Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tutorial - Grading a Pattern Version 1

Grading a sewing pattern means resizing it to fit your needs. I have never been taught how to properly grade a pattern, I sort of worked it out on my own. I've got two methods I use, the first works best for small sizes and small pattern pieces. The second is best for larger pieces - but I'll show you that another time. Both of them are really easy to do. Here's the first method. I'm going to use the Popover Sundress we're sewing in our current Sew Along.

Some of the steps are optional and you should be able to figure out which steps they are on your own, but I will mark them with the words optional step. This is more to give you an insight into my personal processes.

Optional Step 1 Set the kids up with something to distract them

Step 1 - Assemble your supplies. You will need the pattern printed out, scissors, tape, a ruler, and a pencil

Step 2 - Tape the pattern together, matching the letters

Optional Step 2 - Realize that the Toddler should not be within arms reach of the baby while playing with markers

Optional Step 3 - Move her

Step 3 - Look at the pattern and notice how the pattern changes with the different sizes, with this pattern the difference betwen sizes is pretty consistent until you look at size 2T to size 3T. Don't worry too much about that. we're going to take 1/2 inch off of the 2T size. Also notice that the line for the fold does not change with each size.

Step 4 - Using what you learned in step 3 we're going to start editing our pattern. Draw the straight lines. You want to make your changes similar to the ones you see between the sizes that have already been graded.

Step 5 - For curves, mark dots the appropriate distance away from the lines.

Step 6 - Connect the dots

Do this for all the edges that need to be graded. Notice, however, that any pieces that are against the fold, the fold does not change. Only grade the edges that are graded for the other sizes.

Optional Step 3 - Clean up the mess


  1. Am LOVING this!!! Seriously, that is just what my little ones look like at my house during sewing time. Love the humor in the tutorial, which was fabulous.

    You have quite a few great tutorials, I think I will give myself a tour ;)

  2. Super cute! Definitely going to try crayola flavored bread at my next dinner party ;)