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Sunday 2 August 2020

Super size me

I have been resizing patterns almost from day one, when I discovered that the cute little hedgehog I thought I was making turned out to be a small-pillow-sized giant hedgehog! So I downsized the pattern to a smaller, more practical size and I’ve been doing it with suitable patterns ever since.

For example, I’ve made smaller foxes (I used to have a size smaller even, but they’re just too fiddly to make so I stopped doing those). I have done smaller whales (a nice ‘scrap buster’ for when you have matching tapers and no idea what to do with them) and will do smaller narwhals. However I’d never made an existing pattern larger before and I really wanted to try it. So when I got my hands on a size 8 (5,7m of fabric!) Sonsie Agnes I decided to go for it. I would upsize the Pig (by DIY Fluffies) to as big as I thought she could go*, taking the usual wrap width into account.
(*Without adding extra seams to join fabric.)

Introducing… Agnes!

Huge wrap scrap pig (Oscha Sonsie Agnes) pictured with my son for scale
Agnes, pictured with my 6 year old son for scale.

I think Agnes ended up eating a whopping 5,5 kilograms of wool (so she got expensive real fast!). She took about a long size 3 (3,5m) worth of fabric to make. Enlarging the pattern was a challenge too. I had to find a way to blow it up which was easy enough. But then I had to somehow divide it into A3-sized pieces for printing (I shamelessly abused my employer’s printer for that). But when I got the hang of it, Photoshop was, as always, my friend.

Adding interfacing to 3,5 metres of fabric was a bit of a chore (it’s really boring work). Halfway through I realised that because the pattern pieces are so large, I could have gotten away with just interfacing the edges of the pieces I needed… With the smaller patterns it’s not worth the trouble but the Big Pig was pretty straightforward. It might have saved some interfacing but in the end I decided to put it on every bit of it – if only for durability.

It’s not just a matter of resizing…

It was nice for a change to be able to sew long stretches, at speed! I always have to fiddle around corners and making the parts with multiple layers of fabric behave. At this scale, sewing the pattern pieces together was about as straightforward as it gets! However I then discovered that ears this big really need a stiffer type of interfacing to stay up instead of drooping down (so I ended up stuffing them). Then I also discovered that the stubby legs wouldn’t hold the weight of the rest of the pig (lucky they’re very short so it isn’t very noticeable). Finally I came to the conclusion that it’s hard to stuff a really big hollow space nicely. The stuffing just won’t stay in the smaller parts (i.e. the nose!) unless you stuff it Very Very Firmly. Which is probably why I ran out of wool.

Bye Agnes

Obviously the wrong size for Agnes...
Nope, not this one either.

And when it was finally completed and all sewn up, I found out that it was impossible to find a box to send it in – because I intended to send it to Oscha. Shipping was incredibly expensive too because it was considered ‘oversized’ cargo – ouch. But it finally worked out! I wrapped her up in a couple of garbage bags for protection instead of using a box. Then somebody referred me to a shipping company that offered competitive prices so off she went, ‘little’ Agnes, to Oscha Slings Headquarters in Scotland. A present from the Oscha Slings International Community admins. Agnes was received with delight and some squeals, or so I’ve been told 😉 but I don’t think I’ll do another one this size again soon!

Agnes all bundled up. Yes that's a lot of plastic and tape, even for a pig this size.
Agnes all bundled up. Yes that’s a lot of plastic and tape. Not very eco friendly… but she did arrive safe and sound in Scotland!