> this is not just for a one time project, this would be an on-
> going thing. I am starting to draft my own patterns and do sewing
> for others commercially. My biggest selling point for court gowns
> is that I offer numerous sleeve designs. There are times I'll have
> a request for a bodice and underskirt out of one material with this
> or that pair of sleeves or several pair. I was hoping if I knew
> the dimensions of the pattern pieces used there was some kind of
> chart or formula that would give me a close estimate as to x number
> of yards instead of having to lay out the pieces each time which I
> can do.
> It sounds like there is no easy way to do this but I do appreciate
> all the input and suggestions.
You are correct, there is no easy way to do this, especially if you
are working with fabrics with any kind of repeated pattern in them
that you have to match for sleeves, skirt seams, etc.
This is the kind of problem that upholsterers and drapery makers run
into, because if the pattern piece doesn't fit the repeat just right,
you may have to buy more fabric than you actually cut out to be able
to match patterns in seams or mirror image pieces like couch arms or
If the fabric was no nap, all one color with no grain differences you
would be able to use the conversion charts that have been mentioned,
but I am willing to bet you are using better fabrics with prints or
woven patterns in them which complicate life but make the end product
so much more worthwhile ;>