We’ve all been there. At the department store, trying on a million different items, only to leave empty handed because nothing fit right. Talk about feeling defeated. Fortunately for us, sewing is a total game changer! It gives us the ability to make clothing specifically for our bodies! All we have to do is grade. Some people can get away without grading, but the reality is that a lot of us fall into different sizes on a size chart. If your measurements do in fact fall into different sizes, think of NOT grading as the equivalent of walking into a department store and purchasing something off the rack. It may fit in some places and not fit in others.
Don’t let grading intimidate you, it’s really just a game of connect the dots! I can assure you that when you’ve made your first garment using a pattern that you’ve graded, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it before!
Let’s check out a few different examples using our size chart.
A few things to note before you begin.
1. SED uses the upper bust as the lead measurement, meaning you will use it as your starting point.
2. The measurements on our size chart are maximums.
3. Any adjustment that is made to the front bodice/piece must be done to the back.
Here are two different examples of how you may need to grade.
For example number 1, we'll use an upper bust measurement of 36", bust 37", waist 33", and hip measurement of 43". These measurements put us in a size 8 for our upper bust and bust, and a size 12 for our waist and hip.
For the second example, we'll use the following measurements. Upper bust 39", bust 42", waist 31", and hip 45". These measurements put us in a size 14 for upper bust and bust, a size 10 for our waist, and back to a size 14 for our hip.
In both of these examples, I’ve taken these measurements and marked them on the pattern piece with dots. Then the dots are connected, smoothly, to create our new pattern piece. Remember, whatever grading you do to the front bodice, you will need to do to the back bodice to match.