Day 6 Giveaway: Grading Workbook

Posted by Kathleen Fasanella on Sep 2, 2013 at 5:37 pm / Contest and Projects, Grading, Reviews / Trackback

CC_grading_workbook_coverBefore getting into this review, you can still enter to win the pattern book until late tomorrow afternoon. A winner for the Stylish dress book will be selected on Wednesday. Moving on.

Today’s giveaway features the second edition of Connie Crawford’s Grading Workbook. I have the hard copy, spiral bound edition, 136 pages. It is nicely formatted and illustrated, similar to the drafting book. I do think it is a low cost option to learn grading from -all explained in a clear manner as possible but there are a few issues to be aware of. Before I forget, if you’re not sure of all the technical terms I’m using, you might consider perusing the grading posts on this site, they are extensive and detailed.

No matter how dedicated and disciplined an author, discrepancies will creep in. For example, the grade stack of the neck point at the bottom of pg 35 is correct but in a later section on page 54, it is not. That said, scale is everything. My disputation amounts to something on the order of 1/32nd to 1/64th of an inch -something only professional graders will fuss about (and fuss we do). I only bring it up in the event that you follow the instructions step by step and your result doesn’t look exactly like the illustration on page 54. If it looks like the one on pg 35 instead, you’re doing fine.

Another thing is stack point, the point at which you stack all of the graded sizes together [to form a nest] in order to check the grade. The stack point is also the zero point, the start and stop point of applying the grade rules. This book has the grade stacking at the -in the case of bodices- the CF/CB neckline.  I learned to do it along the bust line. Crawford’s stack pooint is not wrong anymore than mine is but it does turn one’s head around when trying to makes sense of applied grade rules. I also think it is better to make the zero point (aka stack point) lower down than the neckline if you’re using a grading ruler because the ruler gets in the way. You’ll have to flip it up to create a cross mark and then things get jostled a bit. Other graders out there may rightfully protest that I make too much of this and they’re possibly right. I am rather particular about these things. But anyway, like I said, her book isn’t wrong, it is just not the way I am accustomed to working.

Notes about grading books generally:
Grading books instruct where and how to place sizing increments but the sizing designations per se, will always vary according to your customer and market segment. You might want to read where and how to get sizing data. A list of sizing specifications won’t teach you how to grade so it’s not appropriate to expect a grading book to give you specs. The practice of grading will not change even when specs do.

Another thing, again, this is a commercial book with commercial focus. I noticed in comments to the drafting book post, that people thought that book would help solve their unique fitting problems -and it will not. In the same vein, this book will not solve your fitting or sizing problems either. If you’re an enthusiast, sure, it will help you to grade up or down the occasional pattern but getting into it may be more work than you’d imagined. I don’t know what an easy solution is for people who only need occasional grading for personal projects.

If you purchase this book, make note of the variety of purchasing options. It comes in hard copy or ebook (pdf) and there is a grading ruler available too.  The options are:

Printed version (book only): $37.50
Printed Book with Grading Ruler: $44.50
E-Book only: $29.50
E-Book with Grading Ruler: $36.50
Printed Book and E-Book: $49.50
Printed Book, E-Book, and Grading Ruler: $54.50

Rules to enter today’s giveaway:
Leave a comment describing a problem you’ve experienced in grading that was or remains, difficult for you to resolve.

104 Responses to “Day 6 Giveaway: Grading Workbook”

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Micaela
September 2nd, 2013
6:06 PM

grading kids clothes is hard for me!

Sofía
September 2nd, 2013
6:32 PM

I was taught to grade basic patterns, but I have issues when grading particular designs with different shapes and seam lines because I don’t know how to distribute the amount to grade accordingly.

