Squeezing it all on!


Have you ever looked at the fabric requirements on a pattern, then at your too small piece of fabric and thought, those numbers don't mean anything!

If so, you'll recognise today's post when you come to cut out!

I like to start with my largest pattern pieces, or the ones I really want out of that particular fabric and draw round them on the reverse with my frixion pen. Then I draw round the rest of the pieces, fitting them in where I can. At least that way I know what pieces I can fit from my fabric, and what I need to re-work....BEFORE I start cutting!

 I find it handy to write what piece it is inside the lines too, to help me when putting it together or working out what each piece is!

It's more time consuming, but when these are all the scraps I had after making up my two zip hipster, I was glad I had taken the time to do this.

Any other tips for those of us who are cheapskates with our expensive (or any really!) fabric?

You Might Also Like


  1. This is probably why I don't sew! I just don't have the patience!! LOL

  2. I've never drawn around the pattern pieces, but I am really careful at times to cut my pieces. I like to use the least amount of fabric as possible!

  3. Yep I do that too though recently I've thought I might be less stingy with the fabric and more stingy with my time, ironing on the interfacing first and then tracing out the pattern so I don't need to trace it twice...

  4. Great tip!! I just got one of the Frixion pens... haven't tried it yet.
    When a pattern calls for folding the fabric , and then you are supposed to put the middle of the pattern on the fold cut , I often make up 2 full size pattern pieces , using freezer paper. Then I lay them out, exactly like you have showed us. You can see where to place the big pieces, and use less fabric.
    ( Still loving your paisley painted floor! :) )

  5. This may be completely obvious but someone told me recently that they'd never thought of it - When the pattern calls for pieces on the fold, I don't fold the fabric down the center. I fold one side over just far enough to fit the piece I need, leaving a larger chunk in tact. Then if you need 2 large thin pieces both on the fold, you can make a left and right fold to work with.

  6. You can always hoard your fabric and don't cut it at all, like ME? LOLLLLLL

  7. lol. It seems like I am not the only frugalista with fabric. I have tried several different ways to save fabric and to get patterns out of small amounts of fabric. how I work it out varies on the amount and kind of fabric as well as the pattern. I find that most fabric requirement guides are extremely generous in their estimation and can't be relied upon to give any kind of guideline. I hate it when I am sewing a garment and the pattern gives an amount of fabric needed which leaves me with too large a piece to throw away but not large enough to make another garment. It is wasteful. It is even worse when the fabric is expensive. Garment fabric is very expensive and small amounts are difficult to re-use in another garment. Adult fabric is rarely suitable for children's clothing. When I have wanted to make a garment from fabric which I know will be expensive I have tried to calculate the fabric required prior to going fabric shopping. I have laid out all my pattern pieces on the table top and measured them to work out exactly how much fabric is required. this has saved me purchasing excess fabric on several occasions. i tend to only go to this extra effort for formal wear or the like. On one occasion I had newsprint which i cut to the size of the fabric and worked out the meterage; it saved me fabric again.
    I know it doesn't quite answer the question you asked about how to get a pattern out of limited fabric... I do that too. I haven't drawn around the pieces (I may try it now though;) ) but I have laid pieces out on the fabric and used pins to mark out where a piece on the fold would be.
    Reading the previous comments are chuckle-worthy too.


Love our posts? Sign up to our newsletter!

* indicates required


Fabulous Followers