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Grading the Honeycrisp Mittens

Sew Well - Honeycrisp Mittens

There’s a Sew-Along going on over at Disparate Disciplines for the Honeycrisp Mittens, the awesome mittens designed for conductive fabric that I secretly tested last month and finally got to show off the other day.  I’m stepping in to join the Sew-Along today to talk a bit about pattern grading since I had to work my head around how to grade these mittens between sizes while I was testing them.

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Yesterday Mari uploaded a video on how to take your measurements for the Honeycrisp pattern.  Today she’s talking about grading, showing how you can grade to a size smaller than what is included in the pattern.  I wish I had time to figure out how to walk you through grading using a similar style of video, but there’s no way that’s happening these days.  There’s just too much to do with work, the holidays, and getting ready for the little one.  So, I’m going old school and using images to the best of my ability.

Anyway, are you following the Sew-Along?  Do you have your measurements already?  If so, good!

After I took my measurements and compared them to the chart on the back of the pattern, I figured out I fell into size L for [1] thumb length and [2] wrist to middle finger and into size S for [3] wrist circumference, [4] wrist (cuff) circumference, [5] forearm circumference, and [6] upper arm circumference.

Sew Well - Grading the Disparate Disciplines Honeycrisp Mittens Pattern

(Note:  the pattern released for purchase also includes sizes 2XL and 3XL. I made my images from my copy of the test pattern.)

When I thought about it, I realized that meant I was a size L for all of the length-wise measurements and a size S for all of the width-wise measurements.

Grading between the four width-wise measurements ([3], [4], [5], and [6]) would have been as simple as identifying the sizes you needed at each of the different locations in the pattern and blending between them.  For example, say you wanted to make the full-length mittens, but you measured size S in the forearm and size L in the upper arm (hello, which way to the gun show?!).  After identifying the size S at the forearm (say right below the forearm cut line) and the size L at the upper arm (again, say right below the upper arm cut line), you could just freehand the necessary line merging the two.  Or, to be more precise, you could pull out a curved ruler and blend the two neatly.

Sew Well - Grading the Disparate Disciplines Honeycrisp Mittens Pattern

As a note, I’ve chopped off part of the pattern and smushed the scaling around so that you can’t just print off this image and have a free copy of Mari’s hard work.  But I hope you can see enough to get an idea of what I meant in the paragraph above.  And, again, in the copy for purchase there are two extra sizes included, so the size L you see on your pattern will fall more in the middle of the pattern size options.

But, when you need to blend between different lengths and widths, what can you do?

The simplest idea I had was to find some place to add a half an inch of length to the size S mittens, an amount I came up with by comparing the size S and size L length measurements.  For example, measurement [2] for size S is 6 3/4″, but it’s 7 1/4″ for size L, which means there’s a half an inch difference in length between the two.  The same half an inch difference is also seen in the finished garment measurements.  But where?  The key was realizing that the notches on one of the mitten pattern pieces (below left) matched the narrowest part of the wrist on the other mitten pattern piece (below right)…

Sew Well - Grading the Disparate Disciplines Honeycrisp Mittens Pattern

…and that the length of the mittens is really just defined by the distance between the tip of the mitten and the narrowest point of the wrist.

Sew Well - Grading the Disparate Disciplines Honeycrisp Mittens Pattern

I could add length by simply cutting into the pattern at an imaginary lengthen/shorten line, just as with any garment pattern!  I chose to cut along an imaginary line perpendicular to the grain line that was above the notches but below the thumb.  I then added the length I needed, making sure that I kept the grain line straight when I taped the pieces back together again.

Sew Well - Grading the Disparate Disciplines Honeycrisp Mittens Pattern

All I had to do then was blend the cutting line from the break in the top half of the mitten to the notch or to narrowest point in the wrist, depending on which side of the mitten I was working on.  The overall result is basically to lower the notches and the narrowest point in the wrist to where the size L would have been.

If you need to add length to the arm section of the mitten as well, do the same as above, only make sure you cut into the long mitten pattern piece (below right) below its notch, since that notch matches up with the point at the bottom of the other side of the mitten (below left).

Sew Well - Grading the Disparate Disciplines Honeycrisp Mittens Pattern

You could also just end at a different size, similar to how I chose to end at size S in the third figure in this post (the one that’s a small portion of one of the mitten pieces).

I hope all this information helps as you start working on your Honeycrisp mittens.  Let me know in the comments if you have any questions.  Also, make sure to check out the full Sew-Along over at Disparate Disciplines.  Happy sewing!

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