Dressmaking: Basic Pattern Grading - Size it up or down

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Do you have your eye on the perfect sewing pattern but the sizing just doesn't quite fit? Many pattern companies cater to a UK size 8-20 but if you are larger or smaller than this, you will be used to having trouble getting patterns to fit.

On this workshop, learn how to grade standard sewing patterns using a simple formula to size your pattern up or down. 

We will begin by taking a range of measurements and comparing these to the pattern size chart to determine your grading rules. 

We will create a simple formula to grade at each seam using the grading already used in the pattern. Grading can be complex and involves maths so we recommend you choose a simple pattern to start with and you may wish to bring a calculator and a notebook! 

If your bust size is outside of the standard B/C cup range you may also need to perform a full bust adjustment (FBA) or small bust adjustment (SBA). We will not cover this in this class but you can attend our Fitting the Bust workshop to learn these techniques. 

This grading method works most successfully on patterns that are no more than 2-3 sizes bigger or smaller than your size, please bring a suitable pattern or a few patterns if you are not sure.

You will then make a simple toile in calico from your pattern and try this on to check the fit. 

Once you have adjusted your pattern you can take it home to make a wardrobe full of bespoke tops THAT FIT YOU!

You will also take home a Cheat Sheet as a reminder of what you have learned.

This class is not suitable for beginners. You will need to have completed some simple sewing and dressmaking projects prior to attending this workshop.

During the workshop you will learn how to:

  • Measure yourself accurately
  • Compare your measurements to the pattern measurements to determine your grading rules
  • Trace and grade the pattern 
  • Make up a toile to check the fit of your adjustments

What is included:

  • Use of all specialist equipment
  • Paper for tracing patterns and pattern adjustments
  • Calico for toiling
  • Tea and biscuits

What you need to bring:

  • A pattern you wish to adjust
  • A notebook
  • A calculator may be useful

Suitable for: Level 5 (Advanced Techniques)

Workshop levels explained

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