Creating PDF Patterns and Pattern Grading - Online Class

Size Guide

IMPORTANT: Please read entire course description before enrolling. Due to the nature of online informational products, I cannot offer refunds once you enroll

This class includes just under 3 hours of video as well as a downloadable guide/notes for the 17 lessons. You may work at your own pace and re-watch as many times as you'd like while logged in to your account. Videos cannot be downloaded and no course materials can be shared. 

In this course you’ll learn:

  • How to scan paper patterns, reassemble in Illustrator, and turn into digital objects
  • How to format your patterns for printing by customers
  • How to draft pattern blocks/slopers digitally
  • How to use digital pattern blocks/slopers as a guide to draft other patterns
  • How to measure in illustrator
  • Human growth proportions and how this affects pattern grading 
  • Types of grading - slash and spread, pattern shifting and percentage grading 
  • Video demonstration of bodice grading through all of these methods, and explanation of pattern shifting for pants, skirts and sleeves 
  • Math formulas for creating pattern shifting grading charts for bodices, pants, skirts and sleeves for infants up through adults 
  • How to write grading actions in Adobe Illustrator to speed up digital pattern shifting 
  • How to use the blend tool in illustrator to grade
  • Tips for manual grading on paper
  • Resources for accurate measurements and further reading

This course does NOT include:

  • Drafting lessons. Pattern drafting is NOT taught in this class; the class assumes you know how to draft on paper and focuses on showing you how to use Illustrator tools to digitize that process.
  • Filled in grading charts for all sizes/types of patterns (you can easily derive your own with the blank charts and formulas provided).  
  • Human growth measurement charts or size charts - though there are links to use to find this information.
  • Collar grading instructions: I find I get best results when I draft each size of collar individually based on the graded bodice or when I draft jump sizes of collars and use the blend tool to grade between sizes (the blend tool is covered in the class). 

Keys to Success

To be successful in this course, you will need a basic understanding of sewing patterns and drafting (ie you can draft a pattern on paper and sew a garment from a pattern); you will also need to own or have access to Adobe Illustrator CS4 or higher (Adobe Creative Cloud is higher). Illustrator CS3 does NOT have multiple artboard capability to create multi-page PDFs the way it is explained in the course. Adobe usually has free trial periods, student and teacher discounts and monthly Creative Cloud subscriptions in case you don’t want to purchase the full price software.

This course and its materials are copyrighted. Materials cannot be shared with friends or other people under US copyright laws. Enrolling in the course entitles the purchaser to view/download the materials, but you cannot share the course. Each student should purchase their own virtual “seat” in the class.


Sizing Information
Women’s patterns are drafted for a height of 5'6" and a C cup (smaller half of letter size range) or D cup (larger half of letter size range) and cover the following range of body measurements

High bust 28-49 inches, 71-124cm
Bust 31-53 inches, 79-135cm (with instructions for pattern specific full bust adjustments)
Waist 24-48 inches, 61-122cm
Hips 34-55 inches, 86-149cm

For specific measurements for any women's pattern, please check the pattern listing. 

Below is the sizing guide I use when designing children's patterns. Please note that these measurements refer to your child, not to any measurements on the finished pattern.

Make sure to check the specific pattern you're interested in for which sizes are included. 
Children's sizes, Blank Slate Patterns sewing patterns