Optimized pattern grading

Elizabeth Bye, Karen LaBat, Ellen McKinney, Dong Eun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Purpose - To evaluate current apparel industry Misses grading practices in providing good fit and propose grading practices to improve fit. Design/methodology/approach - Participants representing Misses sizes 6-20 based on ASTM D 5585 were selected. The fit of garments from traditionally graded patterns was assessed. Garments were fit-to-shape on participants. Traditionally graded patterns were compared to fit-to-shape patterns using quantitative and qualitative visual analysis. Findings - Current apparel industry grading practices do not provide good fit for consumers. The greatest variation between the traditionally graded patterns and the fit-to-shape patterns occurred between sizes 14 and 16. For size 16 and up, neck and armscye circumferences were too large and bust dart intakes were too small. Research limitations/implications - This study was limited to a sheath dress in Misses sizes 6-20. Future research should assess the fit of garments from traditionally graded patterns for other size ranges. Practical implications - Multiple fit modes are needed in a range of more than five sizes. The fit model should be at the middle of a sizing group that does not range more than two sizes up or down. Originality/value - There are few studies on apparel grading that test fit of actual garments on the body. The analysis documents the real growth of the body across the size range and suggests that changes in body measurements and shape determine the fit of a garment. These findings impact future research in apparel and the practices of apparel manufacturers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-92
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Clothing Science and Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008


  • Clothing
  • Garment industry
  • Measurement
  • United States of America
  • Women


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