How to Take Body Measurements?

In order to construct a garment that fits well, body measurements must take with precision. You can draft original patterns based on these measurements. This can be used as the basic of a variety of styles.

Preparation for Measuring:-

  1. For taking the measurements use a good quality of measuring tape which study and will not stretch. It should not be too stiff. It should be flexible.
  2. The metal end of the tape should be used for vertical measurements and the other end for horizontal and circumference measurements.
  3. The measurements should be taken over smooth fitting foundation garments and never over bulky garments.
  4. Before taking measurements tie a cord or string around the waist.
  5. Take a ¼” wide tape and cord it around the armhole. This will make it easier to measure the width of shoulder, armhole, depth, etc..
  6. Stand correct with the arm hanging straight at the sides while measurements are being made by someone else. It is possible though less convenient and less accurate to take your own measurements.
  7. Take snug measurements rather than tight or loose ones.
  8. Hold the tape parallel to the floor for horizontal measurements and the tape down to the floor for the vertical measurements.
  9. As the measurements are taken, record then in a notebook. The measurements will depend on the type and style of garments. You are making and the age and sex of the intended user.

Basic Measurements

Measurements needed for the construction of the Garments for Ladies, Children and Men:-

Ladies Measurements:

                The various positions on the body where measurements are to be taken are shown in figure.

Bodies Measurements:

Bust:  Measurements around the fullest part of the bust raising the measuring tape slightly to a level just below the shoulder blades at the back.

Waist: Measurements snugly around the waist where you tied the cord, keeping the tape parallel to the floor.

Neck: Measure around the neck, passing the tape just above the color bone in front and along the base of the neck at the back.

Shoulder: Measure from the neck joint to the arm joint along the shoulder [A to B in fig., 1 (a)] otherwise you can measure from pit to pit of the arm joint.

Front waist length: Measure down from neck at the highest point of shoulder to waist line through the fullest part of the bust [A to C in fig., 1 (a)]

Shoulder to bust: Measure down from the highest point of the shoulder to the tip of the bust [A to D in fig., 1 (a)]

Distance between bust points: Measure in horizontal direction the distance between two bust points. [D to E in fig 1(a)]

Back width or across back measurements: Measure across the back from armhole to armhole about 3” below base of the neck. [P to Q in fig 1(b)]

Back waist length: Measure from the base of neck to the centre back to the waist line. [R to S in fig 1(b)]

Armhole depth: Measure from the base of neck at center back to a point directly below it and in level with the bottom of the arm where it joints the body. [R to T in fig 1(b)]

Note: Shoulder to bust and Distance between bust points measurements are needed for location and the position of darts.

Sleeve Measurements:

Upper arm circumference: Measure around fullest part of the arm.

Lower arm circumference: Measure around the arm at decided level corresponding to lower edge of sleeve.

Elbow circumference: Measure around the arm at elbow.

Wrist: Measure around the wrist.

Sleeve length: For short sleeve length measure down from the tip of shoulder at the top of arm to desired length of sleeve. [B to F in fig 1(a)]

For elbow length sleeve: Measure from the top of arm to elbow [B to G in fig 1(a)] sleeve measure for full length bend the elbow slightly and measure down from top of arm to back of wrist passing the tape over the elbow point. [B to H in fig 1(a)]


  1. Banu Shaik
  2. sumathi k

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