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Puzzled by measuring instructions. Your opinions please.

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  • Puzzled by measuring instructions. Your opinions please.

    I am currently making a fairly large pair of curtains. Ive done lots in the past but I am keen to do things the right way from now on. I measured up for the curtains by using the Alternative Windows site and also the Home Furnishing Workbook by Maurren Whitemore, which came well recommended.

    The method I used was:

    Drop + 20cm for top and bottom hem/turning allowance + pattern repeat (in this case 79.5 cm) x number of drops (no trouble in working out the number of drops, drops are not a problem).

    I worked out the following - finished length 214cm +20cm +79.5cm x 5 drops = 15.675 metres, rounded up to 16 metres (perhaps you would like to work it out too and see if I have made a mistake).

    So, I have had the fabric delivered and I have been working on these curtains all day. I cut them out = 214 + 20cm = 234cm per drop. I measure them out, taking into account the pattern repeat and, hey presto, 237cm gives me the beginning of the pattern repeat each time. 237cm x 5 = 11.85 metres. I have 4.15 metres left over!! At £20 per metre this is no joke. How come it went so wrong!

    I know there is likely to be some wastage, especially with such a large pattern repeat, but this is a bit too much! Have I done something wrong - would you have done it a different way.

    Now I have a dilemma. What to do with the left over fabric. Should I give it back to the customer - telling her that it is left over and risk her thinking that I don't know how to measure up for curtains. Or do I keep schtum and sell it on ebay. What would you do?

  • #2
    Re: Puzzled by measuring instructions. Your opinions please.

    Hi Opal

    I have never known fabric quantities calculated like this before.. If you work out your finished drop, add the turning allowances and then divide this by the pattern repeat - This will give you the number of repeats per drop, round this figure up and times it by the number of drops required.

    In your case:

    Finished drop 214 + 20 = 234 divide this by pattern repeat 79.5

    234 divide 79.5 = 2.94 pattern repeats to each drop - Round this to the nearest whole figure and multiply by the pattern repeat.

    3 x 79.5 = 238.5 cm per drop ... 5 drops x 238.5 = 1192.5cm of fabric.. Add one one pattern repeat

    1192. 5 + 79.5 = 12.72

    Buy 12.5 metres.

    Calculating Fabric Quantities

    Have you registered your business yet?

    A MyDecozo Directory


    • #3
      Re: Puzzled by measuring instructions. Your opinions please.

      Hi Opal, I think the problem lies in the bit wher you have added 79.5cm to each drop. You really only need to add one pattern repeat overall. I find the more ways of calculating fabric requirements from one book and comparing to another totally confusing so,,, I opt for the following formula and stick to it like glue .

      dead drop( or curtain finished length )= 214cm plus hems and headings of 25cm = 239cm cut length

      Pattern repeat is 79.5cm so you need to find out how many pattern repeats per cut length you need so,

      239 divided by 79.5cm = 3.0 repeats per drop

      You have 5 drops ( 2.5 widths per curtain)

      so ,

      5 drops x 3 whole repeats + 1 (Pattern repeat) x 79.5cm = 12.72 m round it up to 12.8 m or 13m to play safe.
      5x3+1x79.5= 12.72m

      dropsxwhole repeats per drop + 1 x pattern repeat rounded up to the nearest 0.5m= required fabric.

      I have the formula written on the reverse of my measure/estimate sheets so when working out estimates I know they are safe on the back of the measuring sheet and not lost in my pile of papers on my desk!!

      Much the same as Phillip has explained , we were posting at the same time!!! I do allow slighty more for hems amd heading thats all!!I hope that helps


      • #4
        Re: Puzzled by measuring instructions. Your opinions please.

        Thanks for your replies. I did add 79.5 per drop and that is obviously where I got it wrong. But since discovering the leftover I have gone back and reread both AW and MW instructons and they both say add one pattern repeat per drop.

        I know better now. Thanks.

        Perhaps I will offer her some free cushions to salve my guilty concience.