(A downloadable .pdf version of the above document is available at the end of the post.)
When I am planing on making clothing for someone, I find it very helpful to have a sheet of paper where I am able to put the person’s name, the date, and their measurements. When taking a measurement, you measure around the largest part of the area you are measuring. This is what I have put together for myself to use:
The name and date are very important, especially for babies and children. They are forever changing! For the date I put the month and year.
I’ve just started to do the height. It gives you an overall look at the size of the person. I would do height mainly for children.
I measure the head by going around the forehead to the largest part of the back of the head. Head is good for hats and headbands and anything else you can think of.
I go around the largest part of the neck for jewelry as well as clothes that go close around the neck. If they have a large Adam’s apple, make sure you go around that part of the neck.
Bust is going around the largest part of the chest.
Waist is going around the middle of the body where the belly button is.
Below Waist is about 2 inches below the waist or where ever the person likes to wear their pants or skirts. I do below waist also because most children and adults prefer wearing things below their waist. A lot of patterns are made that way too.
Hips are going around the largest part of the person’s bottom.
I go around the large part of the leg to make sure the pants or shorts will fit around the leg right.
Shoulder to shoulder is measured from shoulder bone to shoulder bone or shoulder seam line to shoulder seam line from the person’s back. Needed when making a top or dress.
Girth… I think that is what it is called. You take the measuring tape starting at the top of one shoulder in the front where the seam line would be. You go under the crotch, and over to the other shoulder in the back where the seam line would be. This is for one-piece swim suits or anything like that. You may need a 120 inch measuring tape.
I do both the waist and below waist measurements here as well. I feel it is more accurate. It gives me more to go off of when I am making an outfit. To Floor is going flat on the floor. To Capri is below the knee somewhere around the lower part of the calf muscle or where ever the person likes the Capri length to be. To Knee is going right above the round part of the knee. You may need the person to bend their knee a bit to find the spot, then have them straighten the leg for you to measure.
Clothing size is the size clothing they would buy in the store. I know children’s tops are sometimes a different size than their pants so both are nice to have. It’s helpful when I am deciding what size to make the outfit. I do not always use the same sizes for patterns that the clothing sizes would suggest.
Shoe size is the size shoe that they buy. Length of foot I do separately because most people’s feet are different sizes. These measurements are good when you make slippers or if a costume calls for a foot cover, etc.
Inseams are important when making pants. Put that with the waist to floor and you will get the length right for the pants.
Floor, Capri & Knee are the same spots you did when you measured from the waist.
Neck to waist and below waist are good for tops and one-piece outfits. You measure from the top bone of the spine to where you are measuring to. Make sure the person is standing as straight as possible.
Neck to floor is good for long dresses and one-piece outfits.
I go around the large part of the arm to make sure the sleeve fits around the arm. This is also helpful when I am putting elastic in a short sleeve.
Around Wrist is where the hand and arm meet or where the person likes wearing things on the wrist. I like making jewelry so the wrist measurement is good to have. It also helps when I put elastic in a long sleeve outfit.
Short measure from the top of shoulder bone and or where the seam line is to where you want the short sleeve to end.
Elbow measure from the top shoulder bone to the elbow when it is bent.
3/4 measure from the top shoulder down the bent arm to the middle of elbow and wrist.
Long measure from the top shoulder down the bent arm to the wrist where hand and arm meet.
I do the different lengths so I can make a sleeve any length that is wanted.
I tried to cover all the different needs for making clothes or accessories for someone. I know I have used the different measurements at one time or another. I feel it is better to have the measurement and not use it than not have it and need it. Because the people I sew for are not close by, I get all the info I can when I can. 🙂
I hope this is helpful to people. I know it is a big help for me. I have a sheet for every one of my children, and if they are married, their spouse and their children as well. I put the sheets in a manila folder with the parents’ name on the tag part. I have kept all the older sheets so I can compare the old with the new measurements. It does help if a number was written down wrong or helps to see how much they have grown.
Enjoy sewing. I’m learning to enjoy it.
Don’t forget to download the .pdf version of the measurement sheet for your own use!