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The Müller & Sohn grading system is recognized worldwide and is considered the optimal basis for grading manually. Increasing and decreasing patterns in size is not an easy task even within a computer program. It requires the ability to reason as well as technical knowledge. Thorough control of the system is absolutely necessary when grading design patterns. These articles are a great resource for experts. Grading is a special subject.
To support beginners, this series also gives examples of grading basic block patterns. As for each new learning material, it is important to clear the first hurdle. Therefore, the structure of the grade rule tables is particularly emphasized. Only those who know how to calculate grading increments will later understand the various tables companies are working with. You can find this grading instruction and many other variations in our book Grading.
The basic styles shown in their original size 38 have already been thoroughly tested and optimized. The pattern pieces contain no seam and hem allowances, but grade points and notches and are labelled. Waist and hip girth measurements of suitable customers or target groups must be determined before the patterns can be graded. The respective measurements are taken from existing size tables or developed from individual measurement charts.
The grading increments are then determined from the difference in measurements between two sizes. Since the incremental growth of waist and hip measurements is often unequal, the grading can not be evenly at the waist and hip. The measure differences make it difficult to grade skirts, but that does not change the calculation formula for waist and hip. The examples based on the following grade rules show how to calculate the differences of waist and hip measurements.
Grading a Straight Skirt Pattern with Darts and Waistband from Size 38 to Size 36 and 34
Each size is drawn since there are two different waist and hip girth increments when grading down the skirt pattern.
The grade rules are shown in the illustration. The hip grade for the respective size is ¼ hip girth increment whereas the grade rule for the waist grade is ¼ waist girth increment. Move the front and back darts parallel around half of the hip girth increment.
Draw the new waistline and the side seam with the pattern template. Mark the length grade with 5 mm parallel to the hemline.
3a–4a Waistband grade is 1⁄2 waist girth increment for each size. Add the overlap without grading.
Grading Increment Calculations
Based on size chart Gr. 38 – Gr. 34:
- Waist girth: Size 38 to 36 = 40 mm
- Waist girth: Size 36 to 34 = 30 mm
- Hip girth: Size 38 to 36 = 30 mm
- Hip girth: Size 36 to 34 = 40 mm
- Skirt length: 5 mm + 5 mm = 10 mm
Grading a Straight Skirt Pattern with Darts and Waistband from Size 46 to Size 54
It is advisable to test and optimize the fit of the skirt thoroughly in size 46 before grading to size 54.
1–2 Hip girth: 1⁄4 hip girth increment = 50 mm.
3–4 Waist girth: 1⁄4 waist girth increment = (65)60 mm.
The hip curve in size 54 can be very flat or almost straight due to a larger waist measurement. To adjust the hip curve shape, reduce the waist increment around 5 mm at the side seam and sew the front and back darts with 5 mm less intake.
Thus, a slightly stronger hip curve is achieved while the waist measurement remains the same. The grade point movement is horizontally at right angles to the centre front and back.
Draw the new waistline after the dart is moved.
Draw the new side seam.
5–6 Dart grade: 1⁄2 hip girth increment = 25 mm.
Move the front and back dart parallel.
7–8 Length grade: 20 mm
The length grade is parallel to the hemline.
3a–4a Waistband grade is 1⁄2 waist girth increment = 130 mm.
Grading Increment Calculations
Based on size chart Gr. 46 – Gr. 54:
- Waist girth: 65 mm + 65 mm + 65 mm + 65 mm =260 mm
- Hip girth: 50 mm + 50 mm + 50 mm + 50 mm = 200 mm
- Skirt length: 5 mm + 5 mm + 5 mm + 5 mm = 20 mm