Fabric Yardage Conversion Chart

Debbie Colgrove

Almost all sewing patterns will give you an amount of fabric you need to purchase to construct the pattern. What do you do when the pattern calls for 60" wide fabric but the fabric you want to use is 45" wide?

In most cases, you can use the chart shown here to purchase an equivalent amount of fabric in a different width. For example: Let's say the pattern you plan on making says that you need 2 yards of 60" wide fabric but the fabric you want to use is only 32" wide.

According to the chart, you would need to buy 3 3/4 yards of the 32" wide fabric.

A Few Pointers

  1. Be very careful to check the pattern pieces when you are changing the width of your fabric purchase. Even though you will get the amount stated on the chart, it won't do you any good if the pattern piece is 45" wide and the fabric is only 36" wide. In some cases, you can add a seam but in many cases, you can not without changing the design.
  2. Always allow for shrinkage on your purchase, especially 100% cotton. Machine wash and dry your fabric before cutting out your project. Preshrink Fabric for Sewing
  3. Always consider matching plaids and prints before purchasing an exact amount that is quoted on the pattern envelope. A commercial pattern will include information such as "not recommended for plaids or a one-way design" or yardage requirements for a fabric with nap verse a fabric without nap. Nap Definition and Effects as Related to Fabric All of these factors come into play when purchasing the needed
  1. Print the Yardage Conversion Chart to keep in your wallet or pocketbook so it is at hand when you need it. To preserve the chart, try laminating the chart or fusible vinyl so you can whip off dirt and keep the chart for many years.

Buying fabric when it is on sale or using a coupon from flyers that most fabric stores mail out, makes fabric more affordable and allows for buying extra fabric.

Follow tips to save money sewing clothing and other textile needs. Be sure to sign up for all fabric store mailings so you receive the best coupons and know when sales are taking place. There are many free patterns to make with scraps of fabric so your extra fabric will not go to waste.