Natasha E
September 2nd, 2013
7:04 PM

My problem with grading stems from the fact that schools don’t think it important to teach it anymore or probably more likely don’t have money to run the classes. I touched on grading a little when I took computer aided pattern design but because we didn’t plot anything out I only understood it in the abstract. The community college I have attended on and off for the last 10 years hasn’t offered pattern grading in many many years and when I graduate this fall they will be waiving that requirement for me. But it’s something I do want/need to know. I have recently taught myself how to grade shoe patterns of which there is even less information about. I don’t know where I’m going but I hate having a knowledge gap.

Karen
September 2nd, 2013
7:11 PM

Teaching sewing in the Philippines is a challenge as there are no commercial patterns available. Even though you can now download from the internet, these patterns are mainly for western body types and don’t fit the asian body without so many changes that you may as well draw the pattern from scratch. I would love to draft some basic styles based on a more Asian body and the grade them for use in my class.

Karen
September 2nd, 2013
7:13 PM

Forgot to mention that I do have a US mailing address so wouldn’t expect to have the book mailed all the way to the Philippines!

Ayse
September 2nd, 2013
7:18 PM

My grading problem is grading anything more complicated than the usual sample bodice and skirt. I have some patterns I designed to have lots and lots of little weird parts, and I have no idea how to grade them, if it’s even possible.

April
September 2nd, 2013
7:48 PM

Stack point. I wish I had known this term before; it would have helped me more precisely explain to the patternmaker how I wanted my pattern graded.
My problem with grading is I need to learn to do it properly (I really don’t have time) or find someone else to do it for me. I usually borrow the grading rules from commercial patterns and cross my fingers that I haven’t erred horribly or introduced too many drafting errors. Trying to accurately duplicate nice curves is particularly difficult. It occurred to me during my last grading project that it would be more accurate to cut out the previous size and trace the existing curve rather than trying to re-draft it each time.

Jeremy
September 2nd, 2013
8:48 PM

I tend to agree, I think a difficulty arises when there are many style lines added to the block and the pattern becomes complex. It’s easier if the line came out of a dart, for example, but I often wonder if some lines shouldn’t be graded at all, because they are just style lines. I also sometimes find linings and facings to be a problem. Again, there’s that pesky notch issue too.

Patricia
September 2nd, 2013
10:17 PM

Style lines.

Arizona
September 2nd, 2013
10:32 PM

I only recently started to teach myself grading from Jack Handford’s book. It’s a great book, but grading is somewhat confusing. It seems very straight forward and maybe that’s why it’s confusing. It’s easy to follow the directions, so if it’s that easy, I must be doing something wrong. Perhaps I should stop second guessing myself and just keep practicing. Handford uses the CF at the bust line as the stack point, but this is the first time I’ve heard the term stack point. I don’t remember seeing the term used in the Handford book.

I’d love to win The Grading Workbook so I could learn the method Crawford uses. What does her grade ruler look like? I just use a square and a B95 ruler right now. Handford talks about a hinged ruler… I need to go back and read your grading posts!

Melissa
September 2nd, 2013
11:12 PM

I’m new to grading world, so maybe my problem really doesn’t exists, but… I’d like to learn how to fit properly in darts presence or with patterns with multiple pieces and features (yokes, pleats, and so on…)
Stack point should be interesting…is that about nesting, right?
I really hope to win this one <3

Renee
September 2nd, 2013
11:17 PM

I’d really like to learn how to grade properly. In the pattern making course that I am following right now, there is a lot of attention for pattern making but no attention at all for grading. As I am planning to start my own pattern line, this book would really help me to save some time. Right now I am drawing every pattern in a different size and that takes a lot of time….

Magdalena
September 2nd, 2013
11:20 PM

I have never grade a regular garment but grades headwear at my job. I would love to be able to grade things at home too! I’m willing to pay international shipping if that’s necessary.

Trice
September 2nd, 2013
11:38 PM

I guess the best way to describe my grading problem is to say I don’t really know how to grade.

