- Good fit begins with accurate measurements.
Commercial clothing and patterns are produced in
standard sizes (i.e. 8-20 for women and 36-46 for
men) that utilize an industry wide set of
standard measurements. Costume construction
utilizes a set of measurements to alter a
commercial basic pattern or generate a custom fit
pattern for each actor. In either case the the
process of measuring the body is the same.
- Measurements should be taken over the underwear
or a leotard only. A swimsuit is a good
substitute if a leotard is not available.
- Do not attempt to take measurements on yourself.
This will result in very inaccurate measurements.
- Hold the tape taut, not tight, against the body
and parallel to the floor.
- Be brutally honest when taking measurements. It
is pointless to invest the time and money in a
garment that will not fit.
- Stand at rest, feet flat on the floor. Do not
take measurements in front of a mirror as the
person being measured tends to pose.
- Tie a string around the waist at the navel or
thinnest part of the body. This will serve as a
base line for all vertical measurements.
- If your having trouble finding the shoulder bone,
raise the arm, a dimple will appear at the
- The base of the neck is the prominent bone on the
lower portion of the neck. This can be located by
bending the head forward.
- To locate the front neck base shrug the
shoulders, a hollow forms at the neck base.
- Update the measurements at least once a year.
Even if the body weight remains the same,
measurements can change. Body weight will shift
due to age, changes in lifestyle, or emotional
and medical conditions.
- If using a commercial pattern, compare the body
measurements to the industry standards. These are
found in the back of commercial pattern books or
on the back of any pattern envelope.
purchase a pattern that corresponds to your bust
measurement for blouses, jackets and dresses; for
skirts and pants use your waist or hip
purchase a pattern based on chest measurement for
shirts, jackets, robes; use waist measurements
for pants patterns.|
TO TAKE ACCURATE MEASUREMENTS
- BUST/CHEST - around fullest part
- HIGH BUST (Women only) - directly under arms,
- NECK (Men only) - at the Adam's apple. Add
1/2" to body measurement. This is now a
ready-to-wear neckband measurement.
- WAIST - over the string. String should be placed
at navel or thinnest part of body. Should feel
comfortable, not tight. Level should be where
clothing would ride on women only.
- HIPS - should be taken at the fullest part of the
body. This is approximately 9" on women and
8" on men.
BACK WAIST LENGTH - from the prominent bone at
the neck / base to string.
- FRONT WAIST LENGTH - from shoulder at neck base
to string. Over \ the fullest part of the \
bustline for women. See \ next page for diagram.
- SHOULDER TO BUST (Women only) from shoulder at
neck base to bust point. See next page.
- SHOULDER LENGTH - from neck base to shoulder
- BACK BREAKPOINT - across back below neck base,
at 5" for women and 6"for men. See
diagram previous page.
- ARM LENGTH - from shoulder bone to wrist bone,
over slightly bent elbow.
- SHOULDER TO ELBOW (Women) - from end of shoulder
bone to middle of slightly bent elbow.
- BICEP - at fullest part between shoulder and
elbow with muscles flexed.
- CROTCH DEPTH - from side waist to chair (Sit on
a flat chair with a straight back and use a
- CROTCH LENGTH - from center back waist at string
between legs to center front waist at string.
- THIGH - around fullest part.
- BACK SKIRT LENGTH (Women Only) - From center
back waist at string to desired shirt length.
- OUTSEAM - from side waistline at string to top
of arch on foot or desired pant length. This
measurement is taken along the outside of the