Not every project requires a full yard of material. Sometimes you only need a little bit to complete one section of your project. The trouble is that the fabric stores do not sell fabric by the fractions. They want to get rid of full yards and not portions of it.
How big is a half yard of fabric? Fabric comes in several widths. It can be 36 inches wide, 45, 54, or even 60 inches wide. That width can provide you with a lot of material to work with. A yard of fabric is 36 by 36, 36 by 45, 36 by 54, or 36 by 60 inches while a half of yard has 18 replacing the 36. You still get a lot of fabric in a half a yard.
To learn more about a half a yard fabric and if you can buy it at the many different fabric outlets, just continue to read our article. It has that information and more. When you only need a little it pays to know a lot about fabric yard measurements.
If you know how to do basic math, you know that half of 36 is 18. That means that to buy a half a yard of material, you only need 18 inches. The yard measurement is measured lengthwise so whatever width the fabric comes in, is the same width for either a yard of material or half a yard of material.
With fabrics coming in different widths, you can still end up with a lot of material to work with and have scraps left over for other projects. Unfortunately, most stores have a minimum purchase as they cannot sell fractions of yards and end up with lots of little pieces they cannot get rid of.
Be prepared to always pay for a full yard of material even though you only need a little bit. That situation makes it very important to save your scraps or partial yards of materials.
When you do that, you can hunt through your scraps and use up the small portions before you run out to the store and end up adding more partial yards to the pile.
The width inches are not going to change. Fabric usually comes in 36, 45, 54, and 60-inch widths with some versions wider than that. So if you buy the wider bolts of fabric you are going to get a lot of material to use.
To figure out how many inches are in half a yard all you need to do is divide 36 by 2. The result is 18. The answer to most of you will seem very easy.
But while the amount sounds small, you have to take into account the width of the fabric. With an 18 by 36-inch piece you only have 848 square inches to work with but with an 18 by 60-inch piece, you are looking at working with 1080 square inches.
That extra amount of fabric may just be what you need to complete your project.
The dimensions of a half a yard of fabric are very straight forward and all you have to do is replace the 36 with 18 and you have it. So in layman’s terms, a half a yard of material can be 18 by 36, 18 by 45, 18 by 54, and 18 by 60 inches in size.
Of course, there are also 72 and 110 inch wide pieces of fabric and their dimensions will be 18 by 72 and 18 by 110. The width you get will depend on how wide the bolt of fabric is.
But one thing we should keep reminding you about is that most stores round up. They do not round down. if you are at 5/8 of a yard, you will have to buy 1 full yard. if you are exactly at a 1/2 a yard, you will still have to buy a full yard.
Your thinking may be that fabric stores will make more sales and more money selling portions of a full yard. The fabric business doesn’t work that way and you have to learn to hoard your smaller portions to make sure you have some handy.
45 centimeters. How did we come to that result you may ask? Well, each foot is 30 centimeters long. A yard is 3 feet so 3 times 30 is 90 and you need to divide 36 by 2 to get to 18 or half a yard. That means that 90 centimeters divided by 2 equals 45.
Or you can add 15 and 30 together to get the same amount of fabric. Either way, you calculate it you are going to end up with 45 centimeters of material. The centimeters only apply to those countries that use the metric system. There are still some countries left in the world that use the old Imperial system.
Oh, and a full meter equals 1.09 yards. Each meter is 39 inches long so if you buy a meter of fabric you could end up with an extra 3 inches of fabric lengthwise. That is a good fact to know when you are paying the same price per meter as you would per yard.
It may be easier to calculate from a yard of fabric first then divide by 2 as you will be losing half of your material. For a yard of fabric that is 40 inches wide minus an inch to remove the selvage, you can get 56-5 inch squares.
Divide by 2 and in a half of a yard, you should get 28- 5 inch squares. The amount will go up the wider the fabric. And it will go down if you are only using 36-inch widths. The amount remains the same if you are using 40, 41, and 42-inch widths. If you are actually using a 39-inch wide piece of fabric, then you are going to lose 7 squares and end up with only 49.
If you are only working with an 80-inch wide piece of fabric, then expect to get 56 - 5 inch squares. Remember you are only using half the amount of fabric to cut your squares.
The same holds true when you want to cut 6-inch squares from a half a yard of material. A 39-inch wide piece of fabric will give you 18- 6 inch squares from half a yard. The figure is the same for 40 and 41 inch wide materials. The 42-inch wide material will produce 21- 6 inch squares.
If you want to know about different sizes of squares and how many you can get from a yard of material just click this link. The table at that link lays out the amounts from 1/2 to 20 1/2 inch squares for 1 yard of fabric.
