Scaling pattern pieces to account for foam thickness


New Member
Q for the group:

Has anyone experimented and settled on good % increases for scaling pattern pieces to account for foam thickness?

Say I ️build a paper/card mockup or a pattern from scratch, adjust the pieces for fit etc ✂️. That paper mockup will match the inside face of the foam, but the outside face is what needs to be cut from the material. Is there a tried-and-true ratio? Like…if I’m using X thickness foam, +Y% scale works best to match the mockup’s fitment.

I could do the experimenting and come up with a scale, but if that work’s already been done I’d like to not have to re-invent a better mousetrap.
There isn't really a ratio I've found. It just wouldn't work fundamentally. Say you are working with 12mm EVA foam. To increase the size to fit around a small piece like the forearm, you may have to increase the size by 5% to add 12mm of thickness. But for a much larger piece like the chest plate, you will only need to scale it up maybe 2% to add the extra 12mm. These numbers aren't exact, they're just examples to show that there isn't one set percentage.

There is a trick though! If you're using armorsmith, try taking the measurements with thick clothing on. This way, you can scale the armour "skin tight" in armorsmith, but the extra thickness is already accounted for in the thickness of the clothing.

You could also try just adding the thickness of the foam to the dimensions instead of using a percentage. Scale the armour as you were, then simply add 2cm do each dimension to account for the thickness of the foam.

Scaling is the trickiest part of the armour, and is one of the main things that will affect the overall look of the armour. You may find that you have to remake pieces, even though you did your best to scale it properly before hand. I had to remake a few pieces, and make adjustments to some pieces to make it all look nice. Best of luck!
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