Pop Quiz: grading necklines pt.2

Following up from the first entry and the side jaunt (what does a 1″ grade mean?), I’m not sure we have a clear explanation for the apparent contradiction. Specifically the contradiction is:
If we only grade the neckline a total of .5″ for a 1″ grade, how come we don’t grade the neckline an inch for a 2″ grade? [Informal (unscientific) polling shows we usually grade the neck 3/4″ for a 2″ grade, 1/2″ for a 1″ grade.]

Some suggested ideas were as follows (mostly paraphrased, please correct me if I misquote, mis-attribute or misinterpret what you said):

Theresa said 3/4″ is used for a wider demographic because one is using SML instead of 6-16 etc. You know, there is some validity here. I take this to mean this is a way of refining the grade, to tweak it with a semblance of fit to one’s customer rather than an across the board, gross increase. This seems just as likely as any other theory.

Katyrenee said it amounted to “just because”, that we do it this way because it works (for whatever reason) instead of blindly following a rule. I like this too, another good theory.

Brina said the neck increase should be relative, not absolute -using the example of grading from a M to an XL. At first I wasn’t sure what she meant as the amount of grade applied to an area is relative (explained in the second post) but I think I get it now.

It brought to mind an ongoing argument I’ve been having with Cooklin’s grading book -yes, I argue with inanimate objects since Cooklin is now deceased and couldn’t be compelled to leave the piano (and wine and women) long enough to discuss it with me and for which I do not blame him, my being generally quarrelsome. Pg 25 of my copy has scrabbled sketches with a lot of notation to include exclamation! points! such as “F&G do not equal D!” , “D-(F+G)=8%!”and “D=25%, F+G=17%, E=12.5%!” This of course is totally aside from the fact that I am in complete agreement with him that the front should get 62.5% of the grade and the back 37.5% of it but I don’t know anybody who grades like that (anymore). Which is because your front is bigger than your back (yes it is, yes.it.is). Which is in sum, kind of sort of what Brina was saying drawn out to its logical conclusion. I think. Either that or I am too liberal in my attempts to inject a little fun into a normally dry discussion.

Alison said we talked about it in the blog’s earlier years but lacking a site archivist (she being the only one we have, and unpaid at that) we won’t know. For now.

Andrea wanted to know if there is a grading book that explained grading theory. On the face of it, yes. Satisfactorily? No. Recently? Also no. Vintage books that discuss human anthropometry are what you need. Problem is, nobody likes those because they don’t think they are relevant. People expect sizing charts in grading books these days which I think is silly but whatever. The best thing to use is a vintage book that discusses “scale” (I’ve mentioned this many times) but until you can acquire one, here’s a blog entry that serves as an orientation.

Kjersti had what seems to be the best explanation yet but then again, I’d say that since it follows the most traditional grading practice, labeled Table B in the second post. I think her comment deserves more thought so I copy and paste it here in its entirety and leave you to ponder it some more:

I understand your explanation of 1″ and 2″ grades to mean that the first has more sizes than the second? If I misunderstood this, then this explanation doesn’t help I’m afraid. But if it does, this is my reasoning.
When grading from the base size in the 2″ grade you are grading what is equivalent to two sizes in the 1″ grade. And, since you are using a logarithmic scale for grading necklines (meaning that the amount you add/subtract gets smaller as you move away from the base size), the first size is 1/2″, the second would be 1/4″. Combine these and you get 3/4″. So, grading one size in 2″ is the same as two sizes in 1″.

Ann cited a page from her grading book (I couldn’t find it, we probably have different editions); said author disputes the totality of the grades in discussion suggesting a one inch grade should be 1/4″. I wanted to check it because it seemed inordinately small, perhaps this was the half grade (as we only grade half the figure). Ann also left reading suggestions from academia. I actually have copies of these, one day I’ll get through them.

Barb agrees with Sarah (dosfashionistas); the agreement is telling as both parties have had to tweak grade specs for the length of their careers to meet targeted demography. In other words, practice trumps theory.

Carol agrees with Brina (ibid my second post). Bo Breda wasn’t the first to mention breaking the grade down by drop rather than width but does so most clearly and makes the point that knits are different. Each knit is different. Which is of course because knits are evil.

Renee swore that in Australia (where’s she’s from) they do everything upside down living in the southern hemisphere as they do. She also gloated that it is summer there so nanny-nanny boo-boo etc. Are you still reading this far down? Seriously, Renee mentions the matter of grading convex curves although she didn’t use those words. See an illustration of the concept here (the hand drawn sketches).

Sarah -another aussie- loves measurement stuff like this so that tells you all you need to know about her. Seriously, scroll down for hers, she says their sizing differs and that they call a 1″ grade a “half size”. Pretty wild, huh? I don’t know how common it is anymore but half size here used to mean plus size.

Marie-Christine doesn’t know anything about grading but thinks you should never grade more than 1/4″ for any reason or else. And she means or ELSE. Step lively, she’s from France and they’re fond of that guillotine thingy there. Which indirectly explains why there are not many French engineers.

Last but not least is Tula who mentions it is critical to understand the whys of formulas to fill the gap between theory and application. Some possible solutions for these gaps can be found above where I mentioned scale but in the meantime she should watch Marie-Christine carefully (Tula is an engineer).

All told, my head hurts and I hope you found this discussion not wholly a waste of time………..

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