[Edited 9/18/2018] This article was supposed to be about extrapolating grade rules from sizing charts to make the different sizes for children’s clothes but it’s descended into what Eric describes as a necessary group apology from moi. Consider that done. Let me explain.
In the course of learning my pattern CAD program (now StyleCAD) I had been using a child’s pattern and used the grading charts for kids wear from the Handford book. Since the pattern I was using had already been graded by my friend in hard copy, I was surprised that Handford’s charts differed so much from hers. His were definitely dramatically longer. The one thing I remember my friend saying was that her sizes were much different from books but that after seven years of use, she knew her patterns ran true to size (for her market).
Which is what started my quest over the weekend to find standardized sizing charts, throw them into a spread sheet and compare the grades between them. What I didn’t expect was to find such vast differences. There’s also a bit of controversy to explore as well. The cut to the chase lesson for today is two fold. One, check the sources of your sources. Two, just because you have to buy a given data set, doesn’t mean it’s better than the available free one.
In this post (this is where the group apology comes in), I’d said where one could get sizing standards. For children’s wear, I said one could use the ASTM standard D 5826. However, I was doing a comparison so I pulled measures from Mortimer-Dunn, Solinger, and Jaffe Rosa. The thing that stood out -glaringly obvious- was that the charts in Solinger, (appendix E), shows bodies larger than the published ASTM standard (D 5826). Since Solinger’s book is 27 years old, I started to read the fine print. As it turns out, the data for the ASTM standard is from 1930! Wow! Aside from the obvious, 1930 wasn’t exactly the best time to be measuring kids considering it was the depression and all. So, I looked up Solinger’s source material which turned out to be the Commercial Standard CS151-50 which dates from the early 1970’s, a full forty years newer. As it happens, this data set is in the public domain and but as of this date (9/18/2018) is not readily available on the web. If you’re sufficiently motivated, the WayBack Machine has some of these documents for download. Caveat; this standard has been officially withdrawn because:
The commercial standard and products standards on body measurements for the sizing of apparel ….maintained by NBS under the Voluntary Product Standards [sic] Program (VPS) were withdrawn. This was in accordance …to withdraw these standards after sponsorship was assumed by the private industry sector.
Cut to chase, the private sector party is ASTM. What I don’t understand is why the “sponsoring organization” is selling 1930’s data when responsibility for this 1970’s standard languishes. Well no mind; you may decide to get the data set (via Wayback Machine) as I use it as source material when explaining how to calculate grade rules from measurements. I can’t use the ASTM data for this purpose so it works out well enough.
~Sigh~. Regardless of the base sizes described in ASTM D5826 vs CS151-50, the most important thing is the rules derived between them. As it turns out, there’s some quirkiness there too; it almost looks like hedging one’s bets. I’ll explain more on that tomorrow so be sure to stay tuned to this riveting, gut wrenchingly exciting series. Heh. Now I have to get back to grading practice…
I forgot to mention that between all of us on the forum, we have an in depth topic on cutting the differing sizes in children’s clothes with side discussions of major retailer private label requirements (anybody have Penney’s or Sears’ specs?). See Grading kid’s clothes 3, 4, 5, 6 (and I suppose, 6X, 7?) for more developments. If you have nothing to add but want to be emailed notice of updates, be sure to select “Watch this topic for replies” at the bottom left portion of the screen.