January 5, 2011

Grrrrrrr, Math Makes My Brain Hurt

Posted in Decor at 5:51 pm by sewknotwrite

This is the way I’m feeling right now.  Thank you math and sneaky fabrics.  Thank you for making me feel like a complete moron who made a HUGE mistake.

For realsies, ladies, I use basic sewing math at work everyday.  I buy fabric ALL the time.  I KNOW the drill, and yet I somehow managed to SCREW IT UP.

So, remember all the pretty fabrics I bought to make napkins?  If you don’t, here’s a refresher…

The fabrics I purchased came from the quilting section of the store.  Most of the bolts of fabric in the quilting section come in 45″ widths.  My plan was to make napkins that were a square 15″ x 15″.  What does this mean?  Well it means that to make 8 napkins I need 45″ wide by 45″ long.  Being a person who always likes to buy a little bit extra (just in case the cutting table lady cuts you short, etc), I bought 1½ yards (54″) of 45″ fabric.  Perfect.

Or so I thought.

I completely forgot that some quilting fabrics do not come in 45″ bolts.  They are sneaky and mean and come in 42″ or 43″ bolts instead.  I made a rookie mistake and just had the fabric cut under the assumption that it would all be 45″ wide.  GAH!  This means I’m short by a mere few inches on some of them!  ARGH!

On the bright side, not all of the fabric is wrong.  Some of it was fabric I already owned and I know I have plenty.  Others are fine because they were 45″ wide.

So, here’s the dilemma.  I can use what I have, do some fancy maths, cut them into rectangles and, as Tim Gunn would say, “make it work.”  I could also go to the fabric stores, cross my fingers and search for the fabric I’m short on and buy the amount I’m missing.  Math makes my brain hurt though, so I’m leaning towards going on the hunt.

What would you do?



  1. Marcia E. said,

    Seamstress to seamstress (Hi, Emily!) in the interest of preventing any additional math mistake, I am compelled to point out that even if you have 45″ wide fabric, napkins cut at 15″ won’t be 15″ when they’re finished.

    • emtheartist said,

      Hey Marcia! I’m only overlocking the edges and not properly turning them under…’cause I’m a big cheater 🙂

  2. kimie said,

    Hi – i just started following your blog. Great posting! I’m in love with the fabrics you have on this page, can you tell me the name of the store? I’m having trouble finding pretty fabrics locally (I’m in San Diego).

    Thank you!

    • emtheartist said,

      All of my fabrics for the napkins came from the quilting section of either Joann or Hancock Fabrics.

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