This post brings the "how to learn to grade sewing patterns" post series to an end. In part 1 and part 2, I talked about why one may need to grade, what grading is and is not, and methods of pattern grading. You should look at those posts before continuing with this. Those posts contain videos and links to resources that can help get started. This post will even contain more links to resources I have personally found very helpful.

First up is a Threads magazine online article from way back (2008). This article is golden. It gives a simple example of how patterns “grow” at different locations within a pattern. It explained grading using a cut and spread diagram, but the info is also useful to both the “slide” and X &Y methods. This growth in different locations as shown on the chart in another article linked to) are known as “grade rules”. The chart shows a simple formula for arriving at the grade rules. This formula is not set in stone, but it is an excellent starting point.
Also, click here to read another Threads Magazine article that explains pattern grading.
Image from Threads Magazine

It is from this article I created my own grading system as shown in the very first image in this post. 

M.Rhor free to download pattern-making textbook which I had mentioned in part 2 of this series.

 Natalie Bray fitting book is another pattern-making book with some info on grading. I had referenced this book in part 2 as well. Both books use the pattern sliding method while also using the cut and spread diagrams to illustrate. The book explains grading using the slide method in metric. I do not own a copy of the book, but a friend was gracious to share some pages from the grading section with me.  Interestingly, while Natalie Bray explained grading with the sliding method in the fitting book, in the second book, when grading children’s blocks, she uses the X and Y method.

Concepts of Pattern Grading is another book. I own this book and you can find it here. I may write a review sometimes but I think it is a good book.

Computer-aided Pattern Design & Product Development explains the X and Y method very well. Not minding the title, the book is also very useful for manual grading.

Another pattern grading book that I have read lots of positive reviews about is Professional Pattern Grading for Women. This book was out of print a few years back and used copies were selling for ridiculous amounts (900 USD and over) on eBay. The book is now back in print and available at a reasonable price. I would like to get a copy sometimes.  From what I gathered, it uses the sliding method.

With the books and resources shared in this series, you should be on your to make a better sense of pattern grading.


  1. Computer-aided Pattern Design & Product Development this book title is so misleading but you mention that it's good for manual grading too. Please elaborate. I have bookmakes your posts on grading they are a golf mine for beginners. Thank you so much for writing such detailed information. You are being so helpful :)

    1. Hello Diya, the book has a section dedicated to pattern grading using the X and Y method. This method is useful for both digital and manual grading. It also goes beyond the basic blocks by showing examples of modified patterns such as how to grade cowl neck styles


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