making shirts from sarongs
August 25, 2007 11:53 AM   Subscribe

How much fabric/yardage is necessary to make a man's shirt? details

I have a huge stack of Indonesian sarongs in snappy plaids. They run in inches 73 x 51. Would it be possible to turn these into MEN'S shirts, short-sleeved or long-sleeved?
posted by tristanshout to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total)
I don't see why not. 73" is in the neighborhood of two yards and most fabrics are either 45" or 56" wide, so you're falling right in the middle of that range. You would need to choose a shirt pattern (anyplace like Hancock Fabrics or JoAnn would have lots of pattern books and patterns). Probably it would be a snap.
posted by Medieval Maven at 12:13 PM on August 25, 2007

1,85 cm / 129,5 cm (73 x 51) would give you enough for a long sleeved shirt if the shoulders are not wider then 65 cm (25.6 inch) and a short sleeve if you need to use the 90 cm (35.4 inch).
posted by kudzu at 12:20 PM on August 25, 2007

What ever pattern you buy will indicate how much fabric is necessary.
posted by Packy_1962 at 12:24 PM on August 25, 2007

Depends on the size. Last men's shirt I made needed 3.5 (of 45") yards, but it was long sleeved and for a big guy with a 50" chest. Most short sleeved men's shirts I've made have been more along the lines of a hawaiian cut, or bowling shirts. Those figure about 2.5 yards for an average sized guy.

I bet it could be done, though, since you've got a wider than average bit of fabric (most garment-grade fabric is 45", 56" tends to be more for home dec). Might mean you have to cut the main body pieces and then, from the wider bits of scrap, get the collar and sleeves, but I bet someone who was clever with fabric would have no problems.
posted by Kellydamnit at 12:26 PM on August 25, 2007

I think that should be enough- just be careful when laying out the pattern pieces that when cut, the pattern (if directional) on the sarong will be in the direction you want it to be on the shirt.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:27 PM on August 25, 2007

You can browse some stylish creations here - if you click on the Catalog Description - Read link for a pattern, then the "Size Charts and Other Information" link on that page, you'll get a PDF of the pattern stats, by way of reference. For a fairly ordinary button up shirt it ranges from 2 3/8 yards of 45" fabric for a size S, short sleeved version to 3 5/8 yards for a long sleeve XXL.

So you might have some trouble eking out a shirt from just one of the Saris (though with that extra 6" strip on the fabric you might be able to improvise), no problem with two if you got some that match (or don't mind looking, you know, weird).
posted by nanojath at 12:32 PM on August 25, 2007

nanojath, that was my thought. The main body pieces, cut with the fabric folded, won't be more than 12" wide or so (and that's being conservative), but they'll take the whole length.

On a normal 45" cut of cloth that won't be enough to do the sleeves next to the front and back bits. But with that extra half foot, I think it could be done. If you cut the center fronts from right by the edge (and not the fold), and then take the excess from next to it, unfold it, and refold the other way (or cut down the center and stack if the pattern has a direction), you'll easily be able to do the sleeves. The back (and yoke if it has one) will almost certainly have to be cut on the fold, but the collar and any cuff detailing (button tabs or whatever) can be done from the excess there.
posted by Kellydamnit at 12:53 PM on August 25, 2007

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