It's the weekend tomorrow and that means some time for stitching! I'll be making the next new design, and this means testing the pattern, thread colours, and amount of thread the kits will need.
I do this for all designs, they all get model-stitched first. I make up a thread card - as in this photo - and write on it the symbols representing the colours. Next to that the number, which is the number of thread lengths I started with. When the design is stitched, I can compare what thread is left to what I started with and adjust accordingly for the kits.
The cross stitch design software is excellent and a great starting point. But it can't always tell me how many times the thread has been stopped and started. For example, lots of single 'confetti' stitches might use more thread than you realise. It also might be nice to start a new length of thread for repeating patterns within a design, rather than keep the same length in your needle and have to change it halfway through the next repeating pattern. This is all even more important for larger designs, where you can't always judge how much thread you'll need at a glance.
And I like to think my kits have plenty enough thread for you regardless of your stitching method, neat or messy, fast or slow! DMC is very consistent with their colours so you can keep your left-over thread with a note of the colour number to be used for other patterns. Keeping left-over thread from cross stitch kits was how I started my 'stash' as a teenager.