Today’s giveaway features the second edition of Connie Crawford’s Grading Workbook. I have the hard copy, spiral bound edition, 136 pages. It is nicely formatted and illustrated, similar to the drafting book. I do think it is a low cost option to learn grading from -all explained in a clear manner as possible but there are a few issues to be aware of. Before I forget, if you’re not sure of all the technical terms I’m using, you might consider perusing the grading posts on this site, they are extensive and detailed.
No matter how dedicated and disciplined an author, discrepancies will creep in. For example, the grade stack of the neck point at the bottom of pg 35 is correct but in a later section on page 54, it is not. That said, scale is everything. My disputation amounts to something on the order of 1/32nd to 1/64th of an inch -something only professional graders will fuss about (and fuss we do). I only bring it up in the event that you follow the instructions step by step and your result doesn’t look exactly like the illustration on page 54. If it looks like the one on pg 35 instead, you’re doing fine.
Another thing is stack point, the point at which you stack all of the graded sizes together [to form a nest] in order to check the grade. The stack point is also the zero point, the start and stop point of applying the grade rules. This book has the grade stacking at the -in the case of bodices- the CF/CB neckline. I learned to do it along the bust line. Crawford’s stack pooint is not wrong anymore than mine is but it does turn one’s head around when trying to makes sense of applied grade rules. I also think it is better to make the zero point (aka stack point) lower down than the neckline if you’re using a grading ruler because the ruler gets in the way. You’ll have to flip it up to create a cross mark and then things get jostled a bit. Other graders out there may rightfully protest that I make too much of this and they’re possibly right. I am rather particular about these things. But anyway, like I said, her book isn’t wrong, it is just not the way I am accustomed to working.
Notes about grading books generally:
Grading books instruct where and how to place sizing increments but the sizing designations per se, will always vary according to your customer and market segment. You might want to read where and how to get sizing data. A list of sizing specifications won’t teach you how to grade so it’s not appropriate to expect a grading book to give you specs. The practice of grading will not change even when specs do.
Another thing, again, this is a commercial book with commercial focus. I noticed in comments to the drafting book post, that people thought that book would help solve their unique fitting problems -and it will not. In the same vein, this book will not solve your fitting or sizing problems either. If you’re an enthusiast, sure, it will help you to grade up or down the occasional pattern but getting into it may be more work than you’d imagined. I don’t know what an easy solution is for people who only need occasional grading for personal projects.
If you purchase this book, make note of the variety of purchasing options. It comes in hard copy or ebook (pdf) and there is a grading ruler available too. The options are:
Printed version (book only): $37.50
Printed Book with Grading Ruler: $44.50
E-Book only: $29.50
E-Book with Grading Ruler: $36.50
Printed Book and E-Book: $49.50
Printed Book, E-Book, and Grading Ruler: $54.50
Rules to enter today’s giveaway:
Leave a comment describing a problem you’ve experienced in grading that was or remains, difficult for you to resolve.