A System of Grading is based on grading for flat pattern, but is done without actually making a pattern. Grading is the way multiple sizes are made from a single sample size. By consistently applying “growth” or “shrinkage” amounts at various places in the piece of the garment, allows pieces to change uniformly and in the same amount at intersecting places. How these amounts are applied, and the resulting pattern shapes are based on brand decisions. Doing the same thing consistently on all pieces within a brand creates brand consistency so that the customer knows the fit of that brand.
A System of Grading is the foundation for all grading, based on rules, with real world application. Grading is all about applying a strict set of numbers to each size to accomplish a consistent product. Grading employs a system that lends brand consistency to fit. We are accustomed to sizes being fluid between brands (one brand’s size 2 is another’s size 00 or size 4!) but customers want brand consistency.
Grading itself is pretty straight-forward in theory, but it can be tricky to actually do effectively. This made even trickier in knitwear due to stitch patterns, gauge variations, and the alpha method of sizing. Your grading numbers are based on standards and the set of numbers that you will develop and use throughout your work. The set of numbers is based upon your target market (or your customer’s target market) and standards.
You are or want to be a knitwear designer or tech editor. You may already be doing this and just want to up the level of skill you have. A System of Grading will allow you to use any sizing numbers to create garments in additional sizes.
There are so many nuances to grading properly and understanding the application of the numbers. There are times when this can break your brain! Grading is almost always the thing that is the most difficult to master about designing. If you are a tech editor, A System of Grading can help you do more than just check the numbers given to you. Fully understanding the process will make you an invaluable partner to designers, editors, and companies who may need your eye for numbers to fully sort out their patterns.
About now you might be wondering why I think I can teach A System of Grading. I have put up a brief narrative on my education and teaching background. Want the details? Here’s my CV. My journey began when I learned to sew at age 8 or 9, but maybe even before that when I drew princesses! I have been fascinated by fit as part of design since I was in high school.
Why A System of Grading?
By using this process you can do the numbers early in the design process to see where hurdles lay which are going to cause problems later on. I believe this process can help you write better patterns, but at a minimum will work to create brand consistency in fit. A System of Grading is not faster, but it is better! I am there to guide you and explain things which makes learning easier.
You need to be familiar with building a garment in some manner. This is not a “how do I make a garment” class; you should be able to at least write notes that lead you through a knit garment. A basic knowledge of garment shapes is useful, but I do address that that throughout the course.
I use Excel, and you can use any spreadsheet you like—you can even do it manually. You will need to be familiar with the basics of using a spreadsheet or be really good with a calculator. We will write the bones of the shaping instructions so that we can create or check a pattern. Class material and handouts, as well as homework, are based on my garment shapes and information, but we’ll be talking about your work as well.
I am offering a full course in three segments. Segments I and II are composed of course work, class sessions, and labs, all offered online. Following those Segments, students may also receive a Certification of Completion in Segment III. Sessions may be taken individually, but Certification is only available after completion of both Segments I and II.
- Segment I begins June 14 or 15 and runs through July 26 or 27 (with the week of July 4 off). Payment for Segment I is due by June 10.
- Segment II begins September 6 or 7 and runs through November 1 or 2 (with two weeks off at the end of October). Payment for Segment II is due by August 1.
- Segment III Certification follows Segment II, beginning November 8 or 9 and ending with your submission for Certification no later than December 15, 2017. Payment for Segment III is due August 1.
There are package prices for each Segment.
Discount coupons are available by emailing me then purchasing Segment I between May 23 to May 30.
Purchase of A System of Grading in its entirety will result in a larger discount.
How Do I Teach This Online?
Each Session and Lab of A System of Grading are given using GoToMeeting. You log in via your computer, tablet, or phone. I am on my Desktop or Laptop and you can see my screen. We can all talk and hear each other. In each session I will use a series of handouts to walk you through the class content. The handouts are all downloadable documents or files, and you will have an outline for each Session. Sometimes I may have a video that you can watch as well. I can show you what is on my screen, or let you show me what is on yours. When demonstrating using a spreadsheet, you will see mine, have your own sample, and be able to print out a document to write on.
I have successfully taught Using Illustrator and a concise look at Plus Size Grading in this manner.
Classes will be a combination of lecture, demonstration, question and answer or group discussion. I will record Sessions and make those recordings available to you following each Session. Questions are welcome and answers will be provided!
There will be some hands-on during classes, plus there are Labs sprinkled throughout to provide work time with my assistance available. I will give specific exercises to do in Labs, and each class will have some homework to practice that week’s material. Homework will be reviewed by me prior to the next Session so that feedback is timely. I use Dropbox to exchange your homework pdfs. You will get instructions for everything when you register!
A System of Grading, Certification
Do you want to have proof that you have received extensive training in knitwear grading? I can do that! I am not an educational institution, but I will offer a certificate of achievement based upon review of your homework and other work done during the course; a final presentation and review of your aggregated materials is part of the Certification Segment (Segment III). Your homework and presentation will be reviewed by me using a rubric to insure that all work is evaluated under the same criteria. Certification is only offered to those who complete Segments I and II.
Everything you learn is about developing your own confidence and becoming
who you want to be as a designer or tech editor.