Grading Beween Sizes

Top or Dress with Single Princess Seams

In this section, we’ll look at how to grade between sizes on a top or dress with single princess seams. This section applies to the Lenox Shirtdress, the Cedar Workout Tank, and the back of view B of the Springfield Top.

Always retake your measurements before starting each project. Make sure you’re wearing the type of bra you’ll be most likely to wear with the garment and take your waist and hip measurements while both standing up and sitting down to make sure you have sufficient wearing ease in your garment. 

Let’s take a close up look at the Lenox Shirtdress. There is some positive ease in both the bust and the waist but not a whole lot so those are the most important measurements. The hips have significant positive ease, so as long as you’re within the range of the size chart, you won’t need to grade the hips. Let’s say you have measurements of 45″at the full bust, 38″at the waist (when sitting down…measure your waist when sitting down for this pattern so your buttons don’t end up straining when you move around!) and 52″at the hip.

If you look at the body measurement chart, you’ll see your bust would fall in the 16 E/F, your waist would fall in the 18, and your hips would fall in the 22. Now let’s compare this with the finished garment measurements. Because the Lenox only has slight positive ease at the waist, we’ll want to grade the bodice from a 16 at the bust to an 18 at the waist. Then the waistband and skirt would both be cut at a straight size 18 because we still have plenty of positive ease in the hips. The remainder of the bodice pieces can be cut at a straight size 16. For the button placket, cut the size 16 but with the length of the 18.

Because there are multiple pieces with the princess seam on front and back, you’ll need to be sure to grade each piece from the 16 at the bust to the 18 at the waist. PAY CAREFUL ATTENTION TO THE SIZE LINES! This can be a bit tricky here. The way the pieces are stacked means on one side, the 12 is the innermost line while on the other side of the piece it’s the outermost line. Here’s what each of the pieces on the front would look like graded.

You’ll also need to grade the lower back pieces following the same logic as the front pieces. The yoke will be cut in a straight 16. Here’s what they would look like graded in this example.

Other things to consider:

  • For the Lenox Shirtdress, if you want to make extra sure that the princess seams line up with the pleats on view A, measure the distance from the center edge of the front center piece to the princess seam and make sure that distance is the same as the distance from the center front of the skirt to the first pleat. Adjust where the pleat falls, if necessary.
  • For the back of view B of the Springfield Top, you’ll make these changes in addition to grading the front piece as in this post.