January 21, 2008

Grading Pants Notes pt. 3

The following is my final entry on grading infant-toddler pants. Having a copy of the Jack Handford grading manual will be helpful in understanding what these notes mean, especially for this last entry. Hopefully you have at least read the introduction and the instructions for grading a bodice. If you don't have a copy of the book, save these notes anyway - they may come in handy. Part 1 contains an explanation of direction arrows, Part 2 explains notation.

My infant-toddler pants are between knee and mid-calf length. I designed them to peek out just below the skirts of my dresses without distracting from the overall look of the dress. If you look carefully at the front page of my store, you can see my Carolyn dress with the trim of the pants barely visible below the skirt hem. So what should be the length grade of my pants?

At the top of the page for the pant grade (i.e., pg 218), Handford states that the grade for various lengths can be determined by studying the grading chart and diagram. The grading chart contains instructions for grading ankle length pants. I don't know why, but it wasn't obvious to me what grade steps to alter. I ended up doing the ankle length grade and decided it was grading to much. Did I mention that I ended up grading my toddler pants three times? Anyway, if you want to grade shorts, or any other length, these are the steps to alter:

Move #5 and #9 (up) is the knee length grade.

Move #6 and #8 is the ankle length grade.

If you want knee length shorts, skip moves #6 & #8. If you want mid-calf length, you could try splitting the difference between the knee length and ankle length grade. Any other lengths will be some variation on the above mentioned moves. If the length is closer to the ankle, follow the ankle grade and vice versa for shorter styles. In other words, these moves are flexible and depend on the style you are grading. It also depends on the personal preference of the individual grader. I graded my pants using the knee-length grade.

One reason I had a little bit of difficulty with determining the length grade has to do with my computerized grading experience. Moves 5 & 6, for example, can be combined in one grading point. The grading of children's patterns can be simplified because the shapes and growth is simpler in some ways. Since you can select an individual grading point and put in relative changes, the moves are interpreted a little bit differently. I am a self-taught grader and it takes me a bit more effort to determine my approach.

Any other question on grading pants? I hope these notes are helpful.


  1. i am so dreading grading. i have a few patterns i have been developing that i need to grade in a more exact way than i have been doing. i think you have convinced me to invest in this book. -sigh- i think i would rather learn CAD :)

  2. Grading is really not that bad. I look at it as putting a jigsaw puzzle together. I DO prefer CAD though as it makes grading a breeze. Hand grading requires paying attention to a lot of details that the CAD software takes care of automatically.