For Valentine's Day I decided to make the Manhattan Melodrama dress from the Wearing History reproduction pattern line:
The pattern is a reproduction 1934 gown pattern (pictures coming soon!). The pattern was only in a B30 size. But I love the design so much so I decided to just jump right in and learn how to grade patterns up! I needed to adjust all the major pattern pieces by about 5-6 inches.
In the pattern instructions they had the place on the pattern to make it smaller...so I just followed their placements and instead made it larger by cutting the pattern and spreading it the approximate amount of inches I needed. Here is a picture of the bodice front:
I must say that this was a very good pattern to try and grade up. The bodice is gathered and that is a bit forgiving in terms of different sizes. The bodice back is very small and the cape (i.e. sleeve bit) is also easy to gauge as it is mostly around the top of the body but is very loose. The fitted skirt wasn't bad either because I just cut it a bit large and pinned it to me and then took out the extra width in the side seams.
Though I must say I just sort of tackled each pattern piece separately and tried to think through where I would add the extra width and length without messing up the design features.
I did go and make things a bit more complicated because I wanted to make this dress into separates so that it could fit within the Sewing Through the Decades Challenge. I loved the bodice so much I want to wear it with pants and other skirts that aren't so formal. I love this style so much!
Have you ever graded patterns? Did you follow a set of rules or just wing it?