How to Measure Fabrics for DIY Projects - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats. There are a number of things to keep in mind; again, width of the fabric is something that you want to think about. Standard widths are forty-four inches, fifty-four inches, sixty inches, and then there is in the home dec world, it goes beyond that. So keep that in mind when you are mapping out how much you need. If you are looking at something that is a directional print, you need to think about how you are laying out your pieces to your project, and the direction of the print and if that comes into play with the direction of the pieces that you are laying out. If you are going to be matching a print, you are going to want to measure the length of the repeat and add that to your cut measurement so that you have that extra space to match up the flowers or whatever it is, the boxes on your print. Like when you are doing curtains, that is something that you will keep in mind, you will add that amount on for each panel. Other things to think about are shrinkage; almost all fabric shrinks if you are going to launder it, so you want to do that up front, rather than make your project and then launder it and have it shrink and not fit or be the size that you need it to be. All fabric shrinks differently. You can ask people that are helping you with the fabric about the shrinkage rate, or just always add on a little bit of extra. You are going to want to be consistent; if you are not going to wash it upfront in warm or dry it, do not do that after you make the project. Other things to think about: if you are going into a store to purchase fabric, it is really helpful to know if the measurement that you took, for example, for curtains, is your finished or your cut measurement. If it is your finished measurement, that means what you need it to end up as. So we know to add for shrinkage, to add for seam allowances, any sort of thing like that. If it is your cut measurement, then you have already added in the hem that you want to put on the bottom of your curtain, or what you need to go over the curtain rod. So those are things too that you should keep in mind.