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Topic: Pattern Drafting HELP! Oh the nightmare of marking and grading..  (Read 1241 times)
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Sew Vicious
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« on: March 28, 2010 08:03:27 PM »

So this seemed like the best place to put this as I turn to my fellow crafty gals and guys for some help.

I can make a pattern, but it is nowhere near professional. I can adapt a pattern, but I can't grade patterns. I am lost.

I contemplated going to a professional company so I could produce some of my designs, but was awoken by the crazy numbers I was being quoted. I realize fashion isn't cheap, but there has got to be something that I can do/or hire someone to do.

Does anyone have any tips about making patterns, grading and marking that I can do on my own. I need patterns where If I hire a seamstress she won't have any questions. My patterns make sense to me and probably only me.
I would hire someone if it was affordable, but my inner diy vixen wants to do this on my own.

Thank you all for your help in advance. I am so frustrated right now, I can't even type. grrr.

« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2010 01:03:06 AM »

I don't know what your definition of "affordable" is, but you can check out Wild Ginger software. Their professional pattern drafting software, Cameo, has a grading module that you can buy to add to their base pattern drafting CAD system.

I have never actually used the grading module but the pattern drafting software is what we used in my computer pattern making course. There is a learning curve, but once you get it drafting by hand just seems soooo slow. I have the base software and 4 other modules for womenswear and menswear. I really enjoyed using it in class and on my own once I learned the quirks of the program.

Have you thought about getting some books on grading patterns?

Let me know if you have questions on the software, if you have specific questions on the grading module you will need to search the WG forums. Hope this information helps.


« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2010 05:12:01 PM »

Are you making patterns for adults - ladies'/mens' or kids?

Get hold of a standard measurement table to start with.  There are links to childrens' size tables in the 'sewing for kids' board.  I'm not sure where to find them online for adults.  To grade, draw out a sample size, e.g. ladies' 12, and grade down to 10 & 8 on the same pattern.  3 sizes per pattern is usually enough, I find it gets confusing and too many mistakes show up if I crowd the pattern.  Use different line styles (solid, dashes, dots) for the different sizes, or a different colour.     

In grading there is always one line that doesn't change - centre front (placed on fold), for example.  All the other lines will change to make a different size, but that one line stays the same, kind of a fixed point to work off.

The difference between sizes is distributed evenly around the pattern.  For example, you're making a dress pattern and there is a difference of 6 cm in the waist measurement between 2 sizes.  To grade that evenly, you'll take 3 cm from the dress front pattern piece and 3 cm from the back - by taking 1.5 cm off each side seam.  (Does that make sense?)  Little incremental changes at each seam make a big difference to the finished garment.

I really enjoy drafting on paper and I've been learning from a great textbook that covers the whole process start to finish.  It has all the size charts too!  There are other books in the series that cover pattern making for ladies' and mens' wear.  Have a look for the author - Winifred Aldrich.   

Blog of fairy tale pretties:  http://summerfaire.com/
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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2010 07:55:30 AM »

I second the recommendation of the Winfred Aldrich book - Metric Pattern Cutting for Womenswear (she has children's wear and men's wear ones too).

It teaches pattern making from the very beginning, including grading, size and fit, and later editions also have a section on CAD.

I do realise I now sound like an advertiser, but it's the book I use at university and it really is great  Smiley


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