Mariannna
September 2nd, 2013
11:44 PM

Another gem! Thanks for the opportunity. I’m now off to study the links :-)

dorothy
September 2nd, 2013
11:46 PM

There is no proper avenue to learn grading here in Singapore (not many available classes for grading or dressmaking in general) – I tried to pick it up from an experienced seamstress but I think it was a very gut/instinctive method for her so it was rather difficult to pick it up in a methodical manner. It would really help to have a good foundation/theory for self study. (I have a US address)

arizona
September 2nd, 2013
11:49 PM

So, after reading this: http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/how-to-check-the-accuracy-of-graded-patterns-pt-2/ , I realize that my comment that grading seems straight forward and easy sounds offensive. I don’t mean that it’s so easy a dummy could do it. Certainly not! Especially since I’m admittedly very new at learning grading and when I say easy, I’m talking about grading a basic bodice. I can see that a pattern with many style lines would be complicated to grade. However, grading does indeed seem very logical and I’m comfortable with numbers and grids, so grading is something I think I could learn. I imagine it takes years to become proficient at it, though. Is it ever done by hand anymore? Most of what I’ve read refers to accumark and stylecad for grading….

Beth
September 3rd, 2013
12:06 AM

I have trouble with knowing when/whether the back neck drop should grade – I was initially taught it should always grade, but now I’m coming across different schools of thought on that. I’d like to read her take on this.

Lauriana
September 3rd, 2013
12:49 AM

A designer I worked with taught me her method of grading: going up 4 to 6 cm in width per size, sort of by eye and guesstimating variation in height and the depth of the armscye and neckline.
While this may work for a collection of ten pieces which can be fitted in different sizes, I can’t say I really believe in it. I’ve been trying a more mathematical approach but I always struggle with the armscye and sleeve head: how to grade these up or down, while keeping the original shape and range of movement.

Angela C
September 3rd, 2013
1:04 AM

I haven’t attempted to grade my own patterns. I pay a friend to do it! But I would l would love to do it myself.

adela
September 3rd, 2013
3:10 AM

Mi problema es que cuando pongo las mangas de las chaqueta siempre me quedan un poco caídas a pesar de ajustarlas a mi no consigo que me queden bien
nota; (si me llegase a tocar algún libro quiero que sepan que realmente no son para mi pues creo que aunque me ayudasen algo no los entendería ,realmente seria para una amiga mia inglesa que se a quedado viuda recientemente y su pasión es la costura, y pensé que si me tocase algún libro seria para ella )

Kristen
September 3rd, 2013
3:55 AM

I would like to understand how height is incorporated into grading and see if I can figure out a simple way to adapt patterns when I fall just outside the pattern’s stated height range (a little bit taller). Maybe it will fix my problems, maybe not.

Linda L
September 3rd, 2013
4:00 AM

Grading issues for me start at the shoulder and then moving toward bust. I always have to do a FBA on most patterns. As I have aged my shoulders seemed to have gotten narrower. So it would be nice to know how to grade for this fitting issue and to really understand the process.

Deborah
September 3rd, 2013
4:08 AM

Boooo!! My solution to grading is just to add on the seam allowance. I know it’s not right, but and perplexed as to the formulas to do grading properly. Help!

Carrie Cook
September 3rd, 2013
4:30 AM

For me, grading is a limited concept. I was always annoyed that plus size home sewing patterns are just upgraded small patterns. When I started sewing, nothing fit right, and I mean nothing. There’s only so far someone can grade something before it becomes useless. A size twenty does not usually have the same proportions as a size two. For one thing, my shoulders don’t become proportionally wider the larger I am (there is some increased width, but not as much as in the bust, and thats what the grade is trying to account for), but that is the assumption when one grades up a 2 to a 10.

Kathleen
September 3rd, 2013
4:50 AM

Grading seems like more than just making a pattern bigger or smaller. I would love to understand how the grading needs to be different for the variations that occur as a body gets heavier or thinner. (And for age differences.)

Demetra
September 3rd, 2013
5:19 AM

Usually, my grading is from smaller to larger since my designs are for size 16 – 24. Occasionally, I have a customer that is petite, this always causes me pause, I would love to learn how to either grade up or grade down correctly.

