Custom-made Measurements

How to Take Body Measurements

How to Take Body Measurements

Taking accurate body measurements is one of the keys to great fit.  Even if you purchase patterns from the sewing center, you'll need to know your body size to get the right size pattern.

All you need is a tape measure!  While it's easiest to have someone else take your measurements, it can be done by yourself.  Just stand in front of a mirror so that you can see that you have the tape in the right position.

Ideally, you should be measured wearing only your undergarments.  However, a leotard or close-fitting clothing will be fine.  Do NOT measure yourself wearing jeans, sweats, or other bulky clothing.  It DOES make a difference!

Because the body is made of soft tissue, it can be a bit difficult to know exactly how tight to pull the tape around the body. The tape should be a bit snug, but not tight - it should not "dig in" or make an indentation in the body.  It should not be loose, either!  Just wrap the tape around the area of the body being measured and hold it in place.  You should be able to put a finger behind the tape, but no more than that. 

Measuring the body

A - Bust - Measure the bust at the fullest part. Measure all around the body (total circumference).

B - Waist - Measure the waist where the body bends.  It helps to bend side to side to identify exactly where to measure.  You can put an elastic band around the waist to mark the correct placement.

C - Hip - Measure the hips at the fullest part, usually around the seat.

D - From the shoulder joint (right next to the base of the neck) to the highest point of the breast.

E - Front Waist Length - Start at the shoulder (right next to the base of the neck), and measure to the waist, measuring over the fullest part of the bust.

F - Back Waist Length - Measure from the base of the neck (in the center, not the side), to the center of the waistline.

G - Arm Length - Measure from the top of the arm (find the bone at the shoulder/top of arm) to the wrist (find the bone at the side of the wrist), WITH THE ELBOW BENT.  It's important to keep the elbow bent to allow for movement when you make a sleeve.

H - Shoulder - The distance between two Shoulder joint with arms drooping naturally, taken at back.

I - Neck - The girth around the bottom of the neck.

J - Armhole - The girth around arm joint, Measure from the top of the shoulder, down the front of the shoulder, under the arm pit, and up the back of the shoulder.

K - Thigh Circumference - Around the thickest part of thigh.

L - Height - Your body height, bear.

Clothing Measuring Tips:

1. - Tops Coats and Dress: length from shoulder - Measure from the garments high point of shoulder to hem.

2. - Skirts: length: - Measure from the center of the waistband to hem.

3. - Sleeve Length - From shoulder seam to length sleeve seam.

4. - Slits Length - Desired length of the slit(s) on your garment.

5. - Pants: inseam - Measure from the bottom of the crotch seam to the bottom of the hem along the inside seam.

See? It's not hard, and you don't need a lot of measurements to get started.  You could also measure from the waist to the knee and/or the ankle for skirt length, but I usually just try on the garment at that point to decide where I want the hem.