Estimate Fabric
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Estimating Fabric Requirements

How you find out how much you need?

If youíre estimating straight from a pattern, cut the pattern pieces apart.

If youíre using your muslin, youíll be using half width... like a pattern.  Make notes about any facings.

(Suggestion... you ought to be using your muslin... no crying if you mess up your fashion fabric otherwise.)

  • Find an open section of floor, yard something.
    • Measure half of your fabric width
    • Mark the rectangle, with strings, yards kicks, books anything.
  • Lay out your pattern pieces within the area.
    • If your fabric has nap... make sure you lay out all your pieces one way.
    • Pay attention to the grain arrows and lay it about with the grain
    • (This doesnít need to be as precise as when youíre cutting it, but get things going approximately the right way.)
  • You can use the pattern envelope as a guide to laying out the pieces, even if you modified it into a muslin.
    • However, often youíll be able to find a better layout yourself.
  • If youíre using a muslin, remember to add hem distance onto the bottom of any skirt pieces.

OK... no one has 5 yards of free space in their house... but you can lay pieces out and mark and move things down just like you were laying out the real thing.

 From youíre layout, youíll be able to see how much fabric you need.


I do this anytime Iím planning on picking up expensive material.  I go armed with the knowledge of how much Iíll need at 45, 55  and 60.  When a fabric is $75 a yard, a half yard makes a lot of differences... and I can splurge occasionally.

If youíre getting a cheaper fabric where youíll just go... Oh, Iíll get 10 yards... you may still want to check skirts and sleeves.  Some of these patterns will not lay out on 45Ē or even 55.


LOTR Home | Up | Make a Muslin | After the Muslin | Fabric Nap | Estimate Fabric | Modify Necklines | Sizing Up a Pattern | Pattern Fitting Issues | Rolled Collar Pattern | Modify Sleeves | Making a Doll Muslin

LOTR Home | Pattern Modification & Tips | Fabric Techniques | Fabric Embellishment | All About Armor | Leather Working | Vambraces to Gloves | Weapon Tips | Shoe Tips | Metalwork and Crowns | Working with Clay | Casting Belt Buckle | Casting Small Props | Pipe Making Tips


This page was last updated 04/22/08