Kate
September 3rd, 2013
5:28 AM

I am very new to patternmaking, so I haven’t even tackled grading yet. I will need to learn it, as I am designing patterns to sell commercially. A need for grading knowledge came up recently when I found a vintage 1960s pattern of a beautiful dress at a yard sale, however it only had the size 12 cut out and every other size missing. I would love to make this pattern, alter it and make it a bit more of a modern shape and then grade it to sell. But I wouldn’t know where to start!

Linda Crawford
September 3rd, 2013
5:46 AM

grading has been offered at community colleges, but never had enough people to fill it – ususally one – me-! I am still trying to learn! It seems like a must have to forward my on going pattern drafting knowledge.

Judy
September 3rd, 2013
5:47 AM

For me getting everything to line up is difficult when grading a pattern. I have not done that much but hope to do more in the future.

Deborah
September 3rd, 2013
6:12 AM

Grading is something I am just beginning to wrap my head around.
I get the side, length, and CF/CB increases. It is the crossing lines at the neck and
armholes that still confuse me. I am still learning.

Pam
September 3rd, 2013
6:16 AM

I’m confused about the grading up and down from a mid-range size pattern. Can one not just start with the smallest pattern and continually grade up from there?

Marcia
September 3rd, 2013
6:17 AM

Took a very basic pattern making class in college a long time ago and didn’t get into grading that much.
Would love to have something for a reference to learn more about grading up and down for sizing. Thank you for the info on the book.

Anna Brown
September 3rd, 2013
7:02 AM

A piece with multiple style lines is terrifying to me!! I would love to have this book.

Barbara munic
September 3rd, 2013
7:05 AM

It is always hard to grade up or down from a ready made garment, yet customers do frequently want to have a new version of something they wore at a smaller size. Barbara

Laura
September 3rd, 2013
7:14 AM

Are there any discounts offered for buying the book directly like there have been prior to this book?

Chantelle
September 3rd, 2013
7:16 AM

I just have trouble getting my head around the entire concept, which bit goes in, which goes out, and why. I am left looking at commercial patterns and trying to figure out how it is done, and then fitting it on (I am usually trying to grade for my stair step sons) and tweaking. If I do not win I need to buy this book or something like it.

Ellen
September 3rd, 2013
7:22 AM

I’ve been grading for 33 years, the last 20 as a contract hand grader, it’s not often I see a grading book I’ve not seen before.

Just to add to the stack point debate (and I refer to it as lining up) I use CF/CB at the waist.
I’ve taught grading for 24 years, the essence of it is that you need to have a good grip on patternmaking (theory wise). The idea is to be able to analyze how the pattern was drafted it then look at your grade rules on a basic block and apply them in the same way.

Grading and patternmaking are best learned as an apprentice something many manufacturers are unwilling to participate in anymore.

Why use rulers? Get a grading machine Dario grade-o-meters are still manufactured.
You can only take North American ready to wear grading systems 2-3 sizes either side of the sample size before the pattern starts to distort.

Knowledge of grading will make alterations make more sense but they are 2 different things.
As far as I know the hinged rulers are no longer available. I believe the woman that sold them stopped at least 10 years ago (passed away?)

I’ve yet to find a grading book that talks about wether there is a length grade in the back neck. I do one I know another grader that does not. I have binders full of different grade rules, every customer wants something slightly different.

Phoebe
September 3rd, 2013
7:54 AM

I have the hardest time grading garments with multiple style lines. So hard to keep the proportions! Would love to learn about the proper rules to grading patterns!

Sam
September 3rd, 2013
8:27 AM

I would like to have a better understanding of how to grade armholes.

Ann
September 3rd, 2013
9:09 AM

What a wonderful response to this book give-away!
I like grading books. Grading to me is a solvable puzzle. My biggest challenge has been grading an asymmetrical draped neckline overlay. It still isn’t right.

