Accurate Measurements

Accurate measurements are a must throughout the sewing process.

Accurate measurements are the most important step in getting a great fit.  Here are some tips to get the best possible measurements.  Although careful measurements do take some time, they will save you time and frustration in the long run.

Simple, but mighty, the tape measure is one of the most important sewing tools.
  • Always use the same measuring tape to measure; different tapes can vary slightly causing inaccurate measurements if more than one is used.
  • Measure over the underwear you will wear with the garment
  • Often your weight can fluctuate enough to change your measurements within a few weeks. Take a new set of measurements each time you make a new garment if more than a couple of weeks have elapsed.
  • Pull the measuring tape snug, but not tight.  You should be able to get a couple of fingers underneath the tape.
  • Remember it is easier to take in a garment to make it smaller than it is to enlarge a garment.
  • Some sewing experts recommend using the metric system. This is great if you are used to it. Commercial patterns generally give both metric (centimeters and meters) and the US customary system  (inches, feet, and yards) measuring units.  British patterns will generally have both the metric and the imperial system.
  • Read your pattern package to make sure what measurements are actually used for your size; keep in mind that ready-made fashion sizes are slightly different than those used by sewing pattern companies.  Remember that you may have to use a different pattern size than what you buy off the rack.