Cutting Fabric Folded vs. Flat
I was cutting out this sweatshirt over the weekend and ended up trying a few different layouts before I settled on the one that worked. I thought I would show the difference in yardage needed to cut this pattern with the fabric folded vs. the fabric flat.
Home sewing patterns have you cut your pieces out on the fold, cutting goes more quickly this way since you're only cutting half, and the fabric fits more easily the size tables most people have in their homes. Unfortunately it's almost never the most effective way to a great fabric yield. With this first method, fabric folded selvage to selvage I'm about 1/4 yd short.
With the selvages folded towards the center I can fit both front and back on the fold but only one sleeve. So close yet so far!
With the fabric laid out flat everything fits perfectly since you're not wasting any of the fabric by folding it over. To make the full pattern I just traced the front and back pattern pieces on a folded piece of large white butcher paper and then traced an extra sleeve. Moral of the story, if you're a tiny bit short on fabric and you're really dead set on using it, or if you're just obsessed with yield like I am, try laying it out flat...you may be able to get it to fit!