Going to the fabric store to choose fabric for a sewing machine project can be really exhilarating.

Look at all those rows and rows of colors and patterns just begging to be turned into something amazing on a fun machine like the Janome Skyline S7 Indigo!

But wait - how do you find the perfect yardage for the item you want to sew in all those bolts?

All that choice can be a little overwhelming unless you know how to go about fabric shopping to get what you want without wasting the whole day looking for it.

Keep these simple fabric shopping tips in mind to become a shopping pro and get back stitching on that Janome sewing machine in a jiffy!

1. Find the Right Shop

Not all fabric shops are the same, so know what to expect before you go.

Overall, chain outlets and craft stores that sell fabric will have fewer specialty options as they sell fabrics that can be more generally used in a wide variety of sewing machine projects.

Stand-alone fabric shops sell higher-quality yardage and more specialty types that are great for clothing, home decor, quilting, and other projects.

Quilting shops actually specialize in only the types of fabrics suitable to make quilts.

2. Fabric Shop Organization

By and large, fabric departments and shops are basically organized the same way with two main stock areas, one for solid colors and one for patterns.

Within these two areas, the breakdown then continues by fiber type and fiber blend so if you know what you’re looking for, search first by color or pattern and then by fiber blend.

Some specialty stores also arrange by brand or collection within the two groups.

Other supplies like thread, notions, sewing machine parts and accessories, and other items will be in their own sections away from the rows of fabric bolts and baskets of fat quarters and quilting charms.

3. Understand Standard and Specialty Sizes

Most fabric bolts are 44/45” wide from selvage to selvage, meaning a yard of fabric that comes off a 44/45” bolt is 44/45" wide by 36” cut length.

Of course, there are other bolt sizes depending on the fabric and many shops also sell some oversized fabric on longer bolts and rolls.

Bring the bolt to the cutting counter to be cut to the number of yards required by the pattern you've chosen to work up on a good sewing machine.

Be sure to read the pattern fabric requirements to make certain what fabric width is being considered as some patterns specifically call for 36" wide fabric which is common with quilting fabric and other patterns call for up to 60" in width which is common with knit and double knit fabric.

Beyond bolt fabric, many craft and quilt shops also sell fat quarters and other smaller cuts made for quilters and those in need of smaller pieces for a variety of patterns.

Fat quarters measure 18”x22” which is the equivalent to a quarter yard of fabric with a width of 44/45."

These cuts are very handy for countless smaller projects you might make with a versatile Janome Skyline S7 Indigo model, from quilting to small accessories, home decor pieces, and much more.

4. Learn the Labels

All the critical information about a fabric can be found on the label at the bolt end.

Before bringing the bolt to the counter for cutting, be sure to understand what you need to buy because once it’s cut, it cannot be returned and money spent for your next sewing machine would have been wasted.

The bolt label also includes the fiber content of the fabric, its dimensions, where the fabric was made, cleaning instructions, and price per yard.

Always check fiber content and cleaning instructions when choosing yardage for any project to be certain of matching the right type of fabric to the right project.

You Can Control Fabric Shopping Labyrinths

If you’re an avid sewist or aspire to be one, walking into a fabric shop can easily turn into half a day gone due to the allure of all that beautiful fabric.

Getting sidetracked when all you need are a few things for an upcoming sewing machine project doesn’t have to happen if you understand the lay of the land and how to buy.

Knowing project needs and where to find it is bound to deliver great success with every pattern you make on a quality machine like the Janome Skyline S7 Indigo!