21 August 2012

Body Measurements

I get quite a few questions regarding how to take body measurements, so I thought i'd give you all the details with a diagram to show correctly. Hope this helps!


Depending on the type of garment you would like made, these are the measurements needed:

0. Height: Measure from tip of head down to feet.
1. Across Back: Measure from prominent neck bone down center back 4" to 6" (10cm to 15cm) and mark. M
easure across the back from armscye seam to armscye seam at the narrowest point (across the shoulder blades).
2. Across Front: Measure across the top of the breasts from left underarm to right underarm.
3. Across Shoulder: Measure from the back shoulder seam to shoulder seam.
4. Ankle: Measure around the ankle.
5. Armhole: Measure the circumference of your desired sleeve hole. Measure from under your arm around to the top of your shoulder and back to where you started. (It shouldn't be too tight and may help to have a blouse on).
6. Back Waist to Knee: Measure from center back waist to knee.
7. Back waist to Floor (Hem): Measure from center back waist to floor or desired length.
8. Bust: Measure over the fullest part of the bust and then straight across back.
9. Bust Points: Measure the distance between the center of your breasts from bustpoint to bustpoint.
10. Bustpoint to Under Bust: Measure from bustpoint down to underbust.
11. Bustpoint to Waist: Measure from bustpoint down to waist.
12. Calf: Measure around the fullest part of the calf.
13. Center Front Neck Base to Waist: Measure from the base of the neck (hollow between collar bones) to waist string at center front.
14. Chest (Over Bust): Measure aroun the body directly under the arms and across the top of the breasts.
15. Crotch Depth (Rise): Sit on a hard chair and measure at the side from the waist to the chair seat.
16. Crotch Length: Measure from the waist in back to the waist in front. Determine the front and back crotch length at the mid point between the legs (usually not an even division).
17. Elbow: Bend the arm slightly. Measure around the arm at the elbow.
18. High Hip: Measure 2" or 4"  (5cm to 10 cm) below your waist over the top of your hip bones (trouser waistline).
19. Hip: Measure around the fullest part of the hips, usually about 7" to 9"(18cm to 23cm) below the natural waist (this depends on your height).
20. Inseam: Measure from the inside of the crotch to the hem (for pants/jeans).
21. Instep: Measure around the heel over the top of the foot.
22. Knee: Measure the leg at the fullest part of the knee.
23. Knee Girth: Measure around both thighs at the fullest point. Do not pull the tape tight and ensure there is a 10cm gap between your feet.
24. Nape to Waist: Measure from prominent neck bone down center back to waist mark.
25. Neck base to Bustpoint: Measure from top of shoulder at base of neck to bust point.
26. Neck: Measure fullest part of neck- not too tightly!
27. Outseam: (side length ) Measure from waist to the top of the shoe heel (for pants/jeans).
28. Shoulder: Measure from base of neck to shoulder bone.
29. Sleeve: Measure from shoulder bone to elbow, and on to wrist bone with arm slightly bent, record both lengths. 29A.
30. Thigh: Measure the leg at the fullest part of the thigh.
31. Thigh Girth: Measure around both thighs, keeping tape measure parallel to the floor. Do not pull the tape tight and ensure there is a 10cm gap between your feet.
32. Torso Length (Trunk): Necessary for Catsuits. Using two tape measures, measure over the undergarments from the front waistline over the fullness of your bust to the middle of your shoulder. Continue down to your center back under the crotch and up to the center front waist.
33. Under Bust: Measure around the body directly under the breast and around the back.
34. Under Arm to Waist: Measure from under your arm to the narrowest part of your natural waist (especially useful for dresses with structured waists).
35. Upper Arm: Measure around fullest part of arm generally 1" (2.5cm) below armpit.
36. Waist: Tie a string around the natural waistline, usually the narrowest part of the torso and use as a reference point in taking other measurements. Measure the circumference of the string.
37. Waist to Floor (Hem): Measure from center front waist to floor or desired hem.
38. Waist to High Hip: Measure from center front waist to high hip.
39. Waist to Hip: Measure from center front waist to hip.
40. Waist to Knee: Measure from center front waist to knee.
41. Wrist: Measure the circumference of the wrist at wrist bone.

Check out the video tutorial here.


  1. This is awesome! Now I still need one for a male form. My son (16 years old) is 6'4", built like the discus-thrower he is, is a dancer. I need to turn-in his measurements for his new costume this week, but I really need help with what measurements to take. Can you help me out?

    1. Take exactly the same ones, it won't hurt, and though you may have more than is needed, you should have all that are required for the costumer.

  2. thanks for this diagram . now i want to know what is the name of this way for sewing and when the measurements finished what what we do and how to calculate for pattern making

  3. - THANK YOU for this chart! I want to begin sewing but it's been really hard coming across such a detailed list- and diagram!- as this. Much love- Mitch

  4. Thank you for sharing the dressmakers diagram and informtion. It is perfect.