Dress Design Sketches

make the chest 2 inches larger:

Setting grading rule for chest circumference

The/A grade rule library is basically a collection of grade rules. It is used to grade the whole pattern according to the desired size specifications. Grade libraries vary according to design features, fabric properties and the type of grade. For example, the grade library for a knit pair of pants will be different from the grade library of woven pants in the same style.

Grade rule library for a men’s jacket

What are grade specs

Grading specifications or grading specs are the measurements that indicate how much you want each size to change, by becoming larger or shrinking. They are essentially providing the factory with the same information as your grading rules.

However, this is delivered in a different format and with more information included. Take a look at the following example:

Grading specs for men’s jacket

Some designers agree that the grade specs are more complicated and therefore allow more room for mistakes when manufacturing a garment. When using a graded spec, designers will have to update it every time any of the sample’s measurements are changed, which happens a lot during the sample making process.

As technology advances, most grading is done by computer. So, nowadays graded specs aren’t always needed for mass production, unless you are working with a small factory. In big volume production, patterns are going digital and all you need to do is to enter the grade rules and let the computer work out all the needed sizes for your pattern.

How to create grade rules and grade specs

When designing clothing for mass production a bespoke grading rule system is used. The main factors that are taken into consideration are age range, style preferences and garment usage. In addition,  the desired position of the brand in the current market is also taken into account, as are the demographics of the brand’s customers.

Using the bespoke grading rule system maximizes exposure across the sizing spectrum, as well as aligning the brand with the sizes of their competitors. Customers get used to standard sizes and fit, which potentially reduces the number of returns for brands.

However, with the rising popularity of custom-made clothing, g creating a ‘unique to your business’ grading rules system is a thing to consider.

Your grade rule will mainly depend on the style they are creating. If you are designing sportswear the size pattern should contain enough allowances for the ease of movement. For a boxy garment, each size will need to include extra room for an oversize fit.

To create grade specs, you will need to figure out the sample size measurements first. Some of these measurements will come directly from your body data, while you’ll add the garment ease amount to others.

These include the following basic points of measurements:

  • Full garment length
  • Chest
  • Waist
  • Hip
  • Sleeve length
  • Neck width
  • Front neck drop
  • Across shoulder

More complex garments will have more points of measurements. For a button up shirt, POM like collar stand width/length, collar width/length, button up placket length and width will need to be included.

Then you will determine how many sizes you would like to go up or down.

After adding your points of measurement, the grade rule is added to calculate larger and smaller sizes based on your selected sample size.

Adding grade rule to the measurement sheet in Techpacker

Product development software like Techpacker helps you to calculate measurements of all sizes much faster, based on your provided sample measurements or your own grading rules: