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Swan Valley Bears Swan Valley Bears
Penn Valley, CA
Posts: 1,845

When you design your mini patterns, do you design the pattern larger then reduce it?  It just seems that for such a small pattern, you would have to be sooooo accurate in your measurements for head gusset and foot pads that it would be easier to get everything fitting properly then reduce it.

Just wondering how you all do it.

edie Bears by Edie
Southern Alberta
Posts: 2,068

I design my patterns as minis right from the start - although I have occasionally taken a pattern design that I really like and both enlarged and reduced it to make different sizes of bears so really you could do whatever seems to work best for you.

Dilu Posts: 8,574

I do my minis in a 6" size....then if I like it and it works OK I reduce it .

I do the same with golly patterns.

The only thing it doesn't work on are babies...


Dilu Posts: 8,574

Oh, the thing about minis, 3" is that if you hand sew you have the ability to stretch a wee bit here and squish together there so that things are placed exactly where I want them....

WildThyme Wild Thyme Originals
Hudson, Ohio
Posts: 3,115

When I am designing a brand new pattern, i start with sculpting a prototype in polymer clay, then I pattern drape to figure out the pieces and parts... but I generally start out with about a three incher as well.... then I enlarge and shrink and tweek from there. 

Kim Basta

chrissibrinkley Posts: 1,836

I too design them right at "mini" stage.   After I've designed the pattern then I might enlarge it or shrink it  for whatever look I'm going for.  That's the same for my mini's and larger bears.

I tend to just sketch and draw a bear, doesn't have to be a "pattern" right away. I'm just going for the look I want...then I start marking out the pattern. 
About everything being exact and overly accurate..I've found it to be the same from large to mini. They essentially follow the same rules in measuring for foot and gusset.


kathytaylor Ruby Mountain Bears
Northern Nevada, USA
Posts: 1,467

I design my bears in the mini stage as well. I some times make three or four heads and try them out in material before starting a bear. So I can see the shape of the muzzle better. Then I can tweek to my hearts content.
I  usually do I profile sketch and front sketch of what I have in mind then use that to actually create the pattern.  I can usually see what type of gusset I am going to need to create a specific head/muzzle  shape.
You should do what ever works for you!!!
hugs, Kathy

Terrie Terries Bears
Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,614

I also design them "mini sized". I have reduced larger patterns as well but not very often. I agree with Crissie, the proportions are the same whether it is a large or small bear and  I haven't found it to be a problem getting the pieces to fit together.

fribblesltd fribbles, ltd.
Kalispell, Montana
Posts: 679

..I design mine mini size as I can go and sew a prototype with not a lot of work to see how it looks---then tear it apart if I don't like the shapes.  Granted, I've never done much 'sides the mostly traditional head and legs and arms, but I'm hoping to take the bear designing class at the EbearZ and brush up on those skills.

Kim, I never thought of modelling it in polymer clay!  What a fantastic idea!!!  Thank you!


Michelle Helen Chaska, Minnesota
Posts: 2,895

Kim wrote: When I am designing a brand new pattern, i start with sculpting a prototype in polymer clay, then I pattern drape to figure out the pieces and parts.

Kim: what do you mean by "pattern drape"? How is that done?

Bear Hugs


Swan Valley Bears Swan Valley Bears
Penn Valley, CA
Posts: 1,845

Thank you all.  Great advice ! ! !   I'm off to design a mini.


Stephanie Sassy Bears & Fabrics
Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 196

I start mini right off. I usually make the pieces a little fatter than normal. Even though the seam allowance is very small, the arms & legs come out very skinny unless I do that. But, then I happen to like fat bears! Shrinking a big pattern only works if the big pattern is only a few inches bigger. But trying to turn a 12" bear pattern into a 3" pattern just doesn't come out right.

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