How to Calculate Yards of Fabric Needed for a Jacket

Updated July 20, 2017

Sewing your own jacket is a great way to create a unique garment that suits your personal style. There are many jacket patterns to choose from. These range from simple patterns with only a few pattern pieces to complex patterns that incorporate multiple layers and lining. If you are a beginning seamstress, choose a simple pattern to learn the basics of making a jacket. You can calculate the amount of fabric you will need when you understand how to read the envelope on the pattern of your choice.

Choose your jacket pattern and which style or view you will be making from that pattern.

Find the measurement chart on the back of the pattern envelope.

Take your body measurements. The chart on your pattern will list the measurements you need. For most jacket patterns, you will need to measure your bust, waist, hips and the distance between your neck and waist on your back.

Use the chart to determine your size based on your measurements. If you are between two sizes, choose the larger size so that you don't make your jacket too small.

Choose the fabric you will be using for your jacket and determine the fabric width. Most fabric bolts come in either 45-inch widths or 60-inch widths.

Match the style you are sewing to your body size on the chart. There will be two measurements listed for the amount of fabric you need, depending on your fabric's width. Match the fabric width to the style and size to find the number of yards of fabric you will need for your jacket.

Check the chart to see if there is any additional interfacing or lining needed for your jacket. If these are required, the chart will tell you the number of yards you will need.


If you are using a fabric with nap for your jacket, such as corduroy, plaid, or any fabric with a one-way design, you will need to buy a little extra fabric in order to cut your pattern pieces so that they will match up properly.

Things You'll Need

  • Pattern
  • Measuring tape
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About the Author

Rae Harris is an educator and writer with an academic background in health and fitness. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science. She began writing professionally in 2004. Harris' work has been published in various magazines, including "Schooled Magazine" and "YM."