How To Take Measurements

Taking accurate body measurements is a crucial step before starting any sewing project.
It is essential to ensure that the final product fits well and is comfortable to wear.

Here are some reasons why taking body measurements is important:

  1. Customization: Taking body measurements allows you to customize your clothes according to your body shape and size. This ensures that the final product fits you perfectly and is comfortable to wear.
  2. Accuracy: Accurate body measurements ensure that the final product is not too tight or too loose. This is especially important when making fitted garments like dresses, blouses, and pants.
  3. Saves time and money: Taking body measurements before starting a sewing project can save you time and money. It helps you avoid making mistakes and having to redo the project. It also ensures that you don’t waste fabric by cutting it too small or too large.
  4. Professional look: Taking body measurements ensures that the final product looks professional. It gives the garment a tailored look and makes it look like it was made by a professional.

    When taking body measurements, it is important to use a flexible tape measure and to measure yourself in your undergarments. Below are some of the key measurements you should take.

    how to measure for men's clothing

    How to measure chest: Position one end of the measuring tape at your fullest chest and wrap it under your armpits and shoulder blades to the front. Keep the tape snug but not overly tight. If you have assistance, lower your arms to maintain a natural chest position.

    TIP: If you wear one, wear non-padded bra to get the most accurate measurements.

    How to measure waist: Measure your natural waistline by wrapping the tape around 2 inches (5 cm) above your belly button. To check, simply bend to one side – the crease that forms is your natural waistline.

    TIP: Don’t suck in your stomach as this will give you inaccurate results.

    how to measure for clothing

    How to measure hips: Stand straight with your feet together and measure across the fullest part of your hips and buttocks, about 8 inches (20 cm) below your waist. Use a mirror to see if the tape is level.

    How to measure inseam: Needed for pants (jeans, trousers, shorts). Measure from top inside of thigh to bottom of ankle. Cheat by measuring from crotch to hem of your best-fitting pants. Smooth out bumps or wrinkles for accuracy.

    How to measure neck: Place the tape at the base where your neck connects to your shoulders. Just below your Adam’s apple is a good spot. Relax and look forward. Use one finger to check that the collar isn’t too snug.

    how to measure for men's shirt

    How to measure shoulders: For the best shoulder measurements, it's helpful to have a partner or you can use a favourite shirt that fits well - measure from the back, not the front. Position one end of the tape measure where the shoulder and arm meet, then run it across your back following the natural curve of your shoulders.

    How to measure sleeve length: To make it easier, you could ask a friend for help. Measure from the back by starting at the middle of your neck and running the tape down to the meaty part of your palm, known as the thenar. This will give you more flexibility when you move your arms.

    Body Measurements and Size Charts: How Do They Correspond?

    Check out our patterns and you'll see a size guide in the photo album next to each listing. This chart will give you measurements for waist, hips, and chest. Once you know your measurements, it's simple to determine if a pattern will fit you and what size to make.

    What If I'm Across Sizes? 

    In cases whether you fit across multiple sizes (e.g. Chest is XL, Waist is L, Hips are XL) we recommend cutting the largest size (XL in this case) and then making adjustments where needed.

    This handy picture from Rad Patterns (one of our wonderful designers) may also help:
    Happy Sewing!
    Model Pictures courtesy of Magic Linen
    Back to blog

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.