As an expert sewist the question “how do I figure out how much fabric I need?” may seem simple, but to a beginner trying to navigate how much fabric is required for a project or pattern can seem overwhelming. And we absolutely understand.
If you are using a pattern, it will tell you the yardage required for each size and style. Most patterns have a chart on the back of the pack, find your size on the chart, the pattern variation (if applicable) and then match that with the required yardage for your selection. The pattern should provide you with two yardage options, this is to account for the various fabric widths.
The yard or meter refers to the fabric length and there can be varying widths depending on the fabric so that’ll impact your overall fabric size.
Let’s say I am making the Elodie Wrap dress and I am using the Linen 185gsm - Ginger - European Import - Merchant & Mills. The width of the Ginger linen is 143cm wide / 56". So if I want to make the Maxi version of the dress and I am a size 12, using a fabric that is 56” wide I would require 5yds (or 10 qty as our fabric is sold by ½ yard/meter).
If you’re working with a print such as stripes or fabric with a texture or direction, you’ll want to get a bit of extra fabric to match your pieces. Your pattern should mention if you need extra fabric in these cases, but it’s always good to be aware.
If you are working on a project and do not have a pattern a few things to take into consideration are shrinkage of the fabric and how much of a seam or edge you’ll have.
We get a lot of questions regarding the difference in meters and yards, the conversion is 1 Meter = 1.09 yards.
Let us know if you have any questions about fabric requirements or have any topics you’d love to see us write about!