Technique for making patterns. Posted by AWS Puppets on Apr 14, 2012
So I was watching this new series on syfy 'Monster Man' and he was constructing a giant two headed foam shark puppet. Now in order to make the pattern he covered a taxidermy shark in tinfoil and masking tape and then he drew the pieces out on the model, cut them out and then used an overhead projector to make the pieces the size he wanted and then traced the projected pieces onto paper. Has anyone done anything like this before? It turned out very nice by the way.Seems easier and more fun than measuring and guessing when trying to make specific shapes.
Re: Re: Technique for making patterns. Posted by DrMegan on Apr 15, 2012
I haven't seen the episode, but it sounds similar to this Instrucables project.

Another variation of this method is the duct tape (or packing tape) dress from. I've used this method in the past to create a custom dress from of myself in a corset so I could drape gown patterns for the local renaissance festival. (That was the nerdiest technical sewing work I'd ever done.)
Re: Technique for making patterns. Posted by Shawn on Apr 15, 2012
Odd that you would mention this! I was just checking out Rob H D'arc's photos over at FaceBook and he uses the same technique. I've never done this myself but really want to try it. I drape fabric to get pattern shapes but this seems much more precise when creating the foam pattern.

For those who have not seen 'Monster Man' on SyFy you should check it out.  A lot of what he does is puppetry and in fact he often uses the term puppet for his creations.
Re: Technique for making patterns. Posted by Animal31 on Apr 15, 2012
Check out last week's episode where he was making eyes for an alien mask. Very cool....
Re: Technique for making patterns. Posted by Angel in Tx on Apr 15, 2012
I used a similar technique to make a boot puppet.  I used some wal-mart sacks and tape and covered one of my husband's cowboy boots then cut the bag/tape cover apart at the "seams" and then I laid it out on paper and traced the pattern. It worked perfectly!

Here's the first boot I made - the prototype I guess you could call it.

 1 boot - foam with mouth
 7 boot - finished angle

I post this just to show the technique works!! I should have taken a picture of the process but I never remember to stop and take pics!
Re: Technique for making patterns. Posted by Snail on Apr 16, 2012
Love Monster Man. Love the boot too, must have one.
Re: Technique for making patterns. Posted by AWS Puppets on Apr 16, 2012
I remember that boot. That's a cool boot.
Re: Technique for making patterns. Posted by Mujician on Dec 14, 2013
That duct tape method seems quite cool, but if you are just cutting the tape, this doesn't allow for any overlap to see together does it? How do you accommodate this?
Re: Technique for making patterns. Posted by Shawn on Dec 14, 2013
Well for a foam pattern you don't need a seam allowance but on your fabric "pattern" you are right you need to add a 1/8 to 1/4 inch seam allowance especially if you are sewing up the fabric on a machine. There may be places in the pattern where you don't really need even that much seam allowance especially if you are doing a hand top stitch. Also the stretch of the fabric can make a difference. Antron tends to have some good stretch in it as do many other fleeces but they do not always have four way stretch. It may be only one way. So let's say you cut your pieces so that the stretch goes across the face side to side but not up and down and your seam is down the middle of the face up an down. You may not need seam allowance since the fabric is going to stretch when you sew it closed. Lycra is another fabric with a lot of stretch to that I've used on puppets and most the time need none or little seam allowance.  I would say that this is the biggest mistake new builders make but it is kind of hard to explain.  One reason using a pattern can be helpful.  I can't recall for sure but I think maybe the Project Puppet patterns even mention this and tell you which way to lay out your pattern pieces on the fabric in regards to stretch. If you have any friends or family that sew a lot you might ask them about this. They may be able to explain it better then I am here.
Re: Technique for making patterns. Posted by The Puppet Workshop on Dec 15, 2013
I have not seen this monster man episode yet. I have only watched a couple as we dont get here in Aust. But I have used most of the methods mentioned. There is alot of great information that Shawn is mentioned about seam allowance and I would be best to chat face to face with someone you know who's good at sewing as I agree its hard to explain over text.

I would use the draping method if you have a large foam type puppet to cover.

However you can use the duct tape method if you have a master or original which is a sculpture or say for instance a rubber toy shark. Rip tiny little pieces of masking tape (i prefer) and overlay them like paper mache draw on the master covered in masking tape where you want your seam lines and cut with a blade. peel off the masking tape and lay flat on paper if tape does nto lay flat you will have to cut a dart to assist it to lay flat. Once on paper making sure you mark how they go together naming the seams A,B,C,D on both sides is an easy way
Trace around them and then you can just photocopy and enlarge or scan and project etc.
I think our very own pagestep has a similar method on one of his tutorials
I usually sculpt my own originals out of clay and then cover with masking tape.

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