It's a good question and an important issue to resolve.
I don't think there's any absolute "right" way to do it, so long as you keep in mind that enlarging the pattern will also enlarge your seam allowance.
Thus, you can choose either method. Namely, either:
(1.) Enlarge your pattern pieces AS IS, making sure to mark your 1/4" seam allowance before enlarging... and then reduce the seam allowance part of the enlargement to 1/4".
(2.) Remove the seam allowance from your pattern pieces, and then add a 1/4" allowance to the enlarged pieces.
I think it is just a matter of preference.
Personally, I use method (1.) I enlarge my pattern pieces AS IS, then -- when I cut them out -- I trim them down to a 1/4" allowance remaining.
Oh, I should mention that it's obviously also okay not to do EITHER method, and just take your chances with what will essentially be a "new" pattern, with slightly different proportions. Sew with a 1/4" allowance no matter what and see what you get! Fun experiment!
I do it the first way...i.e remove the seam allowance then add it again after I enlarged the pattern. I do it this way because once I did a very large bear...and it ended up looking extremely hideous, with a monstrous head as I forgot to take into account that doubling the size of the pattern doubles the seam allowance...hence the monster bear head.
When I reduce the pattern size I did discover (in my experience...not necessarily everyones) that as my bears have relatively short snouts that reduction causes the snout to be too short so it's worth considering the proportions when enlarging and reducing as your pattern may work as a 14" bear but not be so successful as a 10". Like I tend to use the same head on my 14 inchers as I do on my 17 inchers...because while the body gets taller the head doesn't necessarily need to be bigger. Especially with my baby face bears ...otherwise you get...'monster baby'.....aaaaaaaargh!!
Hey, I am having an absolute DUH!!!!! :doh: moment here! Can you believe that I never REALLY thought of this issue before!!!!!! No wonder when I enlarged my mini patterns, and then started playing around with increasing and decreasing my new BIG patterns, things got completely off kilter and I was constantly having to reduce my head size, and play around endlessly with the proportions!!!!!
I can't BELIEVE that I never thought of this! Truly I can't. I swear, this is like a bear making epiphany for me. This entire concept never clicked until right now. I can't tell you how much time and agony this will save me in the future. WOW! You girls have just cut down on HOURS of additional time per bear for me.
Can I thank you enough... ?
Beary truly yours,
Wild Thyme Originals
Hi Kim...yup...that's what happened to me too...only in conversation with another maker...and it was at a time when I wouldn't want to admit I didn't know what on earth she was talking about...and mid-conversation the penny dropped and I thought 'EUREKA'.....I still didn't admit it though..and carried on as I 'd known all along....
These days I don't care who knows what I don't know...coz the day I think I know everything is the day I hang up my stuffing stick...if you'll pardon the expression!! Er-hmm!!
OK, I KNOW from experience that my bear head will be too big if I enlarge it the same as the rest of the pattern but, if I cut the seam allowance back to 1/4" on the head as well as the rest of the pattern why does the head STILL come out too big? I don't get it.
I'm the one with the major :doh: DUH :doh: moment here. I just don't understand how head gets so big.
Hi Jenny! Man oh Man! I have been thinking about this now over the past hour or so, and I am still blown away! The concept has really mattered when reducing/enlarging just among my tiny little mini patterns, as the seam allowance is just so miniscule to begin with and just naturally, I did allow a slightly larger allowance when the bear was a bit bigger. But with the big ones I've been doing for the past year or so... well, I knew that something wasn't quite right, even just when I laid the pattern pieces out in "bear fashion..." So back to the scanner/copier I'd go to reduce pieces here and there. WOW! And obviously, the more seams you have in a head, or a body, the more it gets "off" if you don't take that allowance into consideration...... No wonder I've had top do so much playing to get things proportionally right!
The goofy thing is, I've glanced over this in books, and still though, well, that isn't really necessary, my bear will just be slightly larger than I "intended" because I haven't accounted for the now overly large seam allowance. I guess my erroneous thinking that makes sense if each body part has the same number of seams as every other body part... but with a typical three piece head, THERE ARE TWO SEAMS, rather than just the one seam you have in standard arms legs, ears.... even a two piece body. Still just reeling from the shock of it all here! Thinking out loud and such!
Oh the extra work & confusion I've been going through! I can just imagine you standing there with your fellow bear maker, the wheels in your head turning double time and sparks flying out of your cranium, and not saying a word! That's so funny Jenny. I probably would have done the same thing and remained silent as a church mouse as well!
Beary truly yours,
Wild Thyme Originals
Kim you're so right about the number of seams, too....some of my heads have had 15 pieces in them and enlarging that lot would make a huge difference to the size. That's why I was then secretly relieved to have realised what I was doing wrong..and it all seems so logical now.
I do think, though, that it doesn't always follow that you need to enlarge the head in the same proportions as the body and limbs for larger bears. I always think of smaller bears being like babies, it looks right to have a slightly larger head...cute in fact...but you imagine an adult with a large head and the appeal quickly vanishes...so to me anyway a bigger, longer body and limbs doesn't mean I need to make the head the same proportions as I made it in my smaller bear...so I would make the head a little bit smaller rather than doing a straight enlargement of the whole thing.
I found the same with tummies....it doesn't always work to just enlarge the tummy because maybe you need to change the shape as well..otherwise what can look great on a small bear, can not sit properly on a bigger bear.
Woohoo, ladies . . . isn't this a great discussion??!! Lazy daisy me . . . I usually don't make any corrections when I enlarge/decrease a pattern. That is - IF I'm not making a huge change in size. I do adjust the head if I'm going many inches up or down. Really, unless it's an anime design, my "rule of thumb" is that the side head piece is approximately half the size of the body piece. Don't know if this works for everybody, but It's pretty much what I adhere to. Good points made above, Shelli, Jenny, and Kim!
