Key Issues in the Body Measurements for Dressmaking

Body Measurement:
Body measurement plays a vital role in better fitting of garments to the human body. Hence, it is crucial for a designer or dressmaker to have better knowledge of body anatomy as well as the correct procedure for taking body measurements. For efficient fabric utilization in the cutting room, the designer should know the size and shape of the body for which the designing has to be done, and it begins with the eight head theory.

Body Measurements
Figure 1: Body measurements

Accurate body measurements are of vital importance for obtaining best results in cloth construction. Besides good fitting, correct measurements can also contribute towards saving time in constructing a garment. Personal measurements are required not only for stitching the garment at home or getting it stitched, but also for buying ready-made garments.

Taking body measurements is a responsible task, which should be undertaken with great care. For this purpose, it is important for a dress maker to have adequate knowledge about correct methods of taking and recording body measurements, equipment required for it and other important points to be considered in taking the measurements.

Points Considered while Taking Body Measurements:
One of the most important decisions that all apparel businesses need to make to develop clothing with acceptable fit is which body measurements to use to develop their patterns. It does not matter whether a business designs and manufactures custom, ready-to-wear or mass-customized clothing. If the wrong body measurements are used to develop the pattern, good fit will not be achieved. One distinction in mass-customized clothing is the need to involve the consumer to provide those measurements, using a tape measure, somebody characteristic and fit preference questions, or a body scan.

Following points are considered during body measurements:

  1. A good quality measuring tape should be used for taking the body measurements. The long metal end of the tape is used for taking vertical measurements and the rounded metal end is used for taking horizontal measurements.
  2. Person giving the measurements should stand straight, but in a natural pose and preferably in front of a mirror. A well fitted foundation garment should be worn while giving measurements.
  3. Another person is needed to take measurements. Basic lines of the body are to be taken into consideration while measuring body parts.
  4. Before body measurements are taken, a cord or tape is fastened around the waist and left until all measurements have been completed. The tape should be kept parallel to the ground while taking girth measurements like bust, waist, hip, etc.
  5. The accuracy of several measurements depends on this exact waistline location. Add to these measurements the suggested amount of ease.
  6. The amount of ease needed varies with the type of fabric used. More ease is needed for woven fabrics than knits.
  7. A proper order and certain sequence should be followed in taking the measurements to make it more systematic.

Key Issues in the Body Measurement Process:
There are four steps, as shown in Figure 2. Steps 1 and 2 describe the fieldwork and planning for both techniques, which are the manual and computerized. Steps 3 and 4 will be different for each technique. The goal of this stage is to collect body measurements of the sample population manually and digitally and then analyze those using simple statistical methods and data mining techniques. The purpose of this analysis is to understand the body ranges and variations of children in a population and then classify them into meaningful groups for the right sizing system.

Methodology for sizing system development
Figure 2: Methodology for sizing system development

The whole process is summarized in the flow chart in Figure 3, showing the processes and activities involved from the beginning to the end.

Anthropometric process flow chart
Figure 3: Anthropometric process flow chart (Click on image for large size)


  1. Clothing for Children and Teenagers: Anthropometry, Sizing and Fit by Norsaadah Zakaria
  2. Apparel Manufacturing Technology By T. Karthik, P. Ganesan and D. Gopalakrishnan
  3. Sizing in Clothing: Developing Effective Sizing Systems for Ready-to-Wear Clothing Edited by S.P. Ashdown
  4. Clothing Appearance and Fit: Science and Technology by Fan, W. Yu and L. Hunter
  5. Anthropometry, Apparel Sizing and Design, Second Edition Edited by Deepti Gupta and Norsaadah Zakaria

You might also like:

  1. Standard Body Measurements for Dressmaking
  2. Taking Girth Measurement of the Human Body for Garment Making
  3. Garment Measurement Guidelines and Techniques
  4. Basic Elements and Techniques of Garment Fitting
  5. Step by Step Polo Shirt Measurement Guide with Size Chart

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