Question: I want to make an outfit for a cosplay and I know the fabric I want, but I'm not sure how much to get? I'm 5'4" so if i wanted to make a jumpsuit type outfit how much would you recommend getting?
Okay. This involves a little bit of math but not too much. One thing you should consider is fabric width. Most fabrics are around 44 - 45 inches but there are fabrics that are 60 inches wide. The fuzzy edge called the selvage will take off about 2 inches. To find the width of your fabric, you can of course measure it yourself, but you can also look at the top of the bolt where the price is or look online on your fabric store’s website. If you’re skinny you might be able to get 2 “you’s” aka a front and a back pattern piece laid out on the width of a wider fabric. (The shoulders going across the width to allow a long pattern [like a long dress] the maximum length [however many yards you got].) If you’re on the bigger side you might not be able to lay the front and back pattern pieces next to each other. In the case you might need to double your fabric amount.
So on to deciding how much you need. You’re 64 inches tall. I’m assuming the jumpsuit will go to your ankles. You’ll need fabric to cover your front and back, so we’re pretty much going to double your height. 128 inches which rounding up is 3.6 yards. I don’t know what you weigh, but if you’re plus size you’ll need more fabric. If you measure the widest part of your upper body (chest, stomach) and divide it in half and include seam allowances, if that number is less than the width of your fabric then 3.6 yards will be enough. If it’s a larger number I’d assume you’d need to double the amount of fabric. I’ve never actually made plus size garments, and I’m not a professional, but I would assume so. Pants take more fabric than skirts, and if your outfit has any embellishments like cuffs or ruffles you’ll need extra fabric for them. It’s also important with some fabrics to cut all pattern pieces out with the fabric going in the same way. This is especially important with fabrics with patterns (stripes, floral) or fabrics with nap (like velvet). It can be an issue with stretch fabric, also. If you’re using a cotton I’d try to cut everything going the same way. It’s not essential for solid color cottons, but if you don’t you can run into the issue of sewing on the bias which is the stretchiest part of the fabric and hardest to sew. It’s not horrible to sew, but it can cause minor problems and just not look as nice when different pieces were cut from different angles.
So I’d say at minimum you’d need 4 yards. I would consider buying 4.5 or even 5 if you have the money or if you’re worried about making mistakes. You can buy quarters of yards (like 4.25 yards) if your budget is in a pinch but you want extra fabric. I rarely buy extra fabric, and while I normally don’t regret sometimes I have. If you go back to the fabric store to buy more sometimes colors change slightly bolt to bolt, and the fabric you want may be a very different color.
I hope this helps and makes sense. I’m aware my mind runs a bit differently than others. Good luck and happy cosplaying!