Thursday, July 21, 2016

Fabric Tip: Using Less Fabric With Patterns

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Pattern companies are getting better about the pattern layouts, requiring less fabric. We used to follow the layout instructions included in the pattern envelope, which required folding the fabric in half, then placing pattern pieces on the fold, selvedges and throughout the middle. Sometimes there would not be quite enough room to put a large pattern piece, and would require either buying extra fabric for a sleeve, or piecing scraps together for part of a skirt. As you can see, there is still some fabric in the middle but not enough for a certain pattern piece.
Today at tea, a visitor told me how her mother, who learned to be frugal during the Depression, used less fabric. 

Instead of folding the fabric in half, she only folded a small area and cut out a pattern piece, such as this sleeve.


After that, she folded a more narrow area and cut out an even smaller piece, as shown below.


Then she folded the rest of the fabric in half and had more room for a piece that would not normally have fit onto the regular folded fabric space.

Now, there is enough fabric for that big pattern piece that would not fit.


This is very encouraging, as I want to cut down on expenses and use less fabric. I am going to try it soon on a small piece of fabric.

Scrappers, artists and paper-people know how to do this with paper. It is the technique of beginnng your cutting at the outer edges and saving the bigger part in the middle.

Create a new double piece of fabric by folding it down, using the largest un-cut part for a bigger pattern piece. Above, I have shown where the other pieces were cut out. This method of saving fabric would have to be experimented. I am sure that seasoned stitchers have used it  and just not realized it was a common technique.

12 comments:

Laura Jeanne said...

This is a wonderful tip! Thank you.

MrsFreida said...

My Mama did the same thing!! They are and we're very wise women!!!

Christine Beauchamp said...

Thank you dear Lydia!!! This is a wonderful and helpful tip. I can't believe I didn't think of this . . . but I never did. Such a wise 'tea drinking' friend you were visiting.

And, can you clarify, is that a liner you have on the fabric in the picture?? I didn't see it in the video. . .just your photos.

Livia Rachelle said...

I do that because I don't usually buy the fabric with a pattern in mind, so I have all sorts of lengths and may want to get more than one outfit out of the yardage.

ladypinktulip said...

That is a great tip! Kelly T.

Lydia said...

It is a piece of home decoratoe upholstery fabric that is not printed on both sides. The inside looks white.

anonymous said...

I have not tried the full method yet. Will sure give it a try. Who doesn't love to save money and fabric.

Thank you for the tip and thank you for another great video.
Love your pretty dress and matching hair bow. So feminine!

Janet.

Lynn Maust said...

This does not 'tell' you though, how much LESS fabric to BUY....I was hoping you would do that....One would have to have all the pattern pieces out on the store cutting table laid out on the yardage to know just how much less to purchase....I hope I am clear on my thought here....

Lynn Maust said...

Otherwise, however, this idea you have is very good and I will try it on my next garment project...Thanks Lydia! Take care! and you look so sweet and pretty today!

Lydia said...

She knew what she woukd have to buy, just from the experience of using this method. It depens on the garment and pattern.

Debbie Gnagey said...

I enjoyed your video so much! It sounds like a great idea to do more with less! I liked your pretty summer dress! Your makeup complimented it and you looked very fresh and pretty!

Debbie Gnagey said...

I enjoyed your video so much! It sounds like a great idea to do more with less!

I liked your pretty summer dress! Your makeup complimented it and you looked very fresh and pretty!

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