There is a proper way to take measurements to give the best fit when making a garment. You should keep an accurate record of all your measurements, and check them each time you start to prepare a new pattern. The following notes should help you to take an accurate set of measurements.
There are no secrets here! You will never be able to fool yourself or anyone else about your size again! Having said that, keep in mind that different manufacturer’s sizes are different. One high street retailer’s size 14 is another’s 16, and yet another’s 12.
The first trick starts with your underwear!
If you have never done so, or have lost or gained weight since the last time, or even had a baby, get yourself fitted for a bra professionally. Did you know that more than 75% of women are wearing the wrong size of bra? Quite apart from the health problems this can cause (such as painful shoulders, backache and breast pain), a well-fitted bra that gives the correct support looks far better under you clothes than one that is too tight, causing unsightly bulges, or leaves you sagging in places that require support! Unfortunately, the older we get, the less we can afford to ignore this important point.
Knickers that fit are equally important. There is nothing so nasty as a ‘Visible Panty Line’ pointing out that you have squeezed a size 18 bum into size 14 undies! If you feel better in supportive undies, again, it is well worth your while to find something that fits properly, asking for fitting help where needed.
Many of the better department stores offer this advice free to customers, and it is worth spending a little extra on good quality, properly fitted underwear. With the knowledge you are in the process of gaining, you will save far more making you own clothes than you will spend on the difference between cheap, badly fitting undies and those that fit well, are comfortable, and do their job without showing on the outside!
Having an accurate set of measurements to work to will mean that the clothes you make will fit you properly. Taking an accurate set of measurements is not difficult, but takes care. It is almost impossible to take your own measurements, so we will do this exercise in pairs.
Look at the diagram below. On it are marked all the measurements you will need for most garments. Patterns for garments that require more will tell you which extra measurements are needed. There is space to add these to your personal measurement chart when you need them.
KEY TO DIAGRAM:
Other useful measurements are
You should take the measurements in a minimum of clothing for the sake of accuracy.
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