Myrrhia Resneck
September 3rd, 2013
9:09 AM

Grading gives me analysis paralysis.
Every time I start, I think about all the women who love my clothes and have been sad about the styles not fitting their particular body type.
I wish I could make all people happy all the time. It gives me the blues.

Dia in MA
September 3rd, 2013
9:17 AM

It would be great to have a more modern book. Almost all my books were bought used from a seamstress and date from the late 60’s. I mostly do custom work for friends now because I’m so unsure of the current standards. I’d like to know more so I could do some quantity and sell.

Rose in SV
September 3rd, 2013
9:38 AM

By the way, thank you for all these opportunities! I’m having fun answering the questions. :)

I have a challenges grading patterns up to plus size, especially for garments constructed from woven fabrics. I have a large collection of European pattern magazines, and my size fluctuates between the top end of ‘regular’ sizes and the lower end of plus. Luckily the size ranges do overlap in most of the patterns. It’s easier to scale up a knit, because knits are more forgiving, but styles? Sigh.

Philip
September 3rd, 2013
10:09 AM

This book would help me a lot with my grading especially for the bigger sizes. i always run into grading trouble when grading the larger sizes

Stephanie Jiang
September 3rd, 2013
10:12 AM

I have the same problem as Natasha E.

I know the basic grade rules for basic blocks, but am completely stuck once the designs get more complicated. For example, if you had a long tunic top that had asymmetrical hems and is ruched on the shorter end along the side seams. I learnt the basic rule of grading wherever there is a notch, point or punch hole, but how much would it need to be graded in this case? Do I follow the grade rules of a bodice?

I guess my main problem is that I only have a very shallow understanding of how grading works, and can only go so far as to follow the “rules” that I’ve learnt. I cannot extrapolate my current knowledge to work on far more complicated designs.

Claudia
September 3rd, 2013
10:26 AM

I am fairly new to grading, and I find patterns with multiple small pieces, as well as sleeves, are difficult to grade.

terry
September 3rd, 2013
10:46 AM

Grading is a very easy idea that is very complex to actually do. To do it right takes knowledge – and i need more of it.

Claire
September 3rd, 2013
10:54 AM

Grading a pattern that has already been split into style lines always gives my brain extra work! I feel like I have to put it together in my head then take it apart!

Also, getting a pattern that the seam allowance isn’t marked and having to track down the information and delete the SA before I grade! Always makes me worry I’m getting the wrong information and deleting too much/ too little!

Raquel Sosa
September 3rd, 2013
11:05 AM

Grading for different fabrics within one design (like a stretch with a woven or fabrics with different properties) along with style lines.

Christine
September 3rd, 2013
12:04 PM

I also didn’t get much training in grading when I went to community college (6 week course?). It was I think one of those things they just did a little and figured you’d learn out in the industry by doing. Things weren’t as computer oriented back then. And I’ve spent so much time working in stretch fabrics, which we didn’t cover much AT ALL. I’ve had some really tricky projects (esp. in lycras and the such) where I know I could use more assistance to make work better and having a book like this for reference would be so helpful!

Timmie
September 3rd, 2013
12:32 PM

I have a problem with princess seams..a type of style line.

Colleen
September 3rd, 2013
1:13 PM

Years ago, I took the required Grading courses at FIT. They were taught in a follow-the-recipe fashion, “move the bodice out 1/8″, draw a line, drop the bodice 1/8″, then draw a line…. I was required to hand grade full-scale patterns from size 8 to 18 and down to 4 (in my 7′ X 11′ dorm room). I really believe that after 2 – 3 sizes, I finished the rest in my sleep. It was so BORING. I would have liked to learn a bit of grading theory (not just practice), why it works and how to problem solve if the standard grade doesn’t.
My guess is that the professors, at the time, came straight from the industry. Although they knew how to grade, they were less skilled at knowing how to teach grading.
If this book addresses theory, in addition to the how-to’s, I’d love to read it.

Jalene Murphy Swoveland
September 3rd, 2013
1:15 PM

I know NOTHING about grading!

