How to calculate the amount of fabric for each sewing project


Dreamer! In today’s post, we tell you how to make a template guide to calculate the amount of fabric for a sewing project.

We know it will be very useful, especially if you are starting to make your first garments.

Whether you will make a garment with patterns made by yourself or with commercial patterns, many times the fabric length suggested isn’t always exact.

And if you make modifications by shortening or lengthening the patterns, the amount of fabric may vary even more.

Or you may simply have doubts about how much fabric you need for a certain project.

To get out of doubt, we suggest you to create your own template to make a more accurate calculation, even if you will use two or more types of fabrics.

In the following images we tell you how to make your template, and the best of all is that you can store it and use it for each new project.

So let's start!

First, the materials you will need:

  • A material with a smooth surface, you can use some laminated fabric, vinyl, or kraft paper.
  • The material you choose must be at least 1.50 m (59″) wide and maximum 2.50 m (98″) long.
  • 4 different color markers.
  • Long ruler and measuring tape

Once you have all the materials, let’s start with the procedure.

Step 1.

Mark on the length of the fabric 3 lines:

a) At 59″ with red color

b) At 51″ with blue color

c) At 43″ with green color

These lines represent the widths of fabric that we can commonly found in the market.


Step 2.

Then draw 3 dotted lines with:

Red color at 29 1/2″

Blue color at 25 1/2″

Green color at 21 1/2″

These lines represent the half of the total width of your fabric.

Step 3.

To finish, draw lines perpendicular to the fabric’s length every 4″, use the black marker for these strokes.

And label each line with the numbers 10, 20, 30… 250cm or the measures in inches (as you prefer).

  • If your designs require more fabric, you can use a second piece with the same measurements.

The template to calculate the amount of fabric it's ready!

Now let's to know how to use it:

Select the model and make the necessary adjustments to the patterns, place them on the template and position them as you would on the fabric.

Here you can rearrange the patterns as many times as you want to reduce to the maximum the amount of fabric you will use.

Remember to respect the pattern indications such as fabric thread or the pieces that are cut in fold.

Once you have found the perfect arrangement, write down the amount of fabric or take a picture, that will serve as a guide for you to place the pieces in the same order on the fabric.

  • Remember to have your template at hand, store it in a place where it will not be damaged.

With this template it will be very easy to calculate the amount of fabric for each sewing project, and you will be able to get the most out of the fabric and reduce waste.

If you need to, you can modify the measurements you apply when tracing the lines, so you can adapt it to work more efficiently according to the type of sewing projects you usually make.

Dreamer, if you make this template to calculate the amount of fabric in your sewing projects, let us know how it goes and if you want us to make a special project let us know in the comments.

We hope you liked this post! See you in the following… and bye for now!

Published by 123 Dream it!

Everything about sewing and embroidery. Ideas, tutorials, step-by-step sewing videos, tips, DIY and much more. Let's share creativity and technique!

2 thoughts on “How to calculate the amount of fabric for each sewing project

  1. This is such a useful idea! I almost always overbuy fabric out of fear of running out. I have so many not quite long enough lengths of fabric I need to find some use for. I’ll have to give this a try

    1. Hi, Amanda. Thank you so much. We’re glad you found this post helpful and decided to give this tip a try. Once you use it, please let us know what you think, we’re sure you will love it. Regarding the fabric you have that isn’t long enough, we suggest you try to turn it into patchwork blocks. We invite you to check our category “Quilting and Patchwork” to give you some ideas. Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog, so you can enjoy more content and tips like this via an alert directly to your e-mail. Remember it’s totally free. Best regards!

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