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This guide aims to help you get to grips with the basics of fabric, looking the different types of material you could incorporate into your stitch projects, all the way through to what specialist precuts are manufactured and how they could benefit you.
Fabric precuts are specially designed to help organise your sewing process, cut into uniform sizes to suit specific stitching projects. These speciality cut pieces of fabric are affordable ways to coordinate your fabric stash, meaning you’ll have bundles of certain colours and designs so that you can easily coordinate your projects. Retailers often stock a variety of fabric precuts – so what can you expect to find?
Measuring just 2.5" x 2.5", mini charm packs are one of the smallest precuts you can get! Although they're often used as fabric samples, they're also perfect for centrepieces on little projects and for turning into embellishments. Generally coming in packs of 42, these cute little square bundles are inexpensive ways to accent your stitch crafts.
The big sister to the mini charm pack, this precut generally measures 5" x 5" with around 42 pieces per pack. Perfect for patchwork projects, charm packs often provide you with a variety of prints and patterns running along a common theme. The perfectly square size means that you won't need to cut the fabric up into pieces to create a patchwork quilt - most of the hard work has been done for you!
Jelly rolls are arguably the cutest of all fabric cuts, coming rolled-up into a pinwheel shape, then tied together with a bow. Typically coming with 40 fabric strips, each measuring approximately 2.5" x 44", jelly rolls can be used to add extra details to projects or can even be incorporated into patchwork quilts. Each fabric strip within the roll comes from the same collection, but varying in colour and design.
Dessert rolls are the the big sister to the jelly roll, doubling in width to measure 5" x 44". These precuts also come in rolled-up strips, with each generally including 20 fabric cuts. Each strip shares the same common theme, but usually varies in pattern, design and colour. Similarly, you could use these precuts to give your projects that extra decorative edge or to incorporate into quilt designs.
If the charm pack is the big sister to the mini charm pack, then the layer cake is their mother! Double the size of charm packs, layer cakes measure 10" x 10" and often include 42 fabric squares per bundle. Ideal for larger-scale projects, the designs are usually grander and more abstract to give you more design opportunities; try cutting them up into a variety of shapes - they're sized perfectly for it!
Measuring 9" x 22", fat eighths are a convenient rectangular shape to be used in its entirety, or cut up and incorporated into stitch projects. These bundles can include anywhere between 20 and 40 precuts, with each piece traditionally featuring a different design, pattern or colour variation within a specific theme or from a certain collection.
Fat quarters are the first (and still most favoured!) fabric precut bundles that appeared on the market. Double the height of fat eights, these fabric pieces measure a flexible 18" x 22" to provide an exceptional amount of creative possibilities. A quarter of the size of a yard of fabric (hence the name!) and cut into rectangles, a fat quarter bundle generally contains a variety of prints from a collection, each complementing one another perfectly.
Double the width of fat quarters, each half yard precut bundle usually measures 18" x 44" and features a variety of colours, designs and prints from a specific collection. As they're one of the largest sized speciality fabric cuts, half yard bundles are perfect for stocking up on fabric or if you're feeling adventurous enough to take your projects to a huge scale - the uses are near limitless!