Janelle
September 3rd, 2013
1:38 PM

I’m very new to grading, so I would love to have a resource to learn more about it! My community college unfortunately lost its grading class a few years ago, and my first real introduction to grading has been learning on the job.

Judith
September 3rd, 2013
2:16 PM

My biggest challenge I’ve had with grading is when I manipulated an already graded block, toggled the grading back on, and had one grade point INCHES in the wrong spot. Late night panic!

Azari-Jasmine Stevens
September 3rd, 2013
7:37 PM

Grading bra cups is killing me with the larger sizes I tend to get distortion and have to custom fit. I would like to be able to offer some RTW bras I can sell online but have to master grading first..

Mary
September 3rd, 2013
8:35 PM

Hi Kathleen. Nice selection of books! Why would I like to have this drafting book? Because I love the technical aspects of drafting and would love more information on grading. I agree with what Carrie brought up about the over-growing of the shoulder, neck, armskye as design moves into larger sizes; I would really like to learn the rules to try to figure out on the draft how to avoid the areas I seem to alter the most for clients.

Judy M
September 4th, 2013
8:02 AM

I am not sure what grade rules to use for a medium stretch knit top (not stretchy like a leotard) to achieve a small, medium, large and extra large grade. Right now I am considering a regular 2 inch grade.

Judging from the comments, I am begining to think that grading is not just science but a little artful as well.

Thanks for everything you do!

Irene
September 4th, 2013
8:21 AM

I enjoy very much sewing kids clothes, and my nephews and nieces live in a different country. Sometimes they are in between sizes really and I don’t know how to grade or alter those commercial patterns I may buy. thank you!

Oami
September 4th, 2013
8:59 AM

I almost always send my patterns out to be graded digitally, but I still like to KNOW something about every stage, even if I’m not doing it myself. Interesting to read your note about the zero point – I always wondered why my grader uses the CF/CB neckline.

Marcanne
September 4th, 2013
11:26 AM

I have purchased grading books in the past, but still would like to find something that is easy to follow…if that exists.

Joelle
September 4th, 2013
2:06 PM

Grading infant/toddler pants has challenged me. My grading skills/knowledge is rusty. Thank you for providing clear information on this and so many other topics!

RB
September 4th, 2013
2:19 PM

Grading men’s and children’s sizes has always been a problem for me. Been struggling for years!

Joanne Deschenes
September 4th, 2013
2:32 PM

A top with no boobs that is 2 sizes smaller than my bottom

Renee Ann
September 4th, 2013
2:33 PM

I’m a petite on top with a DD bra size, short waisted and big hips. Can you say grading nightmare,!

Sabine David
September 4th, 2013
2:40 PM

No matter how good the grading, the fit will never be as perfect as a made-to-measure drafted pattern. That’s why I prefer to work with a cad system that re-drafts the patterns for each standard size the same way as if it would be a made-to-measure pattern. The difference in fit is especially obvious when it comes to plus sizes.

Carrie philpott
September 4th, 2013
3:19 PM

Getting the waistline to fit with my thighs on pants stumps me everytime

Lelia Nelson
September 4th, 2013
3:30 PM

I am a beginner in grading so I want to learn the proper way so i dont have to relearn techniques. This book would be awesome to have in my posession. Thanks

Maria
September 4th, 2013
4:37 PM

Grading is something I struggle with. And I love making clothes for others. And working in-between sizes means lots of grading.

Monique Wiggins
September 4th, 2013
4:37 PM

It’s time-consuming changing patterns. And the lines confuse the issue a lot, but then you get used to it I guess.

Rebecca Ewing
September 4th, 2013
5:13 PM

The hardest part for me, still, is getting a sleeve to fit a “mature” upper arm AND the armhole

Kim
September 4th, 2013
5:18 PM

I got fitted for a sloper, and in the words of Rosebud. I’m a perfect square. I’d given up on clothesmaking and moved o to that other sewing that starts with a “q”. But I’m now excited to restart making clothes again.