Unfortunately, the table only uses 39, 40, 41, and 42-inch examples. You may have to do some extra calculating for the larger fabrics. Just the same at least you have a starting point and it shouldn’t be a problem doing the extra calculation if you are an experienced quilter.
The weight of a half a yard of material depends on the quality of the material and how much a yard of fabric weighs. If you already know the weight of the yard of the material then divide by 2 and you will get the weight of half a yard.
For example, if a yard of 60-inch fabric weighs 200 grams per square meter then the weight per square yard would be approx. 5.9 ounces per square yard. Divide that number in half you get almost 3 ounces per half square yard.
A 54-inch wide yard of fabric will weigh about 6.6 ounces per square yard and about 3.3 ounces for a half of a square yard. To make your own calculations you can try to use this weight converter and see what your material will weigh.
But its calculations are given in full yards so you will have to do some extra math to get the weight of a half a yard of material.
Most stores do not sell material in half yard lengths. Instead, some quilting shops may sell them by the bundle. You can get 10 half yard squares in one bundle for $60 approx., at this location.
Most stores will round up to the nearest yard. Walmart may have been the exception but at some point, during the pandemic, it deemed its fabric department was non-essential and closed it. Along with the closure came the stoppage of custom cutting of fabric.
Every other store we checked seemed to only cut fabric by the complete yard and did not offer any custom cuts. You may have better results in your local area as you know the employees and depending on how good a customer you are, you may get some favors done for you.
Also, you may have to negotiate a little with the store and get a good price. Generally, 1/2 of anything does not generate 1/2 of the price. Lower amounts usually cost more. The larger the amount the cheaper the cost. that is just standard business practices.
JoAnn’s states on its website that they sell fabric by the yard. There is no mention if they will cut the fabric to a 1/2 a yard. Hobby Lobby seems to be the same way as it states it sells fabric by the yard.
If individual stores do something different than what is on their websites, then you walk away from the winner. The reason for that is most stores will not sell fabric by the half yard unless it is scrap material.
But according to this website, you can get Aida fabric cut to whatever size you want at both Joann’s and Hobby Lobby, as well as from other fabric outlets. The difficulty comes in when you want that fabric by the yard.
Hobby Lobby does state that its coupons can be used for one cut of fabric but it does not state that the cut is limited to complete yards of fabric only. Your best bet would be to check with your local stores and see what their policies are.
That is the best way to know for sure what you can or cannot do when you need smaller portions of the fabric.
The first step when folding a 44-inch wide piece of fabric 12 yard or larger is to fold it in half from selvage to selvage. Next, smooth out the fabric and then fold it in half again. The fold should match the mid fold to the selvage edge.
Next place a comic book backer board on the fabric and fold one edge over the board only a couple of inches. You are not covering the board completely. Continue to do this until you have reached the end. Once at the end use a pin to hold that last fold in place.
Now if you have cut the material and it is not a full half a yard, you should fold the selvage edge over to the cut edge. Now fold the fabric till its length matches the full length of the board.
Fold one edge of the fabric along the long edge of the board and repeat till you get to the end of the material. Pin the last fold in place to hold the folds till you need to use the fabric.
Believe it or not, you can make a lot of different items from a half a yard of material. If you are an experienced sewer you may already know about these projects. One option is to make a lot of face masks and you should get several of these out of one piece.
Another project would be cute handbags or tote bags these come in handy when you have lots of items to carry. Pincushions, aprons, fabric hanging baby toys that blow in the wind to entertain your child, and much more.
A little research in the right books should give you lots of ideas on what to make when you are left with a half a yard of material. You may already have lots of ideas running through your mind right now just by thinking on this topic.
Just about any small fabric item you can think of. The sky is the limit when it comes to tiny projects including doll dresses, accessories for dolls and their houses, and more. Plus, you can do practical projects of items you need around the house. A phone caddy, phone holder, bill holder, and much more.
If you have the fabric and the skills you can make a variety of little items as gifts to good friends, nieces, and nephews as well as other relatives you do not see very often. The personal touch goes a long way in keeping you in their thoughts.
Along with the ideas already given, you can make a bib for your baby or the child of a friend or relative. Then you can make a napkin box cover or napkin holder in case you want to bring those tissues with you.
For the older person in your life, you can make them several bandanas to cover their necks when the weather gets a bit hot or rough. Face cloths and hand towels are other ideas you can work on.
Pencil cases, coin purses as well as fabric wallets to hold your money. There is a myriad of projects that only need a 1/2 yard of material. The only drawback would be having that material in the right colors and designs.
In some people’s eyes, a half a yard of fabric is not very large. But in the experienced sewer’s eyes, a half of yard opens the door to a variety of craft projects that should bring a smile to the face of the recipient.
Never toss away small fabric pieces as you never know when you will need them.