What is the term for the method that can be used instead of grading?


Please, help! In vain, I’ve been looking for this term in the Internet: In English, what is the appropriate term for the method other than grading that produces a range of pattern sizes? The method in question uses the measurement charts of the size categories as the basis for the patterns instead of grading rules.

(In Finnish ‘mittataulukkokaavoitus’)


The literal translation to English for the Finish mittataulukkokaavoitus is “measurement chart zoning” according to my translate program.

@slspencer probably knows the correct English term more commonly used among patternmakers - if there is one. @Kuosini I became curious after your question and could not find a better English term than grading.


@Kuosini, are you perhaps looking for the term ‘Standard Measurements’? In SeamlyMe we use the term ‘Multisize’ for a measurements file that covers a range of measurements, taken from a Standard Measurement Table, and used to create a pattern that can be resized according to a specific size within the range.


Hi @kmf, unfortunately in Finnish the word ‘kaavoitus’ is used for two completely different meanings. Therefore translation apps suggest ‘measurement chart zoning’ which certainly is not the right term.

Grading (in Finnish ‘sarjonta’) has for a long period of time been the method used for the task of creating the range of pattern sizes for ready-to-wear markets, but during the last decade another method has been introduced. The cad-applications of pattern drafting have been developing towards measurement chart based method. For example, in the tutorial of Grafis (a cad-application for small businesses widely used in my country) the method is described as follows: in Grafis grading is an automatic similar construction. All construction steps of the base size are repeated with the measurement charts to be graded. During construction the succeeding similar construction is to be considered, already.

So, as the two methods differ quite significantly, in Finnish we have the two terms.

It seams to me that in Seamly, using individual measurement files, it is possible to use the new method. Good job!:+1:


Hi @Grace, thank you for the consideration of my question. I’ve found both of the file types offered in SeamlyMe, and I understand the use of them.

I just lack the term needed to discuss the new method of creating the range of pattern sizes. (In more detail, in my answer to @kmf)


Hi @Kuosini

I would like to pursue the discussion about a term. I have no experience in the traditional patternmaking industry. I have sewn for myself for 50 years and made costumes for theater for 10. I have become increasingly interested in the use of computer software to create patterns. I have often drafted my own patterns over the years, but never read a book on how to do so until I met @slspencer. I used patternmaker software in the 1990s (created by Leena Lähteenmäki) The use of macros to draw a custom fit pattern for each individual seems like the best approach to me since so few people actually find a “standard size” to be a good fit. When I started using Seamly2D, I used only the individual measurement files and ignored the multisize capability.

It seems a revolutionary approach to me and much more useful than grading. I would like to see the processes evolve so that custom fit patterns and individually made clothing could be a cost effective reality for people who do not sew for themselves.


Hi @kuosini! The traditional term is ‘made to measure’. Hope this helps!


Oh, really? Interesting. I’ve thought that made-to-measure refers just to clothing customized to fit an individual customer and which, instead of being made from scratch as in bespoke tailoring, is cut and sewn using a standard-sized base pattern.

Is it a case of broadening the meaning of the term to cover also the measurement chart based creation of the range of standard sizes for ready-to-wear apparel or has it had this meaning all along?


LOL, I think, after all of the above, that the word that you are looking for is Resize or Resizing when the word clothing pattern is applied in the same context. To my little pea-brain, I think, what you want to do is to take a pattern in one size and resize it to another size, which is quite different from grading and is more what Seamly2D does. :slight_smile:


Based on this thread, we can define two types of Grading:

1. Rule based grading:
The original base pattern is created by using pattern formulas plus base body measurements. Each successive size pattern is drawn around the previous size pattern by extending out from specific points around the pattern outline. Lines and curves are drawn between the new points to complete the new size pattern.

2. Chart based grading: - This is the Seamly2D method.
A Multisize chart is created by successively adding small amounts (as defined by a set of rules) to body measurements, starting with base size body measurements. Each size pattern is created by applying each measurement set directly to the pattern formulas – a copy of a smaller sized pattern is not required.

Can someone add these definitions (or something similar) to the wiki?