An Introduction to our New Size Range

Our New Size Range | Grainline Studio

All About our New Size Range

You may have noticed in our release on the 15th that we also debuted our newest size range, 14 – 30. This is something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time and have been actively working towards over the past year. We couldn’t be more excited to have it live! We’ve set this post up as a reference that you can refer back to with any questions you might have in the future. We will also keep this page updated with any additional information you might need or request as it comes to our attention. With that let’s meet our newest sizes.

The Basics

What is the new size range? Our new size range consists of sizes 14 – 30, with a D sewing cup size. This pattern was drafted off a new block we developed at the start of this project. Our original size range, 0 – 18, B sewing cup size is still available. Both ranges are drafted for an average height of 5’5”.

What does 14 – 30 mean in terms of measurements? You can view our size chart for the corresponding sizes below. Please note these are body measurements. You can find finished measurements included with each pattern.

Our Newest Size Range | Grainline Studio

Does the new size range have a name?  No, we simply refer to our two ranges as 0 – 18 and 14 – 30. We feel that this best describes them in the simplest, most easy to understand way. Overwhelmingly in our survey you all agreed with us on this fact as well.

What format is the new size range available in? You can purchase the new size range in both PDF and Printed format from our shop as well as from our wholesalers who have purchased. Don’t see the pattern at your local shop? Let them know you want it! 

Why are the two size ranges sold separately in the Printed Patterns? This is due to many reasons. First of all, because the two size ranges are based on different blocks, the patterns are unable to be nested together and we would need to include two pieces of tissue. Additionally simply drafting the exact garment in two size ranges is not best practice. The proportions of the garments need to change as well as some of the construction. In the Thayer, for example, the lining of the 0 – 18 pattern does not have a dart, while in the 14 – 30 it does. This means we need to include separate pattern inventory, cutting layouts, and even pattern instructions to show the difference in the two patterns, increasing the size of the instruction book by about 50%. The increase in tissue and paper not only adds to the cost of the pattern, it also makes shipping significantly more expensive due to the weight of the added paper. All in all, two products was the way to go here.

Our Newest Size Range | Grainline Studio

Our Research

As you can imagine, a lot of research went into creating our new size range. It’s not every day you get to design a new block so we wanted to make sure we went in prepared!

Your Survey Results

Back in January of this year we did a survey which 2000 of you were kind enough to answer. Through this we were able to get a LOT of sizing data, directly linked to our community. We asked you for your height, upper bust, full bust, under bust, waist, hip, thigh, calf, bicep, and more and you all delivered. From there we broke down the data to create our size range and got to work finding our fit model. 

Other Research

In addition to using the measurements given to us by the community, we also consulted ASTM and Alvanon data to access more in-depth measurements and cross check what they gave against what we were hoping to do with our range. Through the combination of all of this data we were able to settle on our 14 – 30 size range.

Our Process

Drafting and Initial Production

The most important thing in drafting the new block was finding a good fit model. While we do have an Alvanon form that corresponds to each of our block sizes, nothing replaces a fit model for us. We need to see how the garment moves and feels on a human, and we take the feedback of our fit models very seriously. We are extremely lucky to have an Alvanon form that corresponds almost exactly to each of our wonderful fit models, which helps to streamline those first few fittings, but as you move on in the fitting process your fit model becomes more and more important. We have a fit model for each size range, Allyson and Tiffany, and we’ll be giving a breakdown on their measurements in a future post.

Community Fitting and Feedback

After drafting for our fit model and grading the pattern, we called on members of our community to come in and try on various different sizes. They provided valuable feedback on fit and comfort, as well as allowed us to see and fit the patterns on many different bodies in person. This community fitting and feedback was truly invaluable to us and these community members were paid for their time. 


Our Newest Size Range | Grainline Studio

Differences in Drafting

Cup Size

You’ll notice a difference in the cup size the two size ranges are drafted for, 0 – 18 has not changed and is our traditional B cup, while 14 – 30 is a D. It’s important to note that these are ‘sewing’ cup sizes, not bra sizes. To determine your sewing cup size you’ll subtract your upper bust from your lower bust. If you have a 2” difference that would be considered a B cup, a 4” difference is considered a D cup. If you’ve ever done a full or small bust adjustment you’ll be familiar with these sizes.

Differences Between the Blocks

A lot of you have asked the main differences between the two blocks, besides just the sizing, especially to do with the overlapping sizes. Our 0 – 18 block is unchanged so if you’ve been sewing from that block and would like to keep doing so, you’re all set. For example with the 14 - 30 block you’ll notice a bit more room through the biceps and a wider front bodice in the tops. In the bottoms we’ve angled the waistband and added more room through the seat.

Additionally in some places we’ve changed the draft or construction in order to aid in fit, as mentioned above. The larger the bust the more you need shaping to mould to it, so in some patterns the quantity or placement of darts may differ slightly between the two ranges.

Is there a way to use the cup size from the 0 – 18 with the 14 – 30 or vice versa? No, the two can not be combined. Since the two patterns were drafted separately off different blocks based on what works best for each body proportion and construction wise, the two sets of pattern pieces are not interchangeable. 

Miscellaneous Questions

Are you planning on updating older patterns to the new size range? We are planning on updating! We asked during our survey which of our existing patterns you’d be interested in seeing redrafted first, and as a result of your answers we’re currently working on the Uniform Tunic, the Alder Dress, and the Driftless Cardigan. We don’t have a release date on those yet but as soon as you do you’ll hear it here!

What if we purchased the original pattern with the intention of grading up? We are currently working out a system to handle situations like this. If you bought a pattern previously and want the new size range we cannot afford to replace printed patterns, but we will have a system worked out for an upgrade by the time any patterns are updated. 

Will you be increasing your patterns past a size 30? At the moment we do not have plans to. There was a significant drop off in bust size, both in the survey taken by the Curvy Sewing Collective and our own survey, around a 52-54” bust, which is why we stopped at a 56” bust. If in the future it’s a viable option for us it’s definitely something we would consider.

Our Newest Size Range | Grainline Studio

I hope this has answered most of your questions regarding our new size range. If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments below, or if it’s something you’d like to ask us privately, you can email us via our contact form. 

I want to sincerely thank every person who helped us get to the point where we could release this new range. From our team at Grainline who worked tirelessly on this for the past year, to each and every one of you who pushed us to get this size range out. Thank you!