Thursday, September 24, 2015

How to Take Body Measurements

Taking correct and accurate body measurements can ensure a great fitting garment and is well worth the time and effort. It is recommended to take your body measurements prior to purchasing your pattern.

Body Measurement Chart
Create a body measurement chart that you can use as a reference. The measurements you get can then be used to purchase the correct size pattern. The measurements can also aid in purchasing the right style pattern to best suite your body type.

I recommend updating the body measurement chart on a regular basis to document any changes over time. Always use your measurements to determine your pattern size versus going by what size you wear from an off-the-rack garment.

Ideally; however, it is not a requirement.
  • Take your own measurements in front of a mirror, or
  • Have someone else take your measurements for accuracy
  • Do not measure over bulky clothing
There are several areas of the body you can measure for a perfectly tailored fit; however, for the garments we will be making in our sew-alongs only the standard measurements will be needed. On the back of a commercial pattern or in the pattern book your will see a list of standard body measurements, which you can use as a guide for which measurements to take. Remember that the under garments you are wearing will affect your measurements. This is particularly important when you are making a fitted garment.

What you will need:
  • Dressmaker or tailor’s measuring tape
  • Writing materials


Full Bust – Measure around the fullest part of your bust with the measuring tape around your body.

Back Waist – Measure from the base of your neck to your natural waist along the center of your back (you might need help with this).

Waist – Take this measurement around your natural waistline. Generally this is the narrowest part of your waist; usually near your belly button.

Hips – Several inches below your natural waist line and is generally the widest point.

Crotch Depth (seated) – Measure down from your natural waist to the seat at the side seam while you are sitting.

Pant Length – Measure down from your natural waist to the ankle while you are standing. You can also add a second measurement to the floor.

Back Bodice Width – Measure from arm hole to arm hole at about 4 inches down from center shoulder.

Sleeve length – Slightly bend your elbows and measure along the back of your arm from the shoulder to elbow and elbow to wrist.

*Please note that for a completely tailored garment you can take more measurements in addition to the ones mentioned above.

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  1. Thanks for your instructional post on how to take your body measurement. I appreciate it.

    1. You are welcome! I hope it was a good reminder on what we did at the studio. Thanks for the visit.


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