Learn how to calculate yardage and figure out how much fabric to buy for a project
Hey y’all, today I’m going to be answering another one of your sewing questions – how much fabric should I buy? In other words, y’all have been asking how to calculate fabric yardage for a project. And guess what? It’s actually pretty simple!
Also, if you have sewing questions, try using the search feature in my menu to see if I’ve answered them. If I haven’t, you can submit your question in this form for consideration for a future post on the topic.
To show how to figure out how many yards a project will take, I made this short video that you can watch below or on YouTube here.
In summary, fabric comes in two main widths, 44/45 inch wide and 58/60 inch wide. So to calculate yardage, first you need to know which pattern you’re going to use. Then you lay that pattern out in that fabric width (or half the fabric width if you plan to cut with the fabric folded). To make this easier you can tape out fabric widths on the floor or table. When you fold 44 inch fabric you get 22 inches wide, and 58 width fabric folded is 29 inches wide. Below you can see an example taped on my floor.
After you lay out your pattern within the width of your fabric, all you have to do is measure the length you’re using. Then you can use the chart below to convert your measurement into yardage (or you can divide your measurement by 36 to get the amount).
Note that woven quilting cottons are generally 44/45 width and stretch knit and apparel fabrics are generally 58/60 width, but always be sure to check the actual fabric you want to buy. Width always affects the calculation of how much fabric you’ll need for a project. Fabric width is either listed in the online description (and you can find my favorite places to buy fabric online here) or on the end of the actual bolt of fabric.