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Making a Multi-size Pattern Bigger or Smaller

By Di, Feb 2 2016 10:47AM

At the weekend I decided to take a break from hand tailoring ..... I needed the enjoyment of a quick make. Something I could complete in one sewing session.

Before Xmas I had picked up a piece of micro fleece at a bargain price from the sale at to make my husband a top. He was wearing the top I wanted to copy so I decided to raid my stash of patterns. I found just what I needed.

I have no idea the last time I made this, but I had cut the pattern so it was now 3 sizes too small!!! Time to grade the pattern using the smaller sizes as my guide. This is easier than you might think

All my flat working surfaces were taken up with my tailored coat, so I put my folding cutting board on the bed with a piece of hardboard on top to give me a firm surface.

Tools of the trade:

> ruler

> pencil

> french curve or flexible ruler if you have one

> paper large enough for each pattern piece

This photo shows the steps that need to be taken at each corner of the pattern piece. The pattern needs to be really flat. I used weights to hold mine in place. You can use pins, but not too many.

1. Place the ruler so that it accurately joins the corner of each of the sizes and draw a line continuing onto your paper.

2. On the pattern the distance between each size is usually the same. Measure carefully the space between the corners of 2 of the printed lines, exactly at the corner. This measurement is really important, you might want to write it on your paper near this corner.

3. At the corner measure from the pattern along the line you have drawn. Draw a short line exactly the distance you have written down. Repeat this for each size. I needed to make my pattern 3 sizes bigger.

The following photos show this process at different sections of the pattern. Corners, balance marks etc.

The corner of the pattern has lift slightly in this photo, but it was flat when I drew the line joining the corners

For some reason the sleeve only needed tobe made 2 sizes bigger.

The marks you have drawn need to be joined together. Use ruler for staright lines. The curved lines need to be the same shape as the original pattern, so measuring the space between the sizes at regular intervals will help, then join the dots into a smooth curve. Using a french curve or flexible ruler will make this easier.

If you need to make the pattern smaller follow the same instructions, drawing the line onto the original pattern rather than onto new paper.

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