Front and back views of a female mannequin adorned with measuring tape for precision.

MEASURE TWICE CUT ONCE: How to measure yourself for the perfect fit.

Knowing how to measure yourself accurately is key to a well-fitting garment.  For best results, ask a friend to help or take your measurements whilst looking in a full-length mirror. Wear the undergarments you would normally wear under clothes and use a flexible tape measure.  When measuring, hold the measuring tape so that it's comfortably snug but not tight. Remember to jot down your body measurements on a piece of paper for reference.

Image of front and back of female form with blue lines and numbers to indicate the important body measurements.

Bust: Measure over the fullest part of the bust and then straight across the back (1).

High Bust: Measure around the body. directly under the arms and across the top of the breasts (2).

Waist: Tie a string around the body at the thinnest part to establish your waistline and use as a reference point in taking other measurements. Measure circumference at the string (3).

High Hip: Measure 2" to 4" (5 cm to 10 cm) below your waist over top of hipbones (4).

Full Hip: Measure at fullest part of hips; mark position with pins on undergarment and measure down from waist over top of hipbones to pins, usually 7” to 9" (18 cm to 23 cm) from the waist (5).

Back Neck to Waist: Measure from prominent neck bone down centre back to waist mark (6).

Back Width: Measure from prominent neck bone down centre back 4" to 6” (10 cm to 15 cm) and mark Then measure at this point from arm crease to arm crease (7).

Front Neck to Waist: Measure from hollow between neck bones to centre front waistline (8).

Bust Point: To establish position of bust point, measure from base of neck to bust point. and from bust point to centre front at waist. Record both measurements (9).

Shoulder: Measure from base of neck to shoulder bone (hinge) (10).

Arm Length: Measure from shoulder bone to elbow and on to wrist bone with arm slightly bent. Record both lengths (11).

Arm Circumference: Measure around fullest part of arm, generally 1" (25 mm) below armpit (12), wrist at bone ( 13).

Neck Circumference: Measure fullest part of neck (14).

Skirt Length: Measure from centre back waist to desired point on leg for hem (15), referring to the back of the envelope for a description of lengths. This will help you to estimate any length adjustments necessary on your pattern and any changes from the recommended amount of fabric to purchase.

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