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GUIDE FOR ESTIMATING FABRIC FOR DRESSMAKING AND TAILORING
When you’re making clothes for yourself it is important to measure yourself accurately. It is surprising how many people take their waist measurement round their tummy instead of the narrowest bit. Good measurements help you to work out how much fabric you’ll need and contribute to well fitting garments. This diagram shows you where to place the tape measure.
If you are using a pattern don’t rely on the size guide numbers. These differ from the USA to Europe and you may not be the size you think you are. People’s sizes fluctuate. As well as size guide numbers, patterns will also give you chest/bust, waist and hip measurements. Once you have measured yourself properly these are a much more helpful guide. Whether you are using a shop pattern or not, you can use your measurements to work out how much fabric you’ll need.
Rolls of fabric are usually standard widths: 45”/110 cm or 54”/140 cm or 60”/150 cm. You may need a longer length of fabric when the fabric width is only 45”/110 cm compared to a width of 60”/150 cm.
For example: You are making a skirt that is 18”/45 cm long and your hip measurement is 46”/115 cm. If your chosen fabric is 54”/140 cm you will only need half a metre (50cm), the length of your skirt plus a little for seam allowance. You can fit the back and the front of the skirt on one width of fabric. If your chosen fabric is only 45”/ 110 cm wide you will need 1 metre, twice the length of your skirt because only the front or the back will fit onto the width so you must “go twice”.
GUIDE FOR ESTIMATING FABRIC FOR CURTAINS
The standard fullness on our pencil or pinch pleat curtains gives a 2.5 times fullness, as we believe this offers a superior quality curtain that will look more beautiful in your home.
The first step is to decide whether you want your curtains to hang from a track or pole, both of which should be positioned 15cm (6 inches) above the window and extend 15-20cm (6-8 inches) either side.
Measure the total width of the track or pole(excluding the finials) – do not measure the window unless it is wall-to-wall. Don't forget to allow for overlap – this is an additional measurement, normally 2.5cm (1 inch) that allows the hanging curtains to overlap in the middle when they are closed.
Before measuring the length, decide whether you want your curtains to fall to the sill, below the sill or to the floor. We suggest that:
Floor length curtains finish 1.5cm (1/2 inch) from the floor (although you can create a romantic, Bohemian look by having them longer so that they actually trail on the floor).
Add hem and header allowance of 30 cm /12”
Divide the width of the track or pole by the width of the fabric roll ie 140 cm /54”.
Round the answer up or down to the nearest whole number. This tells you how many widths of fabric needed.
Example for calculating the amount of fabric required
The width of the pole is 230 cm and the length of the curtains when they are finished is 240 cm.
230 x 2.5 = 575
575 divided by 140 cm (width of the fabric roll) = 4.1
4 widths of fabric are needed for this window. This pair of curtains will have two widths of fabric in each curtain.
The length of these curtains when they are finished is 240 cm.
240 cm + 30 cm = 270 cm
270 cm x 4 widths = 1080 cm
Total fabric needed 10.8 metres (if plain fabric)
If the fabric is patterned, times the vertical pattern repeat by the number of widths and add it to your total.