How to Measure

Depending on what is being made, the most important measurements required are the bust, waist and hip measurements. To take these accurately, a close body measure is required and I would suggest taking them directly over underwear or over a close fitting Tshirt or leotard and leggings or tights.

It's best to have someone else take the measurements as taking them yourself can be difficult and and not very reliable.

For the bust, wear the type of bra you would expect to wear with this particular garment as the bra you wear will determines the position of the bust point. I find it best to measure from behind asking the person being measured to place the tape over the fullest part of the bust and make sure the tape is pulled taught around the bust (so it doe not droop) but not tight (otherwise you're getting too small a bust measure).

The waist measure should be the smallest part of the abdominal area. If this is not obvious, tie a piece of elastic (the type used for elasticated waistbands) around her middle and it will naturally settle around the smallest part of this region and measure around that.

The hipline, is the widest part of the area where the torso meets the legs and like the waist should be obvious (especially if one has a figure like an hourglass or a pear). If, on the other hand, the figure is like an apple or a banana, where there isn't clear definition between the waist and hips, making the hipline not so obvious, 2 measurements, will be required: the top hip and lower hip. The top hip is about 4 " below the waist and the hipline is about 9" below the waist (note: with banana or apple shapes the top hip may be bigger or the same size as the hipline).

Other measurements that are useful to have are the following: Nape to waist, Nape to bust, Cross Back, Sleeve length, Dress length or Jacket length. These measurements are much easier to take and there are visual guides on the body to help you take them.

Nape to waist - The nape of the neck is the vertebrae at the base of the back of the neck that is most prominent. Place the end of the tape measure there and your taking the distance from that point to the waist.

Nape to bust - Hold the tape at the nape and this time go around the neck (the tape measure should be touching the neck) down the front to the bust point (nipple), (note: if you are going around the right side of the neck go to the bust point on the right, not left). As stated earlier, when taking this measure it is particularly important that the person being measured is wearing the type of bra expected to be worn with the garment.

Cross back is taken with the person standing with arms down and is the distance across the back from just under the armpits.

Sleeve length is taken from the top of the shoulder (there should be a bone that protrudes slightly at the top of the shoulder just inside from the arm socket). Have the person stand with hand on hip and take the measure from that shoulder bone to the bone that sticks out on the outside of the wrist.

Dress length and jacket length will vary from garment to garment. These measurements are taken from the nape of the neck down the back to the desired length. The beauty of toiling is that if you are not sure how long a piece should be, give a length you think you would like and when the toile is made, the length can be checked and adjusted, if necessary.