A guide to scaling up the patterns in The Tudor Tailor

All of the patterns in The Tudor Tailor are scaled down to fit onto the pages of the book. They will need to be scaled up before toiles can be cut from them to be fitted to the individual. Most of the patterns are reproduced at 1/8th scale (each 1/8 inch square equals 1 inch); the hat patterns are reproduced at 1/4 scale (each 1/4 inch square equals 1 inch). The same method of scaling up is used for both.

Equipment required:

  • A large sheet of paper – paper marked with squares or ‘dot + cross’ paper makes it easier but is not essential, brown packing paper is fine.
  • A tape measure marked with 1/8th inches, or make your own using a strip of paper marked with 1/8th inches using the grid behind the patterns in the book as a guide.
  • A pencil and eraser
  • A ruler for drawing straight lines
  • A set square for marking right angles (this is very helpful, though not essential)

Make a photocopy of the pattern that you can draw on, making sure that the copier is set to 100% and does not enlarge or reduce the pattern.

Fig 1

Each pattern piece will need to be scaled up individually. Begin by drawing a box around the first pattern piece, the edges of the box should just touch the tallest and widest parts of the pattern. The pattern in the example is the basic man’s doublet front (Fig 1).

Measure the width and height of the box using the tape measure and draw a box of the same dimensions on the large piece of paper. For example the box around the doublet front in the example is 19 squares high and 14 squares wide, therefore the actual size box will measure 19 inches high by 14 inches wide.

Fig 2

Decide on a starting point and begin by drawing in one of the straight lines, in the example the shoulder is the starting point. The top of the shoulder of the doublet meets the top line of the box 3 inches back from the right hand corner, the other end of the shoulder is 9 inches along from the top right hand corner and 2 inches down, these points are marked on the photocopy (Fig 2).

Fig 3

Mark these points in the scaled up box and join the two together with a straight line to form the shoulder (Fig 3).

Fig 4

To draw in the curved neckline a point is measured 2 inches down from the top right hand corner and 2 inches in, a line is drawn on the photocopy between these points (Fig 4).

Fig 5

These points are then marked in the scaled up box (Fig 5), and the curved line drawn in by eye (Fig 6).

Fig 6

Fig 7

The curved armhole is measured in a similar manner, a point is measured 10 inches down and 1 inch in from the top left hand corner and a line drawn between these points. Another point is measured 9 inches down and 6 1/2 inches in and a line is drawn between these two points (Fig 7).

Fig 8

The points where the wing is set into the armhole are marked by measuring down from the last drawn line (Fig 8), these points and lines are then marked on the scaled up box (Fig 9) and the armhole shape drawn in by eye (Fig 10).

Fig 9

Fig 10

Fig 11

Continue working around the pattern in this manner until all of the points are measured and the lines drawn in (fig 11). Finally check all the measurements of the scaled up pattern against the original from the book and make any necessary adjustments. Since it is recommended that mock-ups (toiles) be made in scrap fabric before finalizing any pattern do not worry too much about slight discrepancies which can all be put right on the final fitted version of the pattern.