Wow...yes..this can make sparks fly around in the cranium !
I have some experience with enlarging patterns with some weird results;
I designed my original bear ( 10") then tested it out by making it up.. . I intended to use this pattern for my real fur bears that customers may order from their own fur, by size , so I needed to get it enlarged for a 12", 14", 16" 20" so......I ran down to KInkos.
I soon discovered that the heads looked so much bigger especially on the bigger sizes.Whaaaa!!! I did not know why at the time so... back to the drawing board. I then figured I could get an accurate enlargement by redrawing the bear in different sizes by the grid method, that took a "month of Sundays" to do ...but it finally got done !
Several years later I learned from ? ..... because the head is 3 pieces it gets bigger than the rest of the parts by something like 5% ....so copy the pattern but copy the head separately at 5% or less.
OK.. heres another thing to think about....someone told me when you want to enlarge a pattern , do not enlarge anymore then 2 times....so if the item is a 10" then you can do 11" and 12" then it will start to distort...I am sure they used the word distort to mean; " get out of proportion " with each other...just what we are talking about here.
One more item.... I found it is best ( for me as math boggles my mind, may be from the sparks). to start with a 10" pattern to get a 12" then DO NOT use the 12" to get a 14"...USE THE 10" ONE .
Hope my learning nighmare will help someone.....Winney
Yes, Jenny I'm in love with your aviator.
Interesting topic. I've been drawing my patterns without a seam allowance, so if I'm playing with size it don't really make any adjustments. But then again, I'm not going from a 5" teddy to a 18" one either.
I've learned alot from you girls, and Kim, I can feel your frustration, altough I have to admit it was interesting to read as you went thru it
some of my heads have had 15 pieces in them
Holy pattern piecing nightmares, Batman! 15 pieces?
I get twitchy just trying to coax 3 head pattern pieces together properly. Whew!
My hat's off to you Jenny. :clap: Your bears are simply gorgeous and I will look at them with new eyes now.
15 pieces... I'm blown away...
Holy pattern piecing nightmares, Batman! 15 pieces?
15 pieces... I'm blown away... :wacko:
That literally almost made me pee my pants! My 3 year old is super hero obsessed at the moment, and my parents bought him a DVD of the old TV show episodes.... so we've had a whole lot of "Holy blah, blah blah..., Batman" moments around here lately! Yours takes the cake in my opinion!
I agree, I am in awe of a 15 piece head! I just can't imagine!
Beary truly yours,
Wild Thyme Originals
Gonna drop my 2 cents in the jar. . . . . .
I've made minis for a long time and am just now starting to make bigger bears. I find that if you are just going up or down a couple inches, then it doesn't really matter if you include the seam allowance or not. Not much difference there. But to go several inches, the proportion gets way out of whack. Even when I don't include the seam allowance, it comes out odd. Big bears have different porportions than tiny ones do.
I had to go back to the drawing board for my big patterns.
Also, some copiers don't maintain the exact proportions (width to length), so you can get fatter or taller bears even if you are just changing it a few inches.
I've always wanted to try scanning one into my computer and try 'stretching' it in different directions with my Paint program. Might give some interesting outcomes!
And anyone willing to do a 15 piece head. . . . . . .has my eternal respect!!!
Yayyy!!! Something I can actually comment on!!! It's common procedure in pattern drafting to work without a seam allowance at all, and then add it after the pattern is made. It makes it so much easier to think in terms of the pattern itself and to realize the seam allowance is not part of the actual pieces you're working with. It's added on later only to give you space to sew and to keep the fabric from falling apart.
I was reading some posts comparing inset and appliqued panda eye patches and someone commented that it didn't make sense because when you add the seam allowance the eye opening becomes smaller and but the inset becomes bigger. If you think of it in terms of matching exactly on the seam line, as opposed to the edge of the seam allowance it becomes clearer. Of course the eye opening seam allowance might need to be clipped and the inset might need to be notched, it will fit together at the seam line, which is the truly important thing.
Soooo....could I have possibly been any more confusing?
Actually, I have now whittled my 15 piece head down to 9..and it looks exactly the same...that's what's called making an unnecessary meal out of something...I just like going the long way round...till I find an obvious shortcut...and the good news is that after doing 15 pieces, doing 9 is a bloomin' walk in the park!!
I'm sorry I can't really contribute anything useful to this thread, but I am learning a lot.
I am simply in awe of your bears whether they have 15 pieces or 9 or 3, and I have a ton of respect for your bear-making abilities!! :clap:
We used to watch the old Batman series when I was a kid. Every now and then it's on one of the the satellite channels and I still get a kick out of it. It's a far cry from the newer Batman movies though!! Either way, ya just gotta respect a guy that's willing to swing from tall buildings wearing a tight black rubber suit! lol
unless it's an anime design, my "rule of thumb" is that the side head piece is approximately half the size of the body piece. Don't know if this works for everybody, but It's pretty much what I adhere to. Good points made above, Shelli, Jenny, and Kim!
Ever since you mentioned this earlier on in the year Sueann , I have lived by it. AND yes it does work wonderfully.
...... I'm also suffering the :doh: , I didnt think about the seam allowance doubling :doh: .
I just knew I couldnt finish this day without learning something.
Hello, I see this is an older post and a very helpful one at that. I still wasn't clear as I am wishing to enlarge a teddy bear pattern I have and it just seemed that the light bulb was coming on for me even with all the information here. So upon further searching I came across this and found it to be very helpful, so I thought I would bring the link here just in case someone like me :o/ visits this thread looking for add'l info'.
Thank you all for your help! :o)