good to have new info.

I definitely need to sit down with my US magazines and patterns and make a list of garments with the two widths usually listed, 60" and 45".

Here, we sell fabric by "aune" wich is 115 cm long and it's usually 150cm fabric/60" so when I travel I'm always stumped...and the clerks can't help me either!!!

So, thinking outloud here, the list would be:

sleeveless dress
long-sleeved dress
wrap dress
wide-skirted dress
sleeveless top/blouse
long-sleeved top/blouse
tapered pants
wide-legged pants
short-sleeved jacket
long-sleeved jacket
straight skirt
wide skirt
long skirt
wrap skirt

Obviously, this is tailored to each person and takes into account lifestyle, hem length, most commonly sewn styles etc.

But you gave me food for thought. I usually read your feed on Google Reader but I think I'm going to start commenting more on these surveys.