How to take different body measurements
This article is a collection of varying body measurements you might need to sew a pattern. This list is probably more body measurements than you will ever need. Therefore, better too much than not enough. Keep in mind a couple of different variables you will need to take into account.
First and foremost, be sure you are wearing the same type of bra and underwear you plan to wear with the current garment pattern you are working. If you are not wearing a bra with the specific garment you are making, then the measuring should be done without wearing a bra. Thus, vice versa. Wearing and measuring with underwear on isn’t as big of a deal as the bra is.
You need to take into account your posture while measuring. Always stand with your feet no more than shoulder-width apart. Stand up straight and not hunch over. Stand comfortably while taking the different measurements. Don’t’ try and suck in your gut or try to stand taller than you are. Relax and take the natural measurements.
Time since last measurements
Another thing that you might need to take into account is if you gained or lost any weight? If so then you need to retake your measurements.
Items you will need to make measurements:
Flexible measuring tape – to take measures with around different body parts.
Elastic, bias tape or twill tape – this is for making where to measure to and from points.
Another person to help you take measurements.
Pen & paper – to write down and record measurements.
See the images I have drawn to help with where to measure each body part.
A = Head circumference (This is the total length all the way around the head where a cap would sit.)
B = Neck Line (If you were to wear a short necklace around your neck, the placement would naturally curve around at this point.)
B to C = Neckline curve
C = Base of neckline where the shoulders begin.
D = Shoulder point
D to C = Shoulder length (Measurement from shoulder point to base of the neckline.)
E = Elbow circumference (Total length around the elbow at the most substantial part.)
F = Wrist circumference (The length all the way around the wrist.)
G = High bust (The circumference around the back and upper part of the bust. This is right under the armpits.)
H = Bust (The widest point of the bust all the way around the body.)
I = Waist Line (Measure from the navel all the way around the body.)
J = Front trunk length (Taken from the neck/shoulder point C to I, the waistline.)
K = Hips (Measure the widest point around the butt and front of the body.)
L = Crotch line (Bottom of the trunk (privates)this point is for measuring the inseam.)
M = Thigh (Taken around the most substantial part of the upper leg.)
N = Knee (The circumference from around the middle of the knee.)
O = Calf (Measures around the most substantial part of the calf.)
P = Ankle (Use the ankle bone as a reference point to measure around.)
Q = Inseam (Taken from the crotch line (L) to the ankle measurement point (P).)
Front length measurements
R = Waist to knee length (From the waistline (I) to the knee measurement point (N).)
S = Waist to calf-length (From the waistline (I) again to the calf measurement point (O).)
T = Waist to ankle length (From the waistline (I) to the ankle measurement point(P).)
U = Waist to floor length (Taken from the waistline (I) down to the floor.)
Back length measurements
R1 = Waist to knee length (From the waistline (I) to the knee measurement point (N).)
S 1= Waist to calf-length (From the waistline (I) again to the calf measurement point (O).)
T 1= Waist to ankle length (From the waistline (I) to the ankle measurement point(P).)
U 1= Waist to floor length (Taken from the waistline (I) down to the floor.)
V = Back neck waist length (Measures from the base of the curve of the neck to the waistline.)
W = Back width at arms (Measurement from where the arms attach to the body straight across.)
X = Crotch depth (From sitting position, measure waist to the base of the object you are sitting on.)