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I’ve been staring at the simple lines from Frances Grimble’s books that seem to magically come together into an elaborate Victorian costume without really understanding how one led to the other.

Over the weekend, I spent about an hour with a helpful employee at Staples who helped me figure out how to enlarge the pattern pieces I wanted.

First we photocopied the pages the pattern pieces were on and cut out each piece:

Aren’t they cute! They make me want to make Victorian doll clothes.

I’m seriously thinking about making miniature versions of this skirt just to practice. I know I’ll have to make a me-sized muslin before I cut into my fashion fabric but still, too cute to pass up!

Once we had these 1/8 scale patterns, Ms. Helpful measured the widest points vertically and horizontally on the mini pattern and multiplied that by 8.

For the pannier, it looked like this for both measurements:

2.5 X 8= 20

In other words, the final piece, at it’s widest parts, was going to be 20 X 20. The reason she needed this measurement was to punch it into the large format copier for architectural and engineering copies. That’s why we had to cut the pieces right to the furthermost points- so the copier could enlarge it to our intended final measurements.

It actually worked pretty accurately. On some, for some reason, an inch was cut off the bottom, but since the width was correct, I just let it go.

Now, I have to measure myself with my undergarments on, to figure out my costume measurements. Then, I need to grade the pattern so it’ll fit me.

The original pattern from the book comes without multiple sizing so once you get it resized to the original measurements you have to alter them for your own body.

Even if the copies I had done at Staples don’t work, I’m immeasurably thankful to Ms. Helpful who took a lot of her time to help me figure this out.