Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Pattern Grading Resources

Depew #3168 being graded into multiple sizes.

As an admin of the Vintage Sewing Pattern Nerds on Facebook, I see a lot of posts asking about how to grade sewing patterns. So I have decided to put together a small blog post about my favorite sewing pattern grading resources.

First things first though:
If you wish to grade a vintage sewing pattern, PLEASE trace a copy and work with the tracing to grade. This will help protect the original pattern you are using, and provide a back-up should you make any mistakes in grading your copy.
I highly recommend buying a roll of tracing paper online (36 inches wide is awesome for patterns) to make this process easier.


There are some great free resources out there that cover pattern grading for beginners.

The best I've found so far is this article by Threads Magazine that artfully explains the basics.

Another great blog post is available on Melly Sews.

If you find that you grade patterns often enough, then a book on pattern grading might be just the thing.
Sadly most pattern grading books are prohibitively expensive. That is why I went to work and created a reproduction of my favorite vintage pattern grading book. I grade patterns at least once a week and this is still the book I reference most often in my work.
The E-book (also available in print) is 27 pages that are packed tightly with the information you’ll need to grade your pattern up or down to your desired measurements. It focuses primarily on adult women's patterns, but the information can be employed with any type of pattern for menswear and children's clothing as well.


There are some great pattern grading books in print.
Here is a direct link to pattern grading books on Amazon. All of them are rather pricey, but many of them are worth the expense if you really want to learn grading as a skill.

If you can find an affordable used copy of any of the following they are great, if albeit less user-friendly than a beginner might like. Regularly hunting on eBay can really turn up some affordable pattern grading books if you're lucky and persistent.


Pattern Grading Simplified by Jack Kirschner

Professional Pattern Grading For Women's, Men's, and Children's Apparel By Jack Handford

Essentials of Pattern Grading : The Projection of Cartesian Coordinates... by Moira Doyle and Jason Rodgers

(A much scarier title than it sounds. If you like math though, this is a great book on grading.)

How about you? Do you have any favorite pattern grading resources, books, blog posts that have helped you?

Happy sewing!