Pam Gutierrez
September 4th, 2013
5:26 PM

I would LOVE to learn about grading. I AVIDLY collect patterns and fabrics and have been sewing since I was about 7 years old. In another life I might have been a designere.

Derenda
September 4th, 2013
5:46 PM

I am pretty much self taught in anything sewing related. Grading is something I need all the help with that I can get. I would love this book.

Pamela Woodruff
September 4th, 2013
5:49 PM

Grading from a multi-sized ladies pant pattern to way beyond the pattern limits, and making male appropriate changes so they wouldn’t all sing soprano, when I costumed a musical where the cast ranged from skinny preschoolers to a 50 or 60 something man. I learned a lot in the process, but still have a lot to learn. I would love to see Connie’s new grading book.

Carol
September 4th, 2013
5:57 PM

I have taken Connie’s class on grading and loved it! I need more time to study up on grading and in particular children’s garments. I now have some tools, now I need to read her new book and get practicing.

Cathy
September 4th, 2013
6:14 PM

Grading patterns that are asymmetrical always racks my brain

Darcie
September 4th, 2013
6:42 PM

I’ve independently studied grading, but not taken classes on it. A workbook would be very helpful! I’m not a standard size top to bottom, but I’d like to design to industry standards and learn how to create graded patterns.

Denise
September 4th, 2013
6:43 PM

As many of the sewers have stated, grading is not being taught in high schools anymore, and I guess that is one of my problems when I’ve tried to grade a pattern. I don’t have a solid background in order to perform the action successfully.

Shelly
September 4th, 2013
6:56 PM

I need to learn grading so that I can share some of the things I have designed for myself with others who have some of the same shape issues in other sizes.

Rosemary
September 4th, 2013
7:34 PM

I would so love to be able to grade patterns. My body is 5ft and nearly 5 ft square hence getting any pattern to fit poses a great difficulty. I beliee being able to grade patterns would be the answer to all of my prayers.

Suzanne
September 4th, 2013
7:43 PM

I suspect that the majority of the “why can’t I find……?” and “why doesn’t this….?” feedback I receive while at work (floor-staff at an outdoor clothing and gear retailer that has its own design team and carries outside brands) has more to due with the fit-models used than the actual grading. That said, any increased knowledge that I have regarding grading of men’s, women’s, infant, child and teen clothing and accessories would hopefully make me a more useful feedback conduit. All ages and shapes arrive at my store hoping to be outfitted for a multitude of sporting and leisure pursuits. Our selection is pretty incredible but I feel like I have been hearing the same 2-3 comments for over a decade. I feel terrible when I can’t find something to suit someone’s needs because folks have such high hopes for what my store offers. If I can suggest another retailer or, even better, a niche design entrepreneur the sting is lessened.
PS The common comments do not have much to do with the reasons why I can rarely fit items for myself where I work.
PPS Thanks for all the info over the years. Two tempting books have me unlurked.

Sue Lee
September 4th, 2013
7:44 PM

Would love to learn how to grade a pattern.

Mary Collen
September 4th, 2013
7:45 PM

I taught myself grading about 20 years ago but have become rusty. I need and want to refresh my knowledge.

jordan elizabeth
September 4th, 2013
8:18 PM

Grading is one thing I just can’t get my head around – it scares me! I would love to read this book to understand it.

Susie
September 4th, 2013
8:18 PM

Armholes – definitely a tricky a thing to grade. Getting the right curve without making it too, big or too small, is tough.

Georgiana Gray
September 4th, 2013
8:20 PM

I have several areas that I need to make adjustments for when sewing: long arms, legs, bust and waist. When I took my first sewing class in High School, grading wasn’t taught. Patterns today have markings for length and bust adjustments, but I still have to make adjustments.

Rev. Arub Tyson
September 4th, 2013
8:31 PM

I love to create my own clothing, however one of things that I need to tweak is my collar I am variations. Being a woman minister, there are a very limited style of patterns so I love to create my own. Since I do not charge a fee to speak, I get many requests and need to change my vestments regularly. My weight fluctuates so it is so much better for me to design my own and make them which is what I love to do. I tried may tricks with a ready made collar changing it to a clergy collar , but I want to design then my own sloper and be able grade the pattern properly. I am up for the challenge!

