Pattern grading – all you need to know

This post is about how to make a sewing pattern bigger or smaller, which is also known as pattern grading.

We are going to go through different methods of pattern grading, how to do it and which one to chose. We are also going to touch on how to grade more complex multi-size patterns and review some further resources on pattern grading. 

How to make a sewing pattern bigger or smaller

Grading sewing patterns is the act of making a pattern bigger or smaller so that it fits your body measurements.

Pattern grading is a very interesting process because it’s not just a matter of gradually increasing or decreasing between sizes. It takes into consideration the nature of human body proportions and how they grow in different sizes.

How much you are supposed to grade a pattern depends on your body measurements, but also on the human growth proportions. This means that your body grows differently in different areas and in a different age.

For example, a child’s body grows mainly in height and less in width. While a woman’s body grows in width much more than in height. Also, the bust and waist grow more significantly than the neck and the shoulder.

That’s why patterns are usually graded in groups like baby, children, misses, women and also regular, petite and tall.

If we want to grade our pattern to fit, we don’t just need to scale it, we need to take