Grade patterns to create the perfect size for you. Learn two simple, accurate methods of hand grading and ensure that no pattern is off limits!
Meet your instructor, Kathleen Cheetham, and learn more about the practice and purpose of pattern grading. Kathleen discusses the tools you'll need and explains how pattern grading can benefit you as a pattern maker or home sewer.
If you found a multi-sized pattern you like, but its smallest size is still too large, you can grade it down one or two sizes using tools as simple as a business card, straight edge and French curve. Kathleen walks you through the process of grading down a bodice by one size, both back and front. You'll see how to tackle tricky points like the armscye and neckline, and how to grade down notches, tucks and darts.
The same principles for grading down a size can be used to grade a pattern up two sizes. Kathleen demonstrates how to grade a pants pattern up by two sizes, including moving the crotch point, adjusting darts and marking pocket notches. Then learn how to handle details such as a pocket or waistband.
A single-size pattern lacks extra grading lines to guide you, but you can calculate your own with Kathleen's easy-to-follow grade rule chart. Work along with Kathleen using small-scale pattern pieces for a sleeveless top (included in your class materials) to grade down one size while maintaining the exact proportions.
Take a single-size skirt pattern and grade it up two sizes using the cut-and-spread method. Kathleen shows you how to use the same principles from previous lessons to add width and length evenly across a pattern.
Having mastered the skills to grade the larger pieces of a single-size pattern up or down, you're now ready to dive into details such as the bust, torso and shoulder darts of a blouse. Learn how to reposition and resize your darts, adjust seams and notches, and grade facings and collar pieces to match your graded pattern.
Your final single-size grading challenge is getting the sleeves correctly proportioned and notched for easing into the bodice. Kathleen walks you through the steps and shows you how to "walk" your seams and double-check your work. Finally, you'll learn how to stack your graded patterns for a final inspection just as professional pattern makers do!