Pop quiz #464 pt.2

In reference to yesterday’s pop quiz, the correct answer is nest #2. Off topic: even if this topic doesn’t interest you, scroll down to “placket size” for a critically important tip regarding the difference between a pattern made by someone lacking production experience, and one made by someone with a lot of experience.

Rita said:

I rejected Nest 1 and requested Nest 2, with panels nested so the AH [armhole] base is at the same level (X-coordinate). With the second nest, it only took me few seconds to figure out that they were not grading this correctly. The correct grade was supposed to be:

  • A total length grade of 3/4″.
  • The AH depth is about 1/3 of total length.
  • The Side seam is about 2/3 of total length.

But as you can see from the corrected nest (#2), the grade of the AH depth was 1/2″ (see shoulder) and the side seam only 1/4″(see sweep).

In children’s garments, depending on the styling and owing to their shorter torsos, it is occasionally conceivable that a grade could be split fifty-fifty. However, under no circumstances would it be correct for the upper half of the torso (AH and shoulder line) to comprise two-thirds of the total grade as it was in this case. Ever. In order to readily discern these proportions, it is traditional to align the nest along the AH horizontal plane. That plane is the zero point.

Regarding the horizontal line placed in the nests, this was a match stripe. Todd correctly answered all of the questions including the bonus question saying

I’m looking at the front of a shirt…It has a horizontal stripe matching line perhaps. I would prefer to work with the second nest because I can make out the armholes and necklines distinctly. The grader may have been trying to simplify the first set by using the placket and stripe matching line as the reference for the rest of the nest.

Placket size
I think some people went off tangent on the placket length. It is more typical for placket length (and welt pocket length) to be the same across a spread of sizes because placket making (and welt pocket making) are automated and the machine is set to a specific length. It’s not like home sewing or sample making where you just sew short. Larger concerns -companies who’d make golf shirts like this for kids- are not concerned about altering the placket machine to shorten or lengthen the placket by an 1/8th of an inch per size. It’s too costly to adjust the machine every time that operator gets a bundle of a different size. It’s not going to happen. Or, it will cost more to organize the variously sized bundles, grouping them together so the machine is adjusted as few times as possible.

By the way, this is just one difference between a pattern made by a “first” pattern maker, and one made by a production pattern maker. This is why a contractor prefers patterns from someone they’ve worked with before. This is not to say you shouldn’t have your placket grow in relation to sizes, not at all, but it will cost more. To keep costs contained, the sorting system will require extra care. Secondly, again in reference to a not production ready pattern, a contractor may not realize you’ve marked the placket for different lengths until they’re sewing it (unless they’ve seen the nest, properly nested of course). In the marker, that placket length will be marked with drill holes. Once drilled, the plackets must be sewn to whatever length you’ve marked, incurring costs neither party expected. For this reason, the cost of your production run may be higher than quoted. This is why contractors prefer to work with pattern makers who know how to make production ready patterns. Likewise, this is a good reason to hire a specialist in your product type.

There’s other production pattern making tips in my book.

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  1. Esther says:

    It’s interesting what different people prefer. I prefer nest #1 because that was how I was trained. It simplifies the neckline and makes it easy to see the placket has no grade (and shouldn’t anyway). It does require a few extra steps when checking grades though. To catch the grading error I would take measurements of the armholes and side seam lengths and compare them to finished measurement charts. CAD programs will calculate the overall length grades which can be compared to grading charts. So while I could see the grading problem at the armhole and sideseam the exact problem was harder to discern. I rarely work with stripe match lines, so that is why I was confused there.

    I am slowly retraining myself to look at grading like nest #2 but it is a challenge to change one’s thinking after so many years. CAD makes it easy to place the stack point anywhere you want.

  2. J C Sprowls says:

    I had to ruminate a moment… I was surprised to figure out that I don’t know what I don’t know.

    What, in your opinion, is the fundamental reason grading is an elusive subject? Is it a matter of perception?

    I mean, is the objective that: a) a child (i.e. the fit model) grows taller and broader in the same way as the market tendency, or b) a child of each size, when compared in a nest is thus?

    I’m tinkering with a scale model of this test and, while I can see how reorganizing the nest might make it easier to identify/eliminate certain issues, it’s not apparent to me why the breastline point is better than the neckline CF.

    Am I simply being obtuse? Am I clinging to outdated precepts?

    Just to give you an idea where I’m coming from: I was instructed to pick a stable point (i.e. least amount of movement or distortion) of the body – like: C7, sternal notch, or sacrum – and emanate the graded pattern off that point.

  3. Debra says:

    Guessed I flunked too, but I still like nest #1 the best, I do think it is a matter of individual perspective as to where one patternmaker prefers the stable grade point to be, which I do the shoulder/neckedge on the table and on CAD.
    I didn’t know what I didn’t know either.
    But I have always said it is never ending when it comes to learning apparel pattern drafting and grading. I AM ALWAYS learning, ever though I’ve drafted forever.
    It’s almost as infinite as the universe, isn’t it? But so are numbers, and isn’t drafting a numbers thing?

  4. Lisa NYC says:

    WOW! The following is quite helpful as I will shortly be having my children’s patterns made and then graded (after market, of course…LOL):
    “However, under no circumstances would it be correct for the upper half of the torso (AH and shoulder line) to comprise two-thirds of the total grade as it was in this case. Ever.”


    With friendship,

  5. Amitai says:

    I think asking which one is correct(er) it wrong, since the pieces are the same with the same output. If a grading is correct or not is not determined just by looking at it and seeing a proper shape. You need to measure it and either it matches the spec or not. IMO, you can ask in the interview something else:
    * show the two nests.
    * Tell them it is a nest.
    * Tell them nest #2 is correct and #1 is wrong.

    Ask them if your statement is true or false. :)

  6. Anir says:

    I kinda agree with Amitai–the question, as asked originally seemed to imply that the patterns themselves were wrong–(which they were, but that was beside the point) A better question would be–these graded patterns are the same except the way they are nested. Which nesting is preferred and why?

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