October 2019
October 2019

Sewing Pattern

Guide to Grading

Garments
fb-big twitter-big email-big pin-big

For most of us, there’s usually a few occasions where we know a style just won’t sit quite right and needs to be taken up or down a size or two – but not to worry! We’ve collated an easy and informative guide to grading to help you resize a pattern with ease.

Essentials
  1. Tape measure
  1. Pencil
  1. Ruler, 15cm
  1. French curve ruler

    1 Most commercial patterns are not equivalent to the sizes we get off the peg, so the first step to grading is to take accurate body measurements. Start with your hips, bust and waist, then compare these measurements to those on the back of the envelope.

    2 The actual finished measurements of the garment, including the amount of ease, is usually written on the pattern pieces, so use this to check the final fit. If you still find that you need to alter it, then it’s time to grade the pattern pieces.

    3 Once you’ve accurately measured your body, select the pattern pieces you need for the garment and roughly cut them out, leaving as much extra paper outside of the largest size as possible. Take a 15cm ruler and place it across the junction of all parts of the pattern, including shoulder seams, darts and sleeves. Draw guidelines through these points.

    4 Start with he side seam and work out the distance in between each of the sizes. If the difference between them is the same, add this length along each grading line and join these points to create the next size up or down. If the difference in between each size shows a progressive change, then calculate the measurement required and draw it in.

    5 On curved areas, such as armholes and necklines, measure and mark around four or five points along the curve to the size you need, then draw in the new size using a French curve ruler. Make sure you record any notches too and move them across to the next size. This tool is invaluable for pattern grading as it will allow you to maintain the original shape of the garment, while proportionally increasing or decreasing the size of a pattern.

    6 To draw the new size, join up the grading lines around the edge of all of the pattern pieces and make sure you include any facings and darts, then you can sew the garment as normal. Voila – it’s as simple as that!

fb-big twitter-big email-big pin-big

Other Popular Makes...

Arabella Blouse

Arabella Blouse

Sew Plus
Dimensions:
XS-XL (8-16)

Wide, flared and ruffled sleeves have been one of 2018's hottest trends, especially elbow-length versions like this – which are super…

Christmas Mistletoe Cushion and Decs

Christmas Mistletoe Cushion and Decs

Christmas
Dimensions:
XS-XL (8-16)

Cosy up under the mistletoe with this pretty cushion and dec set created by designer Amanda Walker

Sienna Top

Sienna Top

Garments
Dimensions:
XS-XL (8-16)

This pretty floral design is ideal for both work and play, as it can be smartened up with a pair…

Becky Blouse

Becky Blouse

Garments
Dimensions:
XS-XL (8-16)

This easy button-back blouse is made up of only five pattern pieces, including interfaced facings that are used to neatly…

Patchwork Pouffe

Patchwork Pouffe

Home makes
Dimensions:
XS-XL (8-16)

If your stash is overflowing with offcuts in all kinds of colours and prints, this is the project for you!…

Isobel Hat & Scarf

Isobel Hat & Scarf

Accessories
Dimensions:
XS-XL (8-16)

This coordinating hat and scarf set will keep you wrapped up warm and looking chic, plus it's much easier to…