Saturday, 8 June 2013

"How Much Fabric?"


I can hear the girl behind the cutting counter asking me, again, as I stand there on the other side, holding the queue behind me up (sorry ladies), feeling guilty for actually loving yet another piece of fabric that I have no immediate use for. My usual answer to this question is ..."I have no idea but I just have to have it! So cut me off about ..." and the guesstimate begins. Then I panic  What if I haven't asked for enough??? 
So I add on an extra 20cm just in case.  And another 10cm to allow for shrinkage/error in my future unplanned sew-up. It won't kill me to buy that little bit extra. And it is soooo close to the meterage that I will just round it up - naturally thinking of the poor girl cutting. Why, it must be easier for her to measure out 2 metres of fabric instead of 1.8! What a considerate customer I am...

Well, without a doubt, I buy too much. But then not enough. In other words, I never have an idea on how much to buy when I see fabric and decide to purchase on a whim. And without my matching pattern stash with me, how do I really know How Much Fabric? 

It appears the answer has have been dropped in my letterbox last Friday by way of Gwyn Hug. Thanks to the lovey Aft Agley and her giveaway last month, I now have in my hot little hands a complete set of Reference Cards for Women's Clothes! 

These sturdy plastic reference cards - the perfect size to slip into your purse - summarize the fabric requirements of thousands of patterns with tables and images to help you buy just the right amount. There are tables showing the minimum, average and maximum fabric requirements for dresses  tops, skirts, pants and jackets - broken down by garment size and fabric width. The cards also include sketches that illustrate minimum  average and maximum garments, and "safety margin" tables to guide you in "rounding up" to be as safe as you want, without wastefully overbuying. American and metric versions are available, in women's sizes 6-22 (m: 32-48). Gwyn Hug is a small business built from the combined efforts of four sewing friends. More card sets for men's and children's clothes are available. 

So watch me shop now, ladies! Because we all know that you have to build the stash up before you can sew it...





  

26 comments:

  1. What a great idea. Shame they don't go up to my size!

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    1. It is a great idea, BeaJay! And Gwyn does have another set available in Plus Sizes (20-32/Eur 46-58). Might be well worth a look...

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  2. Oh lucky you! Yes I always default to the 2m but then it's sometimes not quite enough for a dress and too big leftovers for a skirt. Let us know how well they really work for you.

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    1. The magic "2 metres, please" has always worked for me so far. Haven't tried them out yet but will let you know how they go...

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  3. I have just checked - they do have a plus sized version (so I bought it - you enabler)!!

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    1. Good for you! Hope you enjoy them...

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  4. Mmmm, so it's not just me who does the crazy calculations thing!
    This looks like a great idea, and one I should consider buying. At times I have been left short of fabric when the quick calculation is replaced by some fancy pattern when I get down to actually making something. Frustration all round ...

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    1. Definitely not just you, Patricia! We all seem to have our own magic way of picking up what we think will be enough fabric...

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  5. The cards are a good idea. Not having enough in the piece used to be a good excuse to go shopping for more :)

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    1. I am your new shopping partner (in crime), Valerie! More fabric shopping is in my blood...

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    2. In the New Year, when my self imposed stash buster time is over I may have to arrange a Sydney shopping spree...

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  7. Such a smart idea.. I must go check it out. thanks

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  8. I do exactly as you do>>>and have the stash to prove it.

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  9. Such a realistic and cute post Judith!

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  10. Judith - do the cards also have proviso's to make up minds - you see, when you buy fabric for the stash building - do you buy enough just for one garment ( a jacket perhaps) or will you only make a skirt - or what will you make?? These are the conundrums I find myself in frequently - so I buy lots so I can decide later :)

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  11. Heh heh. I know what you mean about holding up the line behind you...when buying at Joann's I try to limit myself to, ahem, 5 cuts of fabric...

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  12. Thanks for the lovely review! :)
    And I hope you enjoy many happy hours of fabric shopping with them! :)
    All the best,
    Gwen

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  13. Ive seen these before, they are clever, forgot all about them, so thanks for the link.

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  14. gosh there are lots of us who do the same thing. I do try and use my "Bento" so that if I see a fabric and think dress, then I can at least see what the yardage is. But I have to confess more often than not, I still guess lol.

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  15. Don't you love those cards? I have them and use them. I only have to decide how many garments for each fabric. My motto is: when is doubt, buy more. I've decided to buy for a dress, decided to add a jacket and the fabric is sold out. (Of course, I buy different fabric for more garments to ease the pain.) My fabric stash is too plentiful, but I love it!

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  16. Guilty here too! My standard used to be 5m .... 2(pants)+2(jacket)+1(skirt)... then I swapped jobs!!! And now, how many suits does one require in retirement?

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  17. This cards are so helpful.. I'm always not buy enough and have to work around

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  18. Those guide cards look great. I always get a little bit too much, but then I have leftovers which I cannot bear to throw away!

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  19. i have my cards as a PDF (which i emailed to my Evernote app)and now stored as a readable PDF in my iPhone library. Very handy!

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