It is impossible to sew clothes without taking body measurements. The thing is that people have different figures and everyone wants a dress made specially for their figure. Some have bigger breasts, others have smaller waists, some are taller, others are shorter, everyone is unique. A pattern has a certain size and requires you to measure the body. If it is done correctly, then the clothes will fit perfectly. A small mistake can lead to clothes being too loose or too tight.
Today I will tell you what you need to know about taking body measurements and how to take them.
Basic rules that will help you make the right measurements:
- use a flexible measuring tape (not a fabric one, as those tend to stretch out over time);
- tie a ribbon around your waist, so that it is horizontal to the floor; it will help when taking measurements;
- some measurements are difficult to be taken by yourself, ask someone to help you; this will make it easier for you and you will be sure that the measurements are accurate;
- put on a bra that you plan to wear with the garment, a different type of lingerie can change the bust measurement and chest circumference;
- the measurements should be taken standing in a natural pose, relaxed, without sucking the stomach in;
- to avoid inaccuracies, the measuring tape should not be pulled tight or kept too loose;
- if you are not sufficiently experienced in this, it is advisable to make a measurement several times;
- most often the length measurements are recorded in full and the circumference measurements – in half the size.
Now let’s start measuring.
1. Height. Measure from the top of the head to the heels.
2. Waist. Measure the smallest part of your torso; the measuring tape should go tightly around the waist.
3. Chest. Bring the tape at the back horizontally and over the shoulder blades, at the front – above the bust.
4. Upper bust. Bring the tape at the back horizontally and over the shoulder blades, in the front – around the fullest part of the bust.
5. Bust. The tape runs around the body horizontally, in the front – over the fullest part of the bust, at the back – preserving the horizontal position. This type of measurement is most commonly used; it is the best option for you.
6. Hips. The measuring tape should go horizontally, parallel to the floor, across the largest part of the hip area.
7. Bust point. From the shoulder at the base of the neck to the apex of the bust.
8. Chest width. Measure horizontally between the front corners of the armpits and above the bust.
9. Bust width. Goes horizontally between the front corners of the armpits and over the apexes of the bust.
10. Bust separation. It is the distance between both apexes in the bust.
11. Front waist length. Measure from the shoulder at the base of the neck, over the apex of the bust and to the waist.
12. Garment length. For upper body garments, it is measured at the back, from the seventh cervical vertebra (if you tilt your head forward, you will notice that one bone in the back of the neck protrudes more than the others) to the desired length of the product.
12a.Garment length. For lower body garments – at the back, from the waist to the desired length of the product.
13. Back length. Measure from the seventh cervical vertebra to the waistline.
14. Back width. Measure horizontally, with your back straight, through the center of the shoulder blades.
15. Shoulder width. Measure horizontally, between the most prominent points of both shoulders.
16. Shoulder length. Measure from the base of the neck to the outermost point of the shoulder (the point of articulation of the shoulder with the arm).
17. Back armhole height. It is the distance from the highest point of the shoulder seam to an imaginary horizontal line drawn from the back point of the armpit.
18. Shoulder slope. Measure from the end point of the shoulder to the point of intersection of the spine with the waistline. The end point of the shoulder can be found with a thin knit shirt with sleeves. The point that we need is the place in which the shoulder seam goes into set-in sleeve seam.
19. Sleeve length. Slightly bend your arm at the elbow and measure the distance from the point where the shoulder ends and to the wrist. The length of the 3/4 sleeve is measured in the same way, but to the elbow.
20. Arm girth (top). Measure horizontally, around the widest part of the arm.
21. Neck circumference. Measure around the base of the neck.
22. Armscye depth. It can be measured as follows: put a strip of paper 1.18 – 1.57 inches wide under your armpit. Measure at the back, from the seventh cervical vertebra to the upper edge of the strip of paper.
23. Armhole width. Horizontally, squeeze a piece of paper under your armpit, draw vertical lines on both the left and right sides of your arm; the distance between the two lines will be the width of the armhole.
24. Hips height. Measure along the side, from the waistline to the hips.
25. Waist to floor. Measure down the side from the waistline to the floor.
26. Leg length (inseam). Measure along the inside of the leg, from the crotch to the floor.
27. Thigh circumference. Measure horizontally around a thigh, 1.97 inches below the infragluteal crease.
28. Knee circumference. Measure horizontally, 0.79 inches below the knee-cap.
29. Knee width. This measurement is especially important for slim-fit pants. Bring the measuring tape around a bent knee.
30. Knee height. Measure from the waistline to the middle of the knee.
31. Calf circumference. Measure horizontally at the fullest part of the calf.
32. Ankle circumference. Measure horizontally at the thinnest point of the leg.
33. Crotch depth. Measure sitting on a flat surface, from the waistline on the back to the surface.
The width of the pants at the bottom should be selected according to the type of garment. If you are going to sew slim-fit pants, the width of the pants at the bottom will be equal to the foot circumference over the heel.
You can find a special chart (ease chart), that tells you how much of extra fabric should be added to a sewing pattern for the clothes to fit properly. There are different chart types based on the product that you are sewing and whether it’s supposed to be close-fitting or loose-fitting.
Now you know the basic rules for taking measurements and know how to measure your body, which will help you make the pattern of the desired workpiece.
Believe in yourself and do not stop, keep doing what you like.