grading · how-to · sewing · tutorial

Grading – how I do it

I talked to a friend about grading patterns the other day. She wanted to use a popular O+S pattern but it only went up to size 5. I have a few patterns in size 8 that I adore on Isabel, but she is migrating into a lengthened size 10 by now so this is something I have done a few times.

When I told her I had successfully graded the pattern in question to a size 6 she was interested to know how I did it.

So, here are some pictures of another pattern I was grading anyway – I hope it will give her and maybe someone else the general idea on how to grade a pattern.
It’s not failsafe and there are probably many other ways to do it, but this is how I learned and it gives you a place to start – make adjustments as needed.

Also this works only on patterns where all sizes are stacked on the page.

01_Approximate

I start by drawing straight lines through all corners, marks and notches on the pattern piece.

20110723_img003

Then I measure the distances between the sizes – sometimes the distance between sizes vary a lot. Take into account how much you need to enlarge by.
I find it is easier to grade a size at a time instead of doing it all in one go. But that’s up to you.

20110723_img004

In this particular pattern the distance between all sizes were 1/4″ and that was about the amount I needed to get in my finished garment too. (1/4″ on each side of a front and back pattern piece will give you 1″ all around).

20110725_img023

When you get to a corner you should get the lines to meet nicely along the line unless you have graded to add lots more in width than in length – or the other way around. Then you’ll need to even out the line a bit.

If you grade on a curve try to follow the curve of the previous sizes – sometimes it helps (if you’re not drawing on the actual pattern paper like I usually do) to set a start and end point of a curve then slide the original pattern piece so that it aligns and use the curve in your new size.

This is all a very basic way of doing it I guess. I’m sure there are lots of more scientific ways to do it but it works for me.

If you grade several pattern pieces – like in a blouse you have front, back and a sleeve, make sure you add the same amount on all sides so that you don’t end up with a ungraded sleeve to sew into an enlarged bodice.

Toiles may be a good idea. (I guess some call them muslins).

Trial and error is the motto of the day.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Grading – how I do it

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s