Phyllis Bergo
September 4th, 2013
8:41 PM

I had a brief lesson in grading in 1972 but there was no book to go by and I would like to have a reference book because I just can’t remember what was taught, nor do I know if it is even accurate.

Sylvia
September 4th, 2013
10:13 PM

I’m new to this as well and want to learn to do things properly. My body type doesn’t really conform to any specific type. I’m not an apple, or a pear, or a triangle; I have a bit of a slope to my shoulders and am developing a dowager’s hump. I need to learn to properly grade patterns and make adjustments. I know the book would be a big help.

Emily Clapp
September 4th, 2013
11:04 PM

Does it come with the ruler? ‘Cuz’ really, I just want the spiffy ruler. ;)
We learned basic grading in school, both by hand and with the contraption, and also learned how to do it with Gerber. Having a go-to book that is easy to understand would be useful, the one I have reads like an algebra text.

Anna
September 4th, 2013
11:16 PM

I want to have every single book by Connie and Kathleen in my library! That is how I’m planning to learn and improve my pattern making skills. Every two years, my husband’s job requires us to move to different countries so I try to learn various skills such as fabric manipulations, innovative cuts, embroidery, couture sewing techniques etc. from international designers and instructors but I stick to Helen Armstrong, Connie Crawford and you, Kathleen for the core knowledge about sewing, pattern-making and grading.

Marie
September 4th, 2013
11:38 PM

I would love this book. I’ve been playing around with pattern drafting in the hopes of developing a RTW line and had graded some of my own hand-drafted patterns and also recently interned with a designer for whom I updated and graded two patterns. I’ve developed an intuitive understanding of pattern grading over the years through experience adjusting commercial patterns to fit my frame and stature. I felt confidant in my pattern drafting abilities and the resulting grading worked wonderfully. That being said there is definitely room for improvement. I only learned about “grade rules” after all was said and done. For me it comes to needing to learn the terminology and understanding the basics of grading from a less intuitive manner in order to be able to communicate between different people in the fashion design industry.

Jana
September 5th, 2013
12:01 AM

grading is a required part of becoming a successful designer, however, it is a skill that I have been afraid to perfect because techniques vary and most authors explain grading in a very confusing manner, classes are almost impossible to find

Rhona Feeney
September 5th, 2013
12:51 AM

Grading one or two sizes up I can do but more than that I find difficult

Derenda
September 5th, 2013
6:47 AM

I would really love to have and would definitely use this book.

Diane Warren
September 5th, 2013
8:05 AM

I have always wanted to learn pattern grading and now that I am retired I probably will have the time and the clarity of mind to learn this.

Andrea
September 5th, 2013
9:09 AM

I am just starting to learn grading, so I struggle with everything! I have along way to go.

Catharine Anderson
September 5th, 2013
10:40 AM

My difficulty in grading is with plus size women whose bust exceeds the norm for a plus size woman.

Virginia Watts
September 5th, 2013
10:59 AM

///I am an obese over 60 and out of shape female, about 5’5″ in stature. i haven’t found a waist in years. I had to retire early due to health. money is more than tight and I won’t buy clothes that do not fit. If I could learn to properly do my own alterations, I would be one happy camper.

Nancy Shaffer
September 5th, 2013
11:26 AM

I am interested in grading patterns since my weight fluctuates so, and many patterns I have do not have a range of sizes on the pattern.

Ruth
September 5th, 2013
12:48 PM

Grading design lines is always the hardest. Looking at where it hits on body and deciding how to distribute the grade rules that fall in the area where the design line is.

Daina
September 5th, 2013
1:08 PM

Can’t think of just one specific problem with grading. Never fails I always have at least one issue when trying to size up or down my blocks. Very frustrating at times.

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