Whatever happened to 44” – 45” wide fabric? I’ve put in some sewing time this week and had the occasion to follow directions that called for a cut of fabric that measured 41-1/2” of fabric across the width. I had to cut into part of the selvage to get 41-1/2” of fabric in that cut!
Now, this was “Quilt Shop” fabric. As opposed to “Big Box Store” fabric, which tends to be not as generous in their widths. Altho, some of the big box stores are carrying some high-end fabric and things are getting better on that front.
Being a quilter, I generally take big pieces of fabric and cut them into small pieces and then sew those small pieces into big pieces. I usually buy a little more fabric than my design calls for. And if sewing something created by others, I generally buy a little more, too. Doesn’t hurt to “feed the stash”. Plus, most times, I buy Fat Quarters. So, I really don’t concern myself with width of fabric. I buy what fabric grabs my heart, my senses.
Unless I am designing a pattern. Then, I am concerned with fabric width and that’s another story.
I wondered if other fabrics in my stash came close to being 44'” – 45” wide. Well, after measuring several fabrics from my stash – I did not have any that measured 44” wide. None at 43”. None at 42. I lucked out to find 41-1/2” wide fabric! That’s not anywhere near 44” – 45”! Karamba!
I went to simplicity.com to see if the newer patterns compensated for these narrower fabrics.
Nope, they were still using 45” as a “buyable” width. Even if you could buy 45” wide fabric, that width would include the selvage.
I went into EQ to see on what fabric widths they were basing their “yardage to buy”.
Now, why would a pattern company such as Simplicity still hold onto the notion that there is 45” wide “usable” fabric in the width? Never was. If fabric were 45”, that would include the selvage – selvage is NOT usable. With clothing patterns, you follow their directions to place your pattern pieces on the fabric and generally they don’t give you much “wiggle room”. And if that wide sleeve butts up against another pattern piece on a narrower width of fabric (less than 45”), you WILL have to piece that sleeve in the underarm area. Been there, done that.
I don’t think I have any 44” wide usable fabric. Do you?