Ashley Hough

Tips and Tricks for Pattern Grading

Ashley Hough
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Duration:   5  mins

Pattern grading can be an easy way to change the size of a pattern piece. Ashley Hough shows you how to grade a commercial pattern piece in order to increase the size.


Pattern grading in general does not require any fancy tools. You simply need paper that is larger than the current pattern piece so you can draw new cutting lines around it. Ashley demonstrates using basic copy paper, but you can use tissue paper or other pattern paper as well. The paper you choose may depend on the size of pattern pieces you are working with. You will also need a ruler for pattern grading. Depending on the type and complexity of pattern you are working with you may want a curved ruler; however, Ashley shows how to do pattern grading with only a regular ruler.

Pattern Grading

Ashley demonstrates how to begin changing the size of a pattern piece by first laying the pattern piece flat on another piece of paper. She then shows how to measure the distance between the two size lines below the size you want to have. For example, if you want to have a size five, you would measure the distance between lines four and three. Ashley then demonstrates how to measure out and mark a new cutting line. Along straight lines, the ruler can be used to draw the line. On curved sections, Ashley shows how to sketch the lines in.

She then demonstrates how to transfer pattern markings, like notches, to the new pattern piece being drawn. Whether you have drafted your own pattern and need to increase the size, or you need to alter the size of a commercial pattern because they don’t have the size you want—you can do it with this simple pattern grading technique. For a selection of great sewing projects, check out our customized patterns!

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3 Responses to “Tips and Tricks for Pattern Grading”

  1. Kathleen Howard

    Would poster board be good to up grade a pattern on? less likely to get ripped?


    Great video. Well Done!

  3. Jann Elaine Eleodinmuo

    This is super helpful!! My daughter is tall and thin so I will use these tips to make her dress bodices fit her when I order up a few sizes to get a good length. Thank you!!

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