Reasons Why Grading Dresses Is Important To Plus Size Market

Grading dresses has become a lost art, diminished to a series of directives applied in an incoherent way. Making the sample size for a dress is easy, but maintaining the dress style and fit all through the dress for the various sizes when graded up or graded down requires more than just a set of directives or formula. A skilled grader should be able to take cognizance of the distinctions of a dress style and as such make to order the grade according to need.

To begin with, you need to be familiar with how grading dresses works. On the whole, grading dresses for the plus size market is a technique of resizing a dress to a dress pattern bigger by a particular requirement or size. The process of grading dresses for the plus size market has become very important for most clothing manufacturers and they have adapted to how a specific pattern of dresses can be graded to a larger size and shape of the same design. Some dress graders offer this dress grading service manually while some others do this digitally through the use of some specific software.

Grading dress is important to the plus size market for a variety of reasons, because it helps in the application of specific themes to a variety of dresses. In this article, we shall discuss about a few reasons why grading dresses is important:

  1. Dress Size Fit Issues: One of the most essential reasons why grading dresses has become increasingly important to the plus size market is that it ensures that a different size (increased size) is created from a similarly smaller size or block size. The dress grading makes it possible for people with a larger body shape or body measurement to be able to wear a particular fashion line or dress pattern that would seemingly not have been available in their size. With grading, the clothing manufacturer can now adapt a dress pattern than has been modeled by a seemingly slim model for a plus sized person.
  2. Bad dress pattern proportion: Another reasons why grading dresses is essential to the plus size market is as a result of bad dress pattern Some dress pattern have a bad fit on people with bigger body measurement and as such would need to be resized to ensure a perfect fit. In dress grading the designer could achieve a perfect fit for the plus sized market using either the cut and spread method or the pattern shifting method. The cut and spread method involves the dress being cut horizontally and vertically and then spread out to increase the measurement before redrawing the new dress pattern. While in the pattern shifting method, the dress pattern outline is shifted to create extra extensions for a bigger size.
  3. Few dress style available: In addition, pattern grading is important to the plus size market to ensure that a dress pattern, theme and design is available across all body sizes. Without pattern grading a designer or clothing manufacturer would face stagnation in producing larger dresses for plus sized people. Being able to grade dresses for the plus size market gives the designer greater scope to display a clothing line that displays dresses which could similarly be found in smaller sizes and most beauty models to also be available for plus size people.
  4. Few plus size dress stores: Dresses sewn by most clothing line are as a rule mostly designed to fit a certain size which is typically a 10 or a 12. This is the base size or the sample size and the fit is perfected or graded on that sample. Once the size has been approved for a size 10 or 12, the dress pattern can now be graded to a full range of sizes for plus size market. Dress grading for plus size market refers to the amount of change between sizes for each measurement point. A size 12 dress can be graded to a size 16 which would entail making the bust, waist and hip larger by 4 inches. The designer would first and foremost make this resizing at the sewing line and then disperse the 4 inches size resizing evenly at the sewing line.
  5. Expensive costume dresses: Costume dresses are normally expensive and when made in larger sizes for plus size market become more expensive than normal. So grading dresses ensures that plus size people can afford to buy dress sizes at the typical size 12 being largely produced and then can grade up the dress to fit perfectly to their size.

More importantly, grading dresses for the plus size market increases the target audience for the clothing line or designer. They are able to reach a wider market and also ensure that a typical dress pattern can be graded up to fit plus size people.

Ready to start grading your patterns? Click the get started button below. We are apparel industry pattern grader professionals with 25 plus year experience in pattern grading and resizing.


Alejandro Esparza: Co-Founder @ /Professional Pattern Maker/ Technical Designer/ Startup Advisor and acknowledged in the garment industry as authority in pattern making and pattern design process. He has the ability to work with small entrepreneurial companies’ private label customers and large organizations. Alejandro is a graduate of Los Angeles Trade Technical College Fashion Design Program. He has over 25 years of apparel garment industry experience and is part of Expert Ezine Articles Authors community since December 25, 2008 and has published multiple articles about the garment industry. Copyright © by Alejandro Esparza. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be copy or used without written Permission from Alejandro Esparza the Author.



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