How enlarging a pattern works
I recently picked up a lovely girls summer outfit pattern at quite a cheap price. The pattern was perfect, but the size was not. First I needed to figure out how to enlarge the pattern that I bought. Once I figured that out, the rest was easy.
When you are looking at how to enlarge a pattern there are some crucial tools that you need to start with. These include a 90 degree ruler, tape measure, french curve, marker and pattern paper. Well, I don’t have the pattern making tools yet, they are on order from Amazon so in the meantime, I made my own which you can also do. I also am not going to spend a fortune on pattern paper, so I used the inside of gift wrap paper to do my pattern. In addition to that, I have a pattern marker / cutting tool and of course, my pattern.
The first thing I did with enlarging the pattern is to get all the pattern pieces I needed. The next step was to iron the pieces with a light iron so that they aren’t creased. Creased pattern pieces makes for wrong measurements. I’m someone that often use un-ironed pattern pieces, but that’s because of my experience. For enlarging patterns though, I am venturing into waters I haven’t done much of and so I want the measurements to be exactly correct. Especially if I’m going to have the pattern correct.
The next thing to do is to lay out the piece of pattern you need to enlarge on a pattern board or hard surface. A table is also fine. Trace the paper onto the pattern paper you have chosen exactly. Make sure every mark and line is exactly correct. You can do this by putting weights down on the pattern while you trace it so that it does not slide.
The next thing I did, as indicated by the figure above, is to measure the different sizes of the pattern exactly. I measured how much space between each line (indicated by the red arrow), and added double that space as I enlarged my pattern two spaces (indicated by the green arrow). I then used the french curve to hollow out my pattern’s arm hole as indicated by the blue line. The blue line is where the curve was hollowed our by the french curve, and joined to match the lines of the measurements I’ve taken with the green arrows. The other markings were mistakes which can be ignored. I did the same to the other side of the pattern.
At the bottom of the bodice pattern that I’m enlarging, I carefully measured again and once again used my french curve to draw the line, as indicated in the next image.
The french curve can work nicely when placed in the hollow of a pattern to hollow our an arm or to do something such as the bodice.
The last thing was to finish off the pattern, add all the markings and cut the new pattern piece out. Enlarging this piece of the pattern was not so hard after all. Here is another picture of another piece of pattern enlarging I did from this particular pattern.
It is easy to do some enlarging of a pattern. You just need to add the exact measurements to each size enlargement that you do and the pattern will work. You also need to use the french curve to perfect the arm holes and the other curved pieces of the pattern. The french curve was used again in the second piece of pattern, towards the top where I enlarged the sizes to make those lines follow the pattern.
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