How to Take Measurements

In order to knit a correctly fitted garment you will need the following measurements. Since most of the people who will use this tutorial live in the US, I am using the imperial system (measurements are given in inches). The easiest way to convert to metric is to use a tape measure with both inches and cms. Sometimes it is possible to find these with inches on one edge and cms on the other edge; these are easier to use. However, if you are only able to find one with inches on one side and cms on the other this will still work. Place the tape around your bust, just as you normally do. At the point where the tape overlaps, pinch with your fingers to record the exact spot, turn the tape over and read the other side. Repeat this process for all required measurements.

If you do not like to work with the above method, it is also possible to convert using a calculator. 1" equals 2.54 cms. Multiply the measurements in these lessons by 2.54 and you will have measurements in cms. A calculator comes in very handy here!


illustration 1. Head, just above ears_____.
2. Neck_____.
3. Bust, around fullest part_____.
4. Hip, around fullest part_____.
5. Back shoulders, from arm socket to arm socket across back_____.
6. Back chest, just above armhole_____.
7. Waist, around belt_____.
8. Upper Arm_____.
9. Elbow_____.
10. Forearm_____.
11. Wrist_____.
12. Thigh_____.
13. Knee_____.
14. Ankle_____.
15. Bust point to bust point_____.
16. Bust point depth; measure from top of shoulder at neck point to point of bust_____.
17. Crotch depth. Sit on a hard chair. Measure down from belt over hip at side seam to the chair. See a sewing book if you are unsure how to take this measurement._____.
18. Front Crotch. Measure from center front waist down to crotch (the point where pants inseam intersects front/back crotch seam)____
19. Armhole. Measure from shoulder, down around under armpit and back up to shoulder, keeping tape snug. Ease must be added when drafting the pattern_____.
20. Sleeve length. Measure from top of shoulder over slightly bent elbow down to wrist bone_____.
21. Sleeve seam. Measure from high up under arm down inside of arm to wrist bone_____.
22. Back waist length. Measure from bump at base of neck to bottom of belt_____.
23. Side seam length to waist. Measure from high up under arm to bottom of belt.
24. Hip depth. Bottom of belt to full hip line. This can be anywhere from 4" to 8" below waist_____.
25. Knee depth. Bottom of belt to middle of knee_____.
26. Pants side seam length. Bottom of belt to bottom of ankle bone___
27. Inseam length. Front crotch down inside to bottom of anklebone____

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

* This measurement is used to check the front chest measurement. Measure across chest with arms hanging down at the sides, at point where arm joins body.

If there are any special fitting problems, measure and take note of them. Wear the shoes and undergarments you will be wearing with the finished garment. Heels affect fit and drape, especially for skirts and pants. Fasten a narrow belt snugly around waist, and use it as the waist reference throughout.


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Irene Woods
P.O. Box 637
Wickenburg, AZ 85358
(928) 684-2969

1997-2002 by Irene Woods

Email: irenewoods@clearwater.net