Increasing or Decreasing Your Pattern and and Cloth Size

Alter your pattern and your cloth size with a little simple math

example of changing canvas by Pam Pedersen
Pam Pedersen

How many times have you started a project and didn't have the exact size aida cloth that was required. Do you  go about your stitching haphazardly only to end up with either not enough fabric for the piece or on the other hand, way too much left over.Don't let this happen to you!  Below is a little guideline to the different cloth sizes, their meaning and what size your finished project should be.

So many times you will run out of room or have too much fabric left over for a project. While you can always stash bust the fabric, wouldn't it be better to have less leftovers. The less fabric you have left over, the more you will have a complete piece for the next project. No waste! 

Before we get started with formulas, we need to address the materials we will be using. Let's first talk about fabric. For the following guidelines and examples, Aida cloth will will be the fabric of choice. There are other types of fabric out there to try. Aida is the one that many patterns are based on and many designers use. It is a standard among the stitching community. Aida offers up several sizes and colors. It also comes in a variety of textures. This is the most common cross stitch fabric and can mostly be found in size 14. But what exactly does that mean? The "count" refers to the number of stitches in an inch.

So, 14 count means 14 stitches per inch. The higher the number, the smaller the fabric.  If you have something that is 12 count, you will have 12 stitches per inch and thus fairly large whereas an 18 count would be smaller. A linen fabric would be something around 28 to 30 count. 

Now that you have count and fabric size down, the next thing to think of is how the increase in count size is going to affect your final project.

There are so many formulas out there on how to determine the size of your finished piece with a bigger or smaller piece of fabric.You don't need to learn extra hard or complicated formulas. Use the one that works best for you. There is no completely right formula out there for resizing.  One of the easiest ones is the following:

Count the number of stitches across and then divide it by the thread count of your fabric. Do the same down and you have the size of your finished project. Let's see how that works. 

Your stitch count across is 200 and I have 18 count aida cloth so 200/18 is 11.11 (I would round it up to 12)

Your stitch count down is 160, so again 160/18 is 8.88 (round up to 9)

Your  finished piece with 18 count fabric would be 12 inches across and 9 inches down. Don't forget to add a few inches so you can frame your piece when it is done! The previous formula is just for the finished project alone, and does not allow for seam allowance. You should add about an inch for seam allowance. If you do not do this, you might run into problems framing or converting the project into a pillow or wearable piece. 

Having this knowledge and method for calculating size will help you with your future projects.

Once you figured out these formulas, it will help you greatly in determining the final size of the fabric you needed. No more half finished projects or wasted fabric. You can create projects that will fit any size now that you have the formula down. You can change big patterns to smaller versions or smaller patterns into wall size projects. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to change cloth and pattern sizes. It is simple and you will have the formula down in no time!