Sewing 201 - How to take Body Measurements


Now that we have become hopefully familiar with the sewing machine and sewing a straight stitch, it is time to venture into the world of garment sewing. Step one is the proper taking of measurements. There are a lot of measurements one can take depending on what you are sewing and the body you are measuring. For now, we will cover the core measurements to create a profile of sorts from head to toe. These we shall apply when we begin our drafting lessons. Any other extra measurements will be mentioned when we need it.


Preparation of the model.

1. Please wear your normal underwear for this process.


2. Tie a ribbon or elastic around your natural waist to help guide you.

3. For dress forms, create a bridge between the breasts by pinning a ribbon or elastic from breast to breast. This can be avoided in a live model. But you can wrap a ribbon around the bust to create the same effect. This is to prevent the tape from dipping in between the breasts when taking the centre front measurement.


4. Put dots or cross marks with a marker or sticky paper on the following spots. Helpful, especially if you are measuring yourself, but not absolutely necessary.


A) centre front of neck, (between the clavicle)

B) centre back of neck at the last big neck bone (7th cervical vertebrae)

C) shoulder point at base of the neck

D) shoulder point at top of the arm

E) apex of breast (highest point)

Above the Waist Measurements

neck measurement

NECK – Take around the base of the neck where it is thickest, fitted but not too tight.


full shoulder measurement

ACROSS SHOULDER – Take from one Shoulder bone across the back to the other Shoulder bone (Do not include the arm)

shoulder measurement

SHOULDER – Take from base of neck to shoulder bone

across chest measurement

ACROSS CHEST  – Take from armpit to armpit across the chest

across back measurement

ACROSS BACK- Take from armpit to armpit across the back

above bust measurement

UPPER BUST – Take around the torso above the bust

full bust measurement

FULL BUST – Take around the torso over the fullest part of the bust

apex nipple to nipple measurement