How Much Fabric? Series from After the Dress


Don’t you hate it when someone beats you to the punch on an idea? I had always planned on doing something like Gwen (After the Dress … )’s “How Much Fabric?” Series. But in this case, I’m not beating myself up too much — she did it much more systematically and comprehensively than I would have ever dreamed!

You know how it is. You’re out and about, you see a fabric, and it screams “skirt!” to you. However, you don’t have any particular skirt in mind, or you don’t have access to your pattern library. Print out and stow these charts in your bag, and you’ll never again have to guess at how much of the fabric to purchase. Gwen crunched a mountain of numbers from hundreds of different patterns by various manufacturers to figure out the minimum, maximum, average amount of fabric needed for dresses, skirts, jackets, and pants. (Look for tops in future installments.) There are separate charts for 45″ (114cm) wide and 60″ (140cm) wide fabric.

Here is an update that lists larger sizes for jackets, pants, and skirts, up to size 50 (larger sizes were incorporated into the dresses“>original dress post).

In each post Gwen provides guidelines on how to know when to buy more or less than the average (e.g. a miniskirt requires less, a circle skirt requires more.)

Via J&O Fabrics on Twitter


  1. georgia says:

    wow, this totally rocks.

  2. carrie says:

    Sweet! Thanks.

  3. Gwen says:

    Thank you so much for the post & link to my tables! :)
    I hope your readers find them useful!

  4. Robyn says:

    Awesome. I’m assuming those are typical pattern sizes and not ready to wear, right?

  5. [...] much fabric? charts that show the average amount you need for sewing patterns. brilliant [...]