When choosing a patterned fabric for a project, it’s important to know how much additional fabric you need to buy if you’re planning to match the pattern across your seams. Here’s a quick reference you can use:

A repeat is the distance between the repeating pattern elements of a fabric, vertically and horizontally, and will be listed on the fabric tag or sample. Pattern matching always requires more fabric. The larger the pattern repeat, the more fabric you’ll need.

Use the chart below and the vertical repeat of your fabric’s pattern to figure out how much additional fabric to purchase.

repeat pattern adjustment chart

For this leaf fabric example, let’s say I calculated that I need 1 yard of plain fabric for my project. This pattern has an 18″ vertical repeat, and a 7″ horizontal repeat. I use the 18″ vertical repeat to calculate how much additional yardage I need, adding 42% to 1 yard to get 1.42 yards.

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