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Grading Vintage Patterns

Kim_Grant | Posted in Patterns on

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Hi, I’m an intermediate seamstress and about launch myself into learning a new set of skills. I want to find instruction on how to make different sizes from my vintage patterns (20’s, 30’s, 40’s). Obviously I can’t run out to the fabric store and pick up copes in larger sizes.

I am reading articles on slopers and understand the basic concepts. But I haven’t yet found any information that is specific to what I want to do–most focus is on altering a pattern based on a sloper, but not about actually grading up or down one to two sizes.

Conceptually, I’m thinking there should be a rough formula for adding inches to a bodice and it’s coressponding pieces (collars, waistbands, etc), but what I really want is a how-to series of steps with which I can start practicing.

For example, I made a sheath dress (with back center seam) and added 1/2 inch to the back, which added an inch in total. Then I added 1 inch to the collar so that the front, back, and collar peiecs would fit together without neededing to ease the back neckline into the collar. But how does this apply to changing the entire size of a garment?

Any leads, directions, or advice appreciated!

thanks,
-Kim

Replies

  1. Chris_Haynes | | #1

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    There was a Threads Magazine article that addressed that very idea... I think it is in this back issue: http://www.taunton.com/th/admin/toc/29.htm

    But it has been reprinted in the _Fitting Your Figure_ book. I just glanced at the article, but it shows a pattern being sliced in several pieces, and then placed spread apart or overlapping to a new size. It is here: http://www.taunton.com/books/th/fitfig/index.htm

    Good luck... I will be trying it soon. I found a Issey Miyake pattern in a fabric store that was going out of business, I will be grading it up to my size.

    1. Tessa_Elston | | #2

      *Hi Chris,You may want to also read my post about grading that I posted for Kim at "Grading: How do I re-size vintage patterns?" 1/3/01 4:02pm for detailed instructions.I remember reading that Threads article at my library and it is basically the same principle presented in a more graphic way. It is very good for understanding where the extra fullness gets added in. We had a similar sketch at college when I was studying.It is also very useful to study multi-size patterns to learn about grading. Just remember they often "stack" them at different points so the lines are more visible so the grading may look different. Burda fans remember that the smaller sizes only grade 4cm and larger sizes 6cm(?? inches) per size unlike the US companies who grade an even 5cm (2") per size through all sizes.Tessa

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