The Polaroid Sew-Along: Changing the Size of Your Blocks

The Polaroid Sew-Along Resizing Polaroids

To find the other Polaroid Sew-Along posts and tutorials, please head over to the Polaroid Sew-Along Page!

The Polaroid Sew-Along Any Size Guide

I think that one of the BEST parts of this sew-along is that there really aren’t any restrictions to the types of finished project you can make. You can plan your project from start to finish with your imagination and fabric supply being your only limitation! Today I’m going to be giving you some information on resizing your blocks. I don’t want you to be stuck with the size that I wrote the tutorial with, so I’m hoping that this guide will give some creative freedom to those that desire it!

Just be aware that I haven’t gone through and tweaked the fabric requirements if you change the size of your blocks. Also note that if you are changing one dimension, you will need to figure out the other dimension. More on that below…

The Polaroid Sew-Along Resizing Polaroids

The Math

Yay! Quilt Math! Not one of my favorite aspects of the craft, but certainly something that makes me feel accomplished. There is nothing quit like successfully figuring out how to tweak a pattern! From here on out, please note that the measurements that we are working with are finished measurements. You will need to add on either (1) or (2) seam allowances depending. More on that below.

In order to figure out how to increase the size of your polaroid, you need to start with the finished size of your center block.

If you remember back to the specs post, we are working with fussy cut blocks that finish at 2″ – rather tiny! We want our blocks to increase in size evenly, both the center square and the border, and in order to do so we need to calculate a fixed ratio. The ratio will make it so that if the center square is increasing a certain amount, the border will increase by the same percentage, leaving you will a nice, balanced block!

The following steps will allow you to calculate the size of the strips for the border based on the size that you want your center square. Remember, we are making our strips bigger, and then trimming down to get a nice square block.

  1. Determine what size you’d like your finished center square. For this example, lets use 4″
  2. Divide that number by 2, the number that I made my squares in the original tutorial. For this example, that leaves us an “increase ratio” of 2.
  3. Calculate the “finished” untrimmed width of the sides and top of the border by taking the size of the original “finished” untrimmed strips in my tutorial and multiplying it by your “increase ratio.” In this example, we take .5″ and multiply it by 2.” This give us a finished untrimmed width of 1″
  4. Add in your seam allowance. I need to cut strips for the sides and top at 1.5″ for my 4″ block
  5. Repeat steps 3 + 4 using the correct formula in the chart to calculate the size of your finished, untrimmed bottom strip. In this example I would end up with 2.5″ for the bottom.

Please Note:

Remember, this is only for the width of the strips. If you are increasing the width of the strips on the sides, you are going to need to calculate the new length of your top and bottom strips.

In order to do this, take the size of your fussy cut square, finished, and add the width of your strips (finished!!!) to it 2 times. Add .5″ to account for seam allowance, and that is the new length of the top and bottom strips.

Once you sew your block together, you are ready to trim! Now we need to figure out what to trim to. Things can get a little confusing now, so read carefully. In order to find out the correct number to trim to, we need to work with the finished dimensions, even though we already added in the seam allowance in on that last step!

  1. For the measurement to trim the sides and top, take the side of the trimmed finished strips from the tutorial and multiply them by the “increase ratio.” In my example, my 1″ untrimmed finished strips trim to .5″ – BUT DON’T TRIM YET!!!
  2. Add in your seam allowance. Since we already have sewn 1 side, we only need to add in the seam allowance for the other side. So add .25″ to your “Trim to” size. In our example, I would take my .5″ “trim to” number and add .25″ seam allowance to get .75″
To Download: Click guide to open in a new page. Right click to save to your computer.

To Download: Click guide to open in a new page. Right click to save to your computer.

So that’s it! Ha. It really isn’t that bad, but when I was figuring out the measurements, I didn’t want to just add the seam allowance in on one part of the chart and not in another. I thought that would be more confusing still. This way, remember. NO seam allowance added in!

I know that this can get confusing. If you have any questions about sizes to cut your strips, how to trim, or how to calculate the amount of fabric you need for your project, leave a comment! You can also hunt me down on IG, Facebook, and on the Tea & Brie Community Page. I would be happy to help, so feel free to contact me if you need to!

Happy Sewing!!

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