Pattern grading is an easy way to replicate a pattern to scale, saving you from having to draft the whole thing. It can be your go-to if you need to size an entire pattern up a smidge. (Though you shouldn't try to go more than two sizes up or down, as that would disrupt the balance of the pattern.) There are a couple different ways to pattern grade, but let's focus on two of the most common methods.
You love browsing, buying and using sewing patterns. And while making patterns may seem like a job for the pros, there's actually one pattern any home sewer can — and definitely should —make. It’s called a sloper, and it's basically a generic pattern based on your measurements without any wiggle room, seam allowances or style. It's the building block of all patterns, helping you to not only sew clothes, but design them.
Ruching is when fabric is gathered along a seam to provide decoration or fullness. You may have seen it before on sheers (like in the skirt pictured above) or swimsuits, but there are so many opportunities for ruching in patternmaking. The technique looks particularly great on a fitted garment, where it accentuates your body's curves.
Fitting can be a challenge for even the most seasoned garment sewers. But that's where a moulage, or "mold," fitting system comes in. It was developed and used in couture houses to reduce client fitting times, yet home sewers can use the technique to draft personal slopers for a blouse, dress, jacket or an overcoat.
If you're under 5'4", you're considered a size petite by the fashion industry — as well as the pattern companies industry. And when you're searching for a pattern, you want one that helps you look taller and gives great proportions to flatter your shape. Keep these tips in mind while you're browsing to help you find the perfect pattern for your next garment.