Friday, June 1, 2012

Grading Down Butterick 5001

I've been wanting to sew this dress for years. Today, when I finally got around to it, I discovered that I had shrunk out of it. The smallest size in the envelope is 18W, and I need a 16 at most on top. And by the way, since the smallest size for this pattern in any envelope is 18W, there's no freakin' way that either of the drawings below are representative of that size. Just sayin'. But it is nice to see an actual plus sized model rockin' the dress in the photo.

So I mentioned that I had to go smaller on the Vogue 1224 dress I just made but that's all I did — mention it. Today, I thought to snap some pics to show how. I know for some of you this will be old news, but for those who have never graded a pattern up or down, pictures help.

Here you can see the uncut pattern piece with the different cutting lines. I just used the offset between the existing cutting lines to create lines where the 16 would fall.

As you can see, the spacing between sizes differs depending on the particular section of the pattern. Just be sure to duplicate the existing spacing/offset all around.

It's pretty easy. I freehand it around the curves and use a ruler for the straight lines because it's faster.

So far, so good. Sorry for the shadow. I didn't notice Zillie was half in the closet. I'm still testing spots for her while I sew.

Back tomorrow with a finished dress. I would've finished tonight, but it seems my puttering around wasted more time than I realized and it's time for bed already.


  1. Thanks for the tip! I keep waiting for sales and buying both sizes. It is tough being on the outer edges of two sizes.
    Your dress is going to look great.

  2. It never occurred to me to just redraw the pattern smaller! It looks so easy...

  3. That's exactly the way that I increase or decrease my patterns. Wasn't exactly sure if I was doing it correctly, but it has worked pretty well so far. The curves do get a little tricky.

  4. Thanks for show how to change the pattern to a new size. I'm in a 16, and 14s aren't far behind. Lots of my patterns will be too big soon.

  5. You have a great eye for fabrics.. the placement of the design elements at the shoulder and in the cross-over are perfect. And again, the colors will be good on you.

  6. I'm with Bunny! Love that fabric! I guess it's an optical illusion, but Zillie looks like she hasn't lost as much weight as you have. Perhaps you could give her some pointers. ;-)

    That's going to be a very sharp dress.

  7. It never occurred to me to do this , I thought grading would be so complicated. So basically measure the difference in the sizes and re-draw ? I guess if you want to go down two sizes you have to do it twice ?

  8. This looks fantastic on you! Love the print and the style. Congratulations to your son, and I'm glad he's not going to The Bad Place. cheap prom dresses


Thank you for each and every comment. I appreciate them all, but I have to be honest and let you know that I'm usually bad about answering questions. I hope you understand that there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.

To help keep spam comments under control, any comments to blog posts that are more than 30 days old are moderated and will not show up immediately.