Making the Grade Matter
‘the absolute novice’ 
Sewing Terms
By Pamela Queen for

When discussing  Grade and Grading, it all comes down to Size Matters.  Yeppers!  You have picked out that cute little skirt pattern you have had your eyes on.  Getting all excited to start creating.  Looked at the back of the pattern envelope, thinking easy peasy… until you get it home and realize that upon studying the size chart on the back, that you will need to Grade the Pattern to your size.  Yikes! What the heck does that mean???
You want the best fit, so you need to grade it. No, it is not like the grades you got in school.  No this is quite different.  But no sweat.  Really!

Grading is the term used when cutting out a pattern to make it larger or smaller. As you well know, not all people are a cookie cutter size. So obviously we will need to make adjustments.  I don’t know about you, but I am always hoping for a wee smaller grade. 🙂  It is just part of the sewing realm, that you will need to enlarge or reduce a pattern according to the person who will be wearing it.

Grade: To reduce the bulk of enclosed seams by trimming the individual seam allowances different widths, clipping inward curves and corners, notching convex curves, and trimming away excess fabric at outward corners

Grading: The process of converting a pattern from one size to another.

Happy Sewing!
‘the absolute novice’
Pamela Queen

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