Wednesday, May 1, 2013

"How Much Fabric?" Pattern Reference Cards Review and Give-away

Readers, I have to tell you about an invaluable sewing tool...the "How Much Fabric?" pattern reference cards from Gwyn Hug...and, great news, Gwyn Hug has generously offered to give two of these sets away to my readers!
Have you ever been out shopping, spotted the perfect fabric and then had no idea how much you need? I generally buy three yards – because I can get pants or a jacket out of it. But the amount of left over fabric I have is incredible. In the interest of buying the yardage I need -so that I have money left over to buy other fabric in yardage I need too – I've become obsessed with this handy fabric calculator, called "How Much Fabric?" Reference Cards....from Gwyn Hug 

I took these pics from Pattern Junkie to really show you the true worth of this pattern reference. For shirt patterns such as those on the front of the card (bottom pic) you just look for the fabric width and your size for the amount of fabric needed. Viola! No more guessing - lots of money saved for other sewing projects too.

I've heard of others who have rough guides in their heads for fabric buying too -just rough estimates in their heads that they recall if an idea hits them in the fabric store. And these are better than my basic buy-three-yards (which can be difficult in Canada where we do everything by meters....) but still problematic. What if I buy 1.5 yards and then learn that the skirt I was picturing requires more fabric?

Guessing fabric amounts can be heartbreaking – recently I purchased 2.5 yards of fabulous brown wool crepe for a pair of pants (I was thinking of my Thurlow pattern) and rounded from 2 yards just to be sure. The trouble was that this wool crepe was 45” wide and the pattern called for 3.25 yards – ugh!!!! If I had my handy "How Much Fabric?" Reference Cards with me...I would be busy making my pants right now, instead of trying to find a nice skirt pattern in my stash that would go with my fabric.

I carry this handy, dandy "How Much Fabric?" Reference on my key chain. It is meant to help you when your patterns are at home and you're in a fabric frenzy....just look for the garment you want to sew, find your size on the chart and the width of the fabric and presto'll have an excellent estimate (an average actually, put together by transcribing tons of patterns into tables and then doing some math from there....) and info on adding "safety" yardage if you still want to be sure...(and any extra can go to making bias tape or facings later on).

My cards (I bought the women's clothes version but plus sizes, mens', baby and toddlers' versions as well as children's clothes are also available)

The women's pants card....oh! How I needed you last month when I bought an inadequate amount of fabric for my Thurlow pattern....

tops and dresses

Also, if you are a sewist in my local circle of friends, you will be getting one for Christmas! These make the best stocking stuffers! (Don't laugh, Christmas sneaks up on me soon enough!)


"How Much Fabric?" Reference Cards Give-away Rules: (Two Winners - one pdf version; one printed!!!)

Gwyn Hug has generously offered to give two of my blog readers a free set of cards. The first winner gets the PDF version and the second winner gets the printed version of the cards)

We want to spread the word on this amazing Pattern Reference! To win you have to promise to write a review on your blog (or on pattern review or in a local newsletter, even on another blog as a guest poster,  etc...) within two weeks of receiving your own calculator. 

Other important stuff: 
  • There will be 2 randomly drawn winners - one will receive her choice of card sets in Imperial measurements and one will receive her choice of cards in metric measurements.  
  • Post your name and comment below to enter.  
  • The winners will be drawn on May 12th - (be sure to leave a way for me to contact you)


  1. Nothy, I've been reading about these great reference cards for sometime now and would love to give them a try. What a cool giveaway!!

    Misskayosis at gmail (dot) com

  2. Nothy did you get your pattern out and try it on your wool crepe? 2.5 yards is two body lengths and unless you're like 7' tall and a size 30, you ought to be able to get a pair of pants out of that. Ignore the envelope and give it a go anyway.

    1. Good thinking! I laughed when I read your suggestion! I will try it. I guess I am nervous making pants so I didn't think of it....

  3. I enjoy your blog...
    and I would LOVE a set of these cards!

    :-) Chris

  4. I have been trying to win one of these.
    I think they would be very useful

  5. Ooh, I'd have liked to enter this giveaway, but the thing is, I make a point not to sign up for giveaways in general. So I'll refrain from this one, too, alas!

    I'll look into buying a set, though, so thanks for the heads up--I could definitely have used this a few weeks ago when I bought 3 extra meters of fabric for a Minoru!

    1. Meraj , the Minoru is on my list of soon-to-makes too. I want a nice light jacket for summer and a heavier one for fall.

  6. I'd like the pdf version. It would take too long a time with snail mail.
    Julie at nemis dot com

  7. Oh oh, please count me in. I first saw these cards when I lived in the UK and met up with Sew incidentally (and other illustrious UK sewing bloggers) at Goldhawk Road. They are just fabulous.
    I can't wait to see the brown wool crepe Thurlows!

  8. I would love to win a set of these cards. Please enter me in the drawing. http//

  9. What a timely gift - tomorrow is Mother's Day Down Under and this would be a super me that is! The headache (and heartache) of fabric shopping will be solved forever...J



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