Whether you’re an avid knitter or a mad sewist, one thing you have to know when making garments, is your measurements. As this year I’m trying to slowly build a handmade wardrobe (and I know I’m not alone!), I thought it would be an interesting subject for my How-To Thursday series.

So let’s learn to take accurate measurements together!

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Measuring your body on your own isn’t an easy task (just imagine having to record the width of your back on your own and you’ll understand why…)
But apart from some impossible measurements, most of them can be done alone if you’re careful enough.

First find a big mirror (one you can see all of yourself into), a tape measurer, some cute stickers and a piece of string.

Then relax and have fun! That way you won’t make yourself tense and end up with inaccurate numbers. So put some music on (but avoid dancing!) and start recording.
Use the mirror to make sure that you’re standing straight and your tape is leveled.

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And most importantly, don’t record a measurement you had to twist yourself to take, you’ll end up with false information. So for all back measurement, prefer to ask someone.

Measure yourself in your normal, everyday underwear (no cheating with a very very push up bra unless it’s something you always wear). For the measurements that need someone else’s help, if it’s someone you wouldn’t be comfortable being in front of in your underwear, it’s perfectly okay to wear a tight tank top and legging. You wouldn’t want any sexual harassment problems now, would you? 😉

A trick that’s very helpful for accuracy is to “mark” important points with a sticker. This will visually help you when taking numerous measurements from the same point.

How-To measure yourself marking yourself 01

Important points to mark would be the base of your neck (just in the small gap you have in the center of your collar bone). On the end of your shoulder, just on the bone, which is in fact the end of your collar bone. And on the back of your neck, just where the last vertebra is. (If you can’t find it, simply lower your head and the bone will pop right up!)

Same goes for the waist! Use the piece of string (or yarn if you’re feeling fancy) that you’ll tie about 6 mm (1/4″) above your belly button, it should be where your body is at it’s narrowest. By doing that, you’ll make sure every measurement you’ll take from/to the waist will be starting/ending at the same spot.

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The three most important measurements to determine are your bust, waist and hip. With them you’ll be able to choose the correct size to make for yourself. The nice thing? You can take them on your own right now! (If you are not in the middle of your office…)

The bust measurement will be taken around your fullest part.

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And the waist is measured on your guideline string.

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For the hip measurement, it can be helpful to record two separate measurements, your high hip and your low hip.

To help you find them, measure 11.4 mm (4 1/2″) from your waist (see how handy this piece of string is! :-)) and place a sticker, this is your high hip.

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Then again starting from your waist, measure 21.6 mm (8 1/2″) and mark your low hip with a sticker.

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You can now record your hip measurements.

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After these three important measurements, the more you take the better.

Some useful additional ones would be your armhole.

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Around the base of your neck.

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Your shoulder length, that is from the base of your neck to the sticker on your shoulder.

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Your back length which is from your neck point to your waist. Note that measuring your front length in the same manner could also be a useful information to have.

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And finally, your cross front and cross back measurement which you’ll take “flat” and by recording the distance between your arm creases.

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That’s it! You have just recorded your very own set of measurements and can now select a size knowing it’ll fit you.

Hope you enjoyed this post and that you’ll have fun measuring yourself!