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Topic: Shopping for fabric  (Read 596 times)
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HarleyMom
« on: January 19, 2013 05:55:38 PM »

Good evening! I'm a new user here, although I have been lurking as a guest for quite some time. I've searched for an answer to my question but haven't found any results. Sorry if it is a repost.

When shopping for fabric, do any of you have a general rule of how much to buy? I was recently at a huge fabric warehouse and found so many fabrics that I fell in love with, and wanted to buy. I didn't really have a  plan for any of it at the time. I love making quilts and clothes and bags... just about anything, so I knew the fabric would be useful at some point. But I wasn't sure how many yards to buy of each one, so I left with only a few yards of some fabric that they said would be discontinued soon. The place is a few hours from where I live, so when I go again, I want to stock up since I don't know when I will be able to go back again. Thanks for any advice!!
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Alexus1325
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2013 01:30:30 PM »

With knits, I buy 1.5 metres so I have juuust enough to squeak out a long-sleeve top or leggings in my size. I have been known to buy 3 metres of fabrics I really like.

For wovens, I generally buy 3 metres so I have enough for a long-sleeve blouse or short/simple dress. If you're thinking a long dress, or multiple garments, 5 to 8 metres isn't ridiculous.

If you're a larger lady, you may want to increase those minimums by 1/2 to 1 metre or even more, depending on the types of garments you may make.

As for quilts and purses, I've noticed that my MIL loves to have a variety of blenders and novelties on hand for sashing or mixed-colour blocks. In which case, I suppose it depends on how much you love the fabric. If you think you might want it for several different projects (as a focus fabric in a quilt, a cute purse, and a contrast fabric for a garment, for example), then 3 or 4 metres might be a good idea.

Usually I also set myself a budget. Including notions and doodads, I try to keep each spending spree to $80, but if there are fabrics I really like/want/NEED, especially if they're on sale, I do occasionally spend up to $150. Now, all I need is time to sew Tongue

I hope that was helpful, and that you thoroughly enjoy your next trip to the warehouse Cheesy
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marypoppins
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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2013 10:45:44 AM »

It really just depends on how much you love the fabric and what your budget is.  If the price is right, I have been known to buy an entire bolt of fabric.  You just can't beat $1.50/yard!!

At a minimum, I would get a yard of fabric if I knew I was going to make a bag or an apron with it.  If I was going to use it for clothing, I would get at least 3 yards.

Something else to keep in mind is the width of the fabric.  If it is only 45" wide, you might want more.  But if it 55" to 60" wide, you could get away with less.

It is also handy to hunt garage sales and thrift stores for old sheets.  You can use them to make a test run of your pattern without wasting your good stuff.
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HarleyMom
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2013 05:45:01 PM »

Thank you both so much! I was looking for a rule of thumb and you both gave good ones! The warehouse that I was talking about a few hours from me actually makes the fabric in the building. They have a $1/yard table and I have scrounged some great fabric there, most of it is misprints but I have dug around and found some really good pieces, I just never know how much to buy. (Do I really need an entire bolt of fabric with snowmen on it, even if the middle of the bolt has the colors off center of the snowmen? It's just $1 a yard!!  LOL!) The rest of the fabric there varies from $2/yard up to $5/yard. So it works very well with my budget. (I save as much as possible for months before I go, since I only get to go a couple times a year) I just never know how much to buy, as I am working to build up my fabric stash.  Most of my quilting comes from scraps of other projects that I do, but I would like to make a few quilts from fabric bought just for that purpose. Thanks again for the great advice! I can't wait to go shopping!!
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marypoppins
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2013 11:02:47 AM »

I tend to do more clothing than quilting or smaller projects.  To me those $1/yd misprints would be great to use for mock-ups of whatever I am making.  It makes it a lot easier if you are using a fabric that has the same weight as your final fabric.  Plus for some of the costumes, I can use my mock-up for an inner lining!
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HarleyMom
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2013 12:33:40 PM »

That's a good idea! Some of the fabric in the misprints are sheer, satin, etc and would be great to practice on before I have a go at the more costly ones. My mom uses the misprint part to crochet, she cuts it in strips and makes rugs an such, so its not a waste if I can't use all of it.
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