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How To Take Body Measurements For Clothing

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This measurement guide helps you learn how to take body measurements for clothing. As a result, you can accurately convert all of the upcycled clothing tutorials into measurements that fit you properly. 

When making new clothing from old clothes or fabric scraps, it’s important to know how to measure yourself the right way. Understand all your measurements before you start refashioning new clothes from old clothes. 

It can be a bit intimidating to become familiar with clothing construction and how to upcycle clothes. Don’t be intimidated with the process, and follow the detailed guides to walk you through each step.

However, understanding your measurements before deconstruction old clothes is one of the most important steps. Size up your measurements on the original garment to make sure that you have enough material to work with before you start.

This measurement guide will help you achieve perfectly fitted garments. Let’s start by learning how to take the measurement of your size so that you can successfully make custom fitted clothes.

So how do you take measurements for sewing? Grab your tape measure and let’s get started!

How To Measure The Neckline

How to measure the neckline

Simply take a loose measurement around the neck, this will be your total neck opening.

Mine is 16” and normally when the garment is laid flat on the table, you will see about 8″ from one end to the other end of neck opening.

Depending on the style, you will increase or decrease this measurement. 

How To Measure The Shoulder

How to measure the the shoulder

Measure the length of the collarbone on one side. Start at the center of your body and measure to the end of the shoulder blade.

Mine is 6”.

We use this shoulder measurement to create sleeves and sleeveless tops.

How To Measure The Chest

How to measure the chest

Loop the measuring tape around your chest underneath your armpits to measure the fullest bust area, this is your chest measurement. 

Mine is 33 1/2”.

I use this exact measurement for knit fabrication, but for woven materials I add 2”~4” on both side seams depending on the style. 

How To Measure The Waist and Upper Torso

How to measure the waist and upper torso

Take the waist measurement around the belly button.

Mine is about 29”.

The upper torso is from high point of shoulder to the belly button length.

My measurement is 17”.

Depending on your silhouette, you might be around 15 1/2” to 17”. The upper torso will help you find the crop top length, meet and greet length or regular top length. Therefore, this is an important number to know. 

How To Measure The Waist and Hip

How to measure the waist and hips

Wrap the measuring tape around the fullest part of the hips.

Mine is 38”

This will help you determine the silhouette of any pants, shorts, skirts, or any bottom. If you are having difficult time to measure the hips, you can also try use the hip measurement of your favorite pants.

How To Measure The Biceps and Wrist

How to measure the biceps and wrist

Knowing biceps and wrist measurement will help you when you work on long sleeve tops and blouses. Whether it is a cuffed or elasticized band, you can easily add a couple inches to increase the measurement and create volume in the sleeve.

Mine is 10 1/2” for biceps and 6” for the wrist.

Measure around upper arm and wrist to find yours. 

How To Measure The Arm and Elbow

How to measure the arm and elbow length

Measure from the shoulder blade to the wrist, this is your regular long sleeve length. In general, the length varies from 22” ~24”.

The elbow is where the bend crease is. With these measurement you can create long or 3/4 sleeve length for your tops and blouses. 

How To Measure The Thigh and Knee and Ankle

How to measure the thighs, knees and ankle

Simply wrap the measurement around the thigh, knee, and ankle. Based on the pants silhouette, you will use these measurement to create diverse styles from wide leg to skinny bottoms. 

How To Measure The Outseam

How to measure the outseam

To know your exact outset measurement, wear comfortable pants and measure from the top of the waistband to the ankle bone. The length will be different for everyone.

Mine is about 34”.

However, depending on the style I range from 28” for cropped pants and 36” for full length pants.

How To Measure The Inseam

How to measure the inseam

Simply measure the length of the inner leg from the crotch to the ankle. If you have difficulty to measure the inseam, you can also measure the inseam of your favorite pants as well. Simply follow along the inside leg seam to take your inseam measurement.

Why is it important to take body measurement for clothing making?

Whether you are sewing a dress, purchasing a dress form for your size, or making a camisole top, having specific measurements will make all the difference. Take time and measure yourself so that you are able to make custom fitted clothing.

Based on this measurement guide, you can accurately estimate fabric usage. Add or subtract from my measurement in each tutorial to create perfectly fitted clothes you will love to wear all the time! Follow this step-by-step and let me know if you have any questions!

Continue along the upcycle journey with me and make new clothes that you are excited about wearing! 

How to take body measurement for clothing

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Friday 11th of June 2021

So amazing


Friday 11th of June 2021

Thank you Patience, hope that the body measurement guide was clear and easy to understand. Warmly, SoonJoo