July 08, 2012

Designing and grading for a large size range

I get the following question from time to time:

I am a self taught pattern drafter, drafting patterns for myself and my 
kids for years.  I decided to turn this into a business recently and am 
creating a line of children's patterns for the home sewer.  My size range 
is 6m-10 and this is where my question is... Can you help me understand the process of redrafting the SAME style/pattern in my different base sizes?  I  get that I can't just take a size 5 and grade all the other sizes from 
there.  I own several popular pattern drafting books as well as 2 different 
grading books and I can't seem to find this information anywhere.  Any 
information you can provide me would be SO HELPFUL.  I am guessing there is some precise way to redraft my base sizes so the design doesn't change much.  Can you shed some light on how they do this in the business?  THANK YOU!
There are several things. First, it is not unusual when designing children's clothing to cover a large size range. The reality is it is much more work than you would think. I would recommend reviewing my previous blog entries on grading, especially Creating a Grading Standard (also read the other grading tutorials, they'll be helpful).

Unfortunately, there is no other precise way to redraft your sample or base sizes except good old-fashioned pattern drafting. If you have some basic pattern blocks for each size range, then it is no big deal. Just starting out, though, it is a lot of work. It will take less time and become easier over time, so no worries. One thing to pay attention to are proportions. You may need to alter the design to accommodate the size while still giving the impression of the same overall design idea.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for this posting, and your blog in general! I have a question about how exactly one comes up with exact grade rules? The ones provided in Handfords book don't work for my current set of measurements. Am I doing something wrong? Or is it best to come up with my own basic grade rules. And how does one do this?! I'm lost. Thanks for your help!