McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. to make something up out of whole cloth Fig. to fabricate a story or a lie. That's a lie. You just made up that story out of whole cloth. ----------------- Another meaning is captured by Answers.com: This expression is a hold over from the days when material was hand made and very expensive. If a garment was made new from material that had been custom made, it was said to be made of "whole cloth", not a patched garment... So the expression "created out of whole cloth" generally is admiration for an excellently told tall tale that is usually a new story. Novels sometimes get their start this way.