How to Take Body Measurements for Sewing to Get the Perfect Fit

Sew Over It
by Sew Over It
1 Material
3 Minutes

Hello, everybody! Today, I’m going to show you how to take body measurements for sewing. It’s not the most exciting, but it’s something really important to make sure you’re doing right.

We see people measure for sewing in lots of different ways, and if you're measuring yourself improperly, then the fit of your garment is often going to be wrong. So I’m going to talk you through how to measure yourself.

The easiest way to measure yourself is to do it with a full-length mirror so you can see what you’re doing as you’re doing it. Let’s get started!

Tools and materials:

  • Measuring tape
how to measure bust

1. How to measure the bust 

When you’re measuring your bust, you want to be measuring the most protruding part of your bust. The most protruding part is going to be the measurement you see on the back of pattern instructions or on a sizing chart.

You want to make sure the tape measure is level all the way around because if it’s dipping down or too high up on your back, it’s going to give you a different measurement.

Make sure you’re not tightening it too much and also that you’re not breathing in.

how to measure waist

2. How to measure the waist

Measuring your waist is a bit trickier because it’s about finding the waist. We often find that people measure either side of their waist but not always at the natural point. 

how to measure waist

One way to find where your natural waist is is by putting your thumb where your waist is and bending down. It will kind of crease at that point and you can use that as a guide. Another way is to tie a ribbon around your waist and find where it naturally settles.

Again, the tape measure needs to be level, and try not to make it too tight. You don’t want to be pulling it in or cinching in any way. You want it to be just settled right on the skin.

It’s fine to measure over a thin top, but for anything thicker, you want to make sure you’re measuring underneath because you don’t want to be adding extra bulk.

how to measure hips

3. How to measure hips

Hips are slightly different because some of us are wider front-on, so our hips kind of come out at the side, while others of us are wider because our bottom sticks out, so when you’re measuring the hip, you want to make sure you’re finding whatever your widest point is.

Personally, my bottom sticks out, so I’ve always got to stand sideways so I can see the most protruding part of my bottom. I find measuring the hips to be the hardest because you’ve got a few points to look at.

Plus, it’s often the biggest amount so you have to see the tape measure as level all the way around.

Tutorial for How to Take Body Measurements for Sewing

So that’s how to take body measurements for sewing. When you read on the back of the pattern, that’s what is expected of you to have done. There are other measurements like backlinks and various others, but these are the standard measurements.

Let me know down below if this has helped make it clearer as to how to take these measurements!

Suggested materials:
  • Measuring tape

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Join the conversation
 1 comment
  • Mary Mary on Jun 14, 2022

    It would be great if you could include more measurements: for example sleeve length (for long sleeves), shoulder width, back length, head measurement for hats, etc.