Friday, April 26, 2013

Tutorial: Enlarging a Pattern

Over a year ago, I promised a friend of mine I'd make him a rather large Totoro. Me being me, it took me quite a while to actually sit down and fulfill that promise, and when I did, I decided to make my own pattern for these adorable toy. Unwilling to screw up on such a large project, I made a smaller Totoro toy first, and then enlarged the pattern for the final product. This post will show you how I scaled up that little doll.


First thing's first, I traced the smaller pattern's pieces onto parchment paper. I enlarged them one at a time, making sure there was enough room around the tracing for the larger version.


After I traced the smaller pattern, I decided how much bigger I wanted the doll to be. I wanted my larger Totoro to be about 6 inches taller, and proportionally wider, so I traced a new line 3 inches larger from the smaller one in every direction.

After the initial size increase, I went back and corrected the curves and shape based on what issues I saw with the little guy. For example, on the bottom of the doll I only increased his base about 2.5 inches, as I felt that was a better shape, and made him a little bit taller.


I did this for each piece, increasing the size of the original pattern a bit differently for each body part. The arms I widened a bit, but focused on increasing their length instead. The ears I only increased about an inch and the tail got a whole new shape.


When I could, I just focused on getting half of the shape right, as symmetrical pieces could be cut on a fold. Once I was happy with the general size and shape of all the pieces, I cut out my paper patterns.


With my paper patterns all ready, I went to work cutting out the fabric pieces. I laid them out before sewing to double check size...


... then went to town! Jumbo here isn't finished in this picture, and the angle is weird, but I'm pretty happy with my pattern and modifications. Definitely an improvement over lil' Totoro.


I promise, I'm working on a tutorial on how to make your own Totoro, which will come with a free pattern! For both sizes! The assemble instructions for both the lil' guy and big guy are the same, the problem is I did such a poor job of taking pictures of my process. I'll be making a new and improved little Totoro for the tutorial, as soon as I find the time >.<;

Also, enjoy this completely telling picture of my kitchen table. Not seen: giant stack of mail hiding behind the big Totoro.