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It’s time for our second annual Holiday Giveaway Calendar! Everyday in the month of December we are giving away an amazing prize! It’s super easy to enter, just leave your comment answering the bolded questions below by noon EST 12/25 and a lucky winner will be chosen at random from all eligible entries!

Today, enter to win Gwyn Hug – The Original “How Much Fabric?” Reference Cards!

A beautiful fabric catches your eye and steals your heart – you must have some! But, how much should you buy? These sturdy plastic reference cards – the perfect size to slip into your purse – summarize the fabric requirements of thousands of patterns with tables and images to help you buy just the right amount. There are tables showing the minimum, average and maximum fabric requirements for dresses, tops, skirts, pants and jackets – broken down by garment size and fabric width. The cards also include sketches that illustrate minimum, average and maximum garments, and “safety margin” tables to guide you in “rounding up” to be as safe as you want, without wastefully overbuying. American and metric versions are available, in women’s sizes 6-22 (m: 32-48). Gwyn Hug is a small business built from the combined efforts of four sewing friends. More card sets – for men’s and children’s clothes – are in the works.

To enter, just leave your comment answering this questions by noon EST 12/25:
How do you decide how much fabric to buy, when you don’t have a pattern in hand?

We want to congratulate ggexpansive on winning yesterday’s 5 yards of Custom Printed Fabric from Spoonflower! Her comment was chosen at random from all eligible entries. Thanks to everyone who entered and good luck in today’s giveaway!

111 Comments

  • Checkmate__2__large

    Dec 25, 2009, 02.24 AMby sewenggirl88

    3-4 usually covers most things i make

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    Dec 25, 2009, 02.00 AMby asherdasher

    I hardly ever buy fabric for a pattern, most of the time I just buy fabric because I like the pattern or how it feels!

  • Devis_vintage_dresses_large

    Dec 25, 2009, 01.51 AMby RetroDivaSSC

    Trial and error! This must be almost every newcomers mistake. So far though I have been doing okay, but I will be doing scads better with these little gems!

  • Missing

    Dec 25, 2009, 01.40 AMby joyk

    I usually buy 3 yards if it’s for clothing or 1 yard if I just want to craft something.

  • Missing

    Dec 25, 2009, 12.58 AMby kaiolohiakids

    I guess & then buy a little extra. I usually will buy 2 1/2 or 3! And it seems like I always have leftover so this would be handy!

  • Missing

    Dec 25, 2009, 12.58 AMby cathivixen

    That’s a tough one! Usually I have the pattern with me because I rarely buy material without an idea of what I’m making but the times that’s it’s happened that I don’t I always buy a lot more than I think I’ll need. Usually 5 metres is my minimum. After all I can always find another use for the leftovers, right?

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    Dec 25, 2009, 12.56 AMby sidewalkshoes

    Two yards if I think it will be top. Three if I think it will be a full skirt. And five if I reallly, reallly like it.

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    Dec 25, 2009, 12.08 AMby ja13littler

    I guess. I try to base it on amounts I have purchased for a similar project. If it’s something unlike other things I’ve made, I wait and bring the pattern with me next time. If in doubt, it’s safer to buy more than you think you need. I’ve learned my lesson after having to search for another 1/2 yard of fabric that was sold out when I went back to the store.

  • 1cc24b71ccffb695133a57d33f3c7f6ef6bef63f_large

    Dec 24, 2009, 11.52 PMby vickles

    2 meters is usually plenty for what I make! 1.5 for a top or a little skirt. Maybe a little more depending on whether I want sleeves or if its very pretty. 2 meters is my standard buy!

  • Chemcamp_large

    Dec 24, 2009, 11.44 PMby angelical

    Most of my patterns take 1,0 m for shorts and bags, 1,5 m for shirts, jeans and skirts, and 2 m for dresses and jackets. That’s how much I buy, depending on what I want to make from the fabric. Sometimes, i’m half a meter short and sometimes (most of the time) i’m having half a meter to much (great for bags, purses, etc).

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    Dec 24, 2009, 11.29 PMby makurochan

    ffff…. i buy as much as i can afford, i’d buy the whole bolt if i could, ’cause i can never decide what i want to make with each fabric, and i hate trying to decide what it would be best for if i only have enough for one thing.

