How to grade between sizes

Hello! Today we'll be going over a very simple pattern alteration: How to grade between sizes.

It is totally normal to span a few different columns on the measurement chart. Everyone's body is unique! As a classic pear shape, my bust, waist and hip will never be found in the same column! Of course, in knit garments, you do not have to worry quite so much, as your fabric will stretch to fit. It's still worth altering those princess seams though - Clementine is designed to follow the contours of the body, so let's play to its strengths and get a really great fit!

Something I want to point out about Clementine, is that while there is negative ease at the bust (i.e the fabric stretches to fit), there is a little bit of positive ease in the waist. So it is not skin-tight at the waist by any means.

As an example, as a pear shape, I personally graded my hips out by one size. This is a really easy alteration to do! 

In the following example, we’ll go over changing the waistline and hips.

It’s easiest to start with the seams that have the graded nest in these areas, such as the side seams. These provide a really good guideline for you to blend between sizes. Simply start from above the waist and smoothly blend outwards. You will see where I have added on as it is highlighted in purple.


Here, on the left (at the side seam), I have maintained the larger size all the way to the hip, but if you only wanted to add to the waist, you would simply blend back to nothing by the time you reached the hip (as I have done on the other side of the side front, see below).


Each grade line is 6mm (¼”) apart. Just remember each piece is going to either be cut twice, or on the fold, so for each piece that you add 6mm (¼”) to, you are adding 1.2 cm (½”) total circumference to your pattern.

Now we just need to repeat this on the other seams. The seams I would guide you away from blending outwards too much are the Front and Back seams. These seams create a lovely line on the body due to their shaping. If we add a lot to the waist here it will cause a bulgy looking seamline, which isn’t going to look flattering. So, if you need to add extra, add more to the side bust and the side seams.

Here's the back - this is pretty much just the same formula as the front! As you can see, on the Front and Back, I have maintained the dramatic swoop of the princess seam by adding through both waist AND hip. This way we get to keep that lovely flattering line on the body.

You can add more than what I’ve shown to the seams if you like. And remember, you can always take them in after you sew it up, so if in doubt, add a little extra and you can’t go wrong. Have fun blending those seams to get the perfect fit!

And that's it! If you have any questions or comments, do chime in. Happy sewing, everyone!

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