Before you set forth and print your printable body measurement chart for sewing below, there are a few things you need to know before you get started.
If it was that straightforward, there would be no need for this useful article. When sewing clothes for yourself or someone else, I assume you would like them to fit.
With this in mind you will need to take ‘body measurements’, firstly, to know what size sewing pattern to acquire, but also to check against the pattern pieces during pattern placement and before cutting out the fabric, to ensure the garment will fit using the recommended seam allowance outlined in the sewing pattern.
Generally, most women have a good idea of 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.
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.
Is There a Best time to Take Body Measurements?
When taking body measurements, it is a good rule of thumb to adhere to the following:
- It is not a good idea to measure directly after a large meal
- Avoid taking measurements when you are feeling bloated
- Do not suck your tummy in
- Stand upright, with your feet together while looking directly ahead, not down.
Otherwise, it is rather straight forward using the chart below and following the guidelines outlined.
Chest: Measure the circumference of your chest by placing one end of the tape at the fullest part of your bust with the tape and circle under your armpits, around your shoulder blades, and back to the front.
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 some of the measurements.
Alternatively, if you have a garment that fits you perfectly, measure the garment rather than your body as an ideal substitute.
But, What About the Men?
After many inquiries, I have added a male body measurement chart for that significant other in your life.
If you have mastered taking female measurements from the above chart, then you won’t have any issues with taking a males body measurements following the same principles as above.
You will notice the significant difference in the straight up and down the shape of a male compared to the shape of the female body for taking measurements. Although taking men’s body measurements are simplistic enough, there is a couple of vitally important measurement you ‘must get right if making certain garments, those being:
- The rise (crotch length), best taken in a sitting position
- The upper arm, especially if they work out
- Across the shoulder, especially if they work out.
All that said and done, taking male body measurements is the same process as taking female body measurements, therefore you can follow the same guide for taking a males body measurements.
I wish you all the best with your success in sewing. If you have any queries, please ASK, below…
~Keep on Sewing