Introduction: Unfolding and Making Patterns of 3D Forms - Werkplaats IDC

Picture of Unfolding and Making Patterns of 3D Forms - Werkplaats IDC

When you make a high level prototype, you might want to cover (parts of) it with pieces of fabric. This task might get pretty hard according to the shape of your product, though. We want to show you how you can make flat patterns of three-dimensional shapes. It’s easy!

Step 1: What Do You Need?

Picture of What Do You Need?
  1. 3D shape you want to cover up
  2. Tape
  3. Pen or marker
  4. Cutter
  5. Scissors
  6. Piece of fabric
  7. Soap bar
  8. Head pins
  9. Sewing needle
  10. Thread
  11. Cotton wool

Step 2: Cover Up the 3D Shape

Picture of Cover Up the 3D Shape

First of all, grab the prototype you want to work on. For this tutorial, we made a scaled version of a beanbag.

Use adhesive tape to fully cover up the whole shape. We opted for paper tape. To get the best result, apply in different directions. It will be easier later on.

Step 3: Divide the 3D Shape Into Pieces

Picture of Divide the 3D Shape Into Pieces

Then, try to decide the best possible way to divide your shape into different pieces. We want to create a fully flat pattern. You can use different colors to separate parts/sections. Each product is different, of course. You might want to take a pencil and an eraser when in doubt. We did too!

Step 4: Detach the Paper Tape

Picture of Detach the Paper Tape

Carefully detach the paper tape from the 3d shape using a cutter.

Step 5: Make It Completely Flat

Picture of Make It Completely Flat

It might be necessary to apply some more cut outs to make everything completely flat. Do this wisely and take your time. You might find a better solution with less cuts.

Step 6: Transfer the Pattern on the Fabric

Picture of Transfer the Pattern on the Fabric

Place every part of the pattern onto the fabric you want to use and trace the outlines. When you don’t want your guides to be permanent, you can use a piece of soap instead of a marker. Soap will wash away easily. Make sure you don’t forget to draw extra contours of approximately a centimeter. We’ll need them to sew everything together.

Step 7: Cut the Parts

Picture of Cut the Parts

Use the outside lines to cut out every loose part.

Step 8: Sew

Picture of Sew

Sewing pins will come in handy to put all parts together before the stitching. Carefully sew line by line until there’s only one remaining opening. It might be more aesthetically pleasing if this opening is located at the bottom of your product.

Step 9: Fill the Beanbag

Picture of Fill the Beanbag

Fill the beanbag with cotton wool. You don’t have to use a filling material if you want to make something else. It depends. For example, you can also cover up the original prototype.

Finally, apply the last stitch.

Step 10: Final Result

Picture of Final Result

Comments