The Start of the Laurel Sports Bra Grading Saga

I have completed the design of the Laurel Sport Bra and made all my necessary changes to the 38J pattern (my size).

I made a few pattern adjustments since the last sample and just printed out the pattern in preparation for sewing my last design sample. At this point, there shouldn’t be any changes to the design, but I have to make the sample to make that final call.

I am so confident on the patterns that decided to go ahead to start work on the grade sets. The waistband was simple as I was able to copy the grading from the Christina for the waistband.

The second easiest is the back grade. Here is the screen shot of back grade in progress. This part wasn’t that hard to complete. I copied the backs from the Christina Sports Bra so I could infer the grading from the latter. To give you an idea of what you are looking at, the pattern between the blue guidelines is the 38 J graded patterns for J cups across the range of 28 to 52.

The last changes I had made to the back are actually pictured here. Since the back grade doesn’t take long, I had already graded the backs to the previous iteration of the back from the last sample I made. I basically doubled my work, but it really only took me about an hour to do it all, plus its good practice for me. The back is just a little tedious and you have to follow the steps in the right order. 

That bit went quickly so I thought I would start on the front, which was a little overly ambitious. It was my intention to copy the grading from points on the Christina Sports Bra onto points of the Laurel Sports Bra. Here are the two patterns. The top two in the middle of the page are the Christina and the bottom are the Laurel.

The first steps were relatively easy. The first set is a J cup graded for bands 28 through 52. I had to keep the same proportions of the Christina Set for the Laurel Set. I had to make sure the princess seam lines matched for all sizes for both pattern pieces. The waistline, side seam and armhole didn’t really change, so my main concern was the seam line. The armhole did change, but the measurements didn’t. After creating all the J patterns, I then change the grade rules for A through K. Its a little tricky.

I started with the 28J pattern with the cup grades and tried to match grade points to the 28 grade set. This proved to be a little harder than I had hoped. I was originally thinking, I’ll just do this in an hour and be set. WRONG. In the screenshot below, you can see the measurements from the Christina. The first measurement titled bust is irrelevant. The curve amount won’t relate to the Laurel either, but the three other measurements MUST match the Laurel’s measurements.

I played around with changing some grade points and then I checked measurements, these need to be exact in order for the pattern pieces of the Christina and Laurel to be interchangeable (front, backs and waistbands).

What I thought I could do quickly will not happen. And as I’m typing this, I remembered a pattern modification I had to make that I didn’t do here. Anyway, its dinner time and I give up for the day. 

I will make my final design sample, which I also just realized I need to alter. I removed space off the waistband for the hook and eye, but I did not reduce the amount I removed from the pattern with a stretch reduction. Basically, I removed 3/4″ for the hook and eye, but really should have only removed about 1/2″ off of it since the hook and eye won’t stretch. Its probably why my last sample was too tight on me. To be on the safe side, I will add 3/8″ to the back waistband.

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