They always give you a generous cut, sometimes even an additional half yard! They even include swatches! Yes, the policy is to cut the textiles with the fold line parallel to the ruler. The broad quilt back fabric, which may be ripped, is the typical exception. If you need to use some of it now, that's fine as long as there's enough left for your final project.
Joann's has lots of discounts and promotions going on right now so check their weekly ad for what might be available at a reasonable price. Also, sign up for their email list so you'll know when they have special offers just for list members only.
Half yards are the most common size given out at fabric stores too. So if you need to buy more than one half yard, that's not a problem.
Of course you can! There are two ways to do this: either join a group buy where several people team up to get the best deal on cloth half yards or go directly to the source and see how much individual pieces cost. Both options are valid and will work out well for you depending on your situation.
Group buys are great because you're able to find unique fabrics at discount prices but also because you have friends who might want some of those fabrics too. This way you can all share the cost of each piece purchased.
Fabric Cuts Ordering Some fabric stores will have a minimum yardage requirement, such as a 1-yard minimum, 1/2 yard minimum, or indicate you can only buy it in 1-yard increments, however they will normally put a sign up somewhere in the store, usually by the cutting counter, to let you know. If there is no sign, then you can always ask one of the employees where you can and cannot cut your fabric.
The short answer is yes, you can purchase less than a yard of fabric if you like. The reason most stores require at least a yard is because that's the best way to use the fabric you're buying. If you need less than a yard for your project, then you should be able to find a store that will sell you that much fabric. Of course, if you go out of your way to look for a small quantity of fabric, then you should be able to find something that'll work for your project.
Fabric is typically purchased "by the yard." That doesn't always imply you have to buy a complete yard, but rather that you buy it in yard increments of 1/16ths, 1/8ths, 1/3rds, 1/4ths, and 1/2 yard. Bring the fabric(s) of your choosing to the cutting table. If possible, bring several pieces of similar size so they can be mixed and matched later if needed.
There are many types of sewing machines on the market today, each with their own special features. Before you purchase your machine, be sure to learn how to use it properly. Read the manual that came with your machine or check out a book on sewing techniques if one is not included with your new machine. It's important to know how to use your machine before you start stitching up clothes for yourself and others!
Now that you know what kind of fabric to buy, let's go over some yardage requirements for different projects. Be sure to include measuring tape and pencil when shopping for fabric so there are no surprises later!
Yardages for Common Sewing Projects
Project Type Required Amount Notes & Tips T-Shirt 1-2 yards Longer shirts may need more than one piece Shirt should be 100% cotton unless specified otherwise Pillowcase 12 inches by 18 inches Flat sheet 16 inches by 24 inches Queen bed sheet 42 inches by 64 inches King bed sheet 58 inches by 88 inches