  • Nv10a_523911_800x600__large

    Dec 24, 2009, 11.03 PMby netmyda

    I usually take 2,5-3 meters depending on the project.

  • Vic_s_phone2008-2009_042_large

    Dec 24, 2009, 10.39 PMby nightnurse-1

    Well, I’m just a beginner at the moment so I have mainly been picking vintage fabrics from secondhand shops, so I get what I’m given! I’m planning on actually breaking out a pattern and buying some new fabric as a Christmas present to myself! These reference cards sound like a brilliant idea so I would love some! :)

  • 1a782239bacc076eefb6a41bcd5565c80c67da21_large

    Dec 24, 2009, 10.22 PMby euma

    I usually end calling my mother, ups!

  • Birds_large

    Dec 24, 2009, 10.20 PMby zickzack

    I use my hand to measure myself from the point where the garment should start to the point where it ends and add some lenght when there are pleats/gathers/… . Usually I buy a bit more to make sure I won’t run out of fabric while sewing – also when I know the exact amount needed. Unfortunately this doesn’t help when I decide to change my plans from making a blouse to making a dress.

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    Dec 24, 2009, 10.01 PMby judeb

    For basic patterns I go by height x width and add 1/3rd and as they get fancier so the length extends-you can never have too much fabric after all!

  • F90bfd6830e6f807ee89279125a84c3e241abf9b_large

    Dec 24, 2009, 09.44 PMby qsogirl

    I don’t usually buy fabric without the pattern ;-)

  • Missing

    Dec 24, 2009, 09.23 PMby asie112

    I guess and consult the workers at the fabric store. Usually they know much more than I do.

  • Missing

    Dec 24, 2009, 09.22 PMby sugareater

    Often I don’t have a pattern in mind, but if its for a long skirt, at 60" i’ll buy 1 metre, if its narrower, 1.5 metres. For a dress, 3 metres, t-shirt or short skirt, 1 metre.

  • Missing

    Dec 24, 2009, 09.16 PMby dehrme

    I just guess and usually overestimate. Better safe than sorry…

  • Missing

    Dec 24, 2009, 09.05 PMby becs2600

    i will guess by comparing what i am going to make with something i own already. Whatever is left over i will use to make something random to match (purse etc) or if i don’t have enough i will just go and buy some more. One less car journey would be good though with the help of reference cards.

  • 1a08109201f8ddd6007b41e727b8a296641e1750_large

    Dec 24, 2009, 09.02 PMby sunquistadora

    I look for a comparable pattern or I wrap it around me in an imitation.

  • Missing

    Dec 24, 2009, 08.57 PMby thusholt

    I’ve actually never bought fabric without a pattern, så i hope i’ll get those cards so i won’t by too much(:

  • Missing

    Dec 24, 2009, 08.45 PMby robinkellydesigns

    i ususally make a wild guess based on calculations in my head. i often just buy a yard or so because i love the fabric and figure i will do something with it eventually.

  • Missing

    Dec 24, 2009, 08.44 PMby organicmom

    If it’s a cute enough fabric that I want to make something with, I guess at how much I’ll need and then buy double. It’s nice to have extra fabric on hand.

  • 7dddc9613ac57079351f8a4d299e9aece5cf3908_large

    Dec 24, 2009, 08.38 PMby peaudane

    I usually buy 3 meters as it will often shrink to 2.5 meters, and that is enough for most projects.

  • 652d438653a0a7eb9cbc0d19b2a1a364c35b0cde_large

    Dec 24, 2009, 08.23 PMby hausmaus

    I’m with all the guesstimaters out there! I guess that’s why I always have tons of leftover fabrics… ;)

  • Missing

    Dec 24, 2009, 08.16 PMby camelama

    I deliberately guesstimate high, so that I’ll have leftover fabric for accessories, or to add to my scrap quilt stash, or to make things for friends.

  • 2248651388_b7dff371cd_large

    Dec 24, 2009, 08.07 PMby victors

    I make guesstimate, which 9 times out of 10 is totally wrong and I always end up with too little.

  • Missing

    Dec 24, 2009, 08.07 PMby mama3davis

    I am a bad guesser so I go for the high side and always have lots of leftover for something else.

    • This is a question
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