Use a cloth tape measure and measure yourself on your bare skin, not over clothes (except for your inseam) making sure that when you circle your chest, waist, or hips that the tape is level and not too tight or too loose for an accurate measurement.
Generally, most women have a good idea what their measurements are, but never assume and get an accurate measurement. The measurements that you definitely need are your chest, waist, hips, and inseam. You may also want to take your thigh and upper arm measurements, remembering to be sure to write the measurements down as you go.
Female Body Measurement Chart
Waist: Measure the circumference of your waist by using the tape to circle your waist at your natural waistline, without sucking in your tummy. It is located above your belly button and below your ribcage. (If you bend to the side, the crease that forms is your natural waistline.) But, if you generally wear your clothes below the natural waistline, take that measurement as well.
Hips: Measure the circumference of your hips by starting at one hip and wrapping the tape measure around your buttocks then around the other hip, and back to where you started. Make sure the tape measure is over the largest part of your buttocks to get the measurement correct. Use a mirror to check on placement if in doubt.
Inseam: You need to measure the distance from the top inner part of your thigh through to the bottom of your ankle. You can measure your inseam in two ways:
- While you’re wearing a pair of pants, have a friend stretch the tape from your crotch to the bottom of your ankle.
- Or, you can do it on your own by using a pair of pants that fit you perfectly, you can measure the inseam yourself, by measuring from crotch to hem.
Remembering that the proper inseam will depend on the height of the heels you wear with the pants.
Thigh: Measure the circumference of the fullest part of your thigh by wrapping the tape measure around your thigh from front to back and then around to the front of the fullest part of your thigh.
Upper Arm: Measure around at the widest part of your arm.
Sleeve Length: Measure by placing your hand at your waist and bending your elbow 90 degrees. Have a friend measure from the middle of the back of your neck to your shoulder, down your arm to the elbow, and then on to the wrist.
In most sewing projects you will be able to do the basic measurements required to complete a garment for yourself, but, you may need the assistance of a friend or family member with the some of the measurements. Alternatively, if you have a garment that fits you perfectly, measure the garment rather than your body as a good substitute.