Check Your Pattern For Proper Fit
Guide C-220Susan Wright, Extension Clothing Specialist
College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences New Mexico State UniversityThis publication is scheduled to be updated and reissued 6/06.
To be certain your fashion will fit when it is completed, be sure your pattern measurements are similar to those of your body. By comparing your measurements plus ease to the actual measurements of the pattern pieces, alterations needed for good fit can be made before your pattern is cut out.
The amount of ease in a pattern will vary from fashion to fashion and from one brand of pattern to another. Because of this, your usual size 12 pattern may not always fit you. Use this checking procedure to help insure proper fit in your finished fashion.
I. Preparations for Taking Measurements
Have someone take your measurements while you stand in normal posture. Be sure to use a tape measure that doesn't stretch. Take snug-not tight-measurements. Record the measurements as they are taken so they can be used in checking patterns for fit. Be sure to record the date the measurements were taken.
Measurements should be taken over well-fitting undergarments. Help mark the location of your waistline by tying a cord around it. Tie another cord around the base of your neck to mark the location of your neckline. A cord should also be tied around your chest above the bustline. Place it high under the arms and parallel to the floor across the back. Leave these cords in position while taking all measurements.
Study current fashion magazines to see where the top of the armhole should be. For some seasons the normal armhole may be fashionable. In other years, the shoulder may be extended or it may be high to create a narrow shoulder line. Have your helper mark the back, front, top, and bottom of the armhole (usually about one or two inches below the armpit) with a pencil or chalk.
For the shoulder seam location, draw a line from the prominent bone at the top of the arm along the highest point of the shoulder to the neckline.
Mark the underarm seams with chalk or with a row of pins if you are wearing a full slip. These lines should be about 1/2 inch back of the middle of the armhole in line with the shoulder seam marking. When your arms are hanging straight at your sides, these lines should be hidden.
After all these preparations are made, you are ready to begin taking you measurements. Use the following illustrations and instructions for exact measuring procedures.
II. Taking Your Measurements
As you work, be sure the tape measure is pulled snugly and that it is parallel or perpendicular to the floor. Take each measurement at the location illustrated; detailed instructions for each measurement are given on the back of this leaflet. Write each measurement in the correct space-be sure to take measurements for right and left sides where indicated. In some cases, front and back measurements are required.
2 a ______
4 a ______
5 a ______
6 a ______
7 R ______
11 R ______
12 R ______
13 R ______
14 R ______
||15 R ______
16 R ______
17 R ______
18 R ______
20 R ______
24 R ______
25 R ______
26 R ______
27 R ______
28 a ______
I. Determining Alterations Needed
Transfer you measurements to the appropriate space. Measure your pattern at corresponding points and compare to determine alteration needed.
|1. Above bust|
|2. Full bust: a. Front|
|3. Below bust|
|4.. Waistline a.Front:|
|5. High hip/ a. Front
(2"-3" below waist)
|6. Full hip a. Front|
|7. Waistline to hips||R. L|
|8. Back waist length|
|9. Chest width|
|10.Center front length|
|11. Bodice length over
|12. Shoulder length||R. L|
|13. Shoulder to elbow length||R. L|
|14. Elbow to wrist length||R. L|
|15.Upper arm circumference||R. L|
|16. Elbow circumference||R. L|
|17. Sleeve cap length||R. L|
|18. Shoulder to bust length||R. L|
|19. Bust width (point to point)|
|20. Underarm length||R. L|
|21. Back neck seam|
|22. Upper back width|
|23. Back width across shoulder blades|
|24. Back waist length over shoulder blades||R. L|
|25. Armhole depth||R. L|
|26.Shoulder height||R. L|
|27. Side skirt length||R. L|
|28. Center skirt length
IV. Measurement Techniques
1-3. Bust-Take these bust measurements: 1) Above bust; 2) At full bust; 3) Under bust. Keep tape parallel to floor across the back. Then, take front and back measurements at full bust from side seam to side seam.
4. Waistline-Measure snugly where the belt should be. Take both front and back measurements between side seams.
5. High hip/abdomen-Measure at fullest part, usually 2"-3" below waistline. Keep tape parallel to floor.
6. Full hips-Measure at fullest part of hips, keeping tape parallel to floor. View figure from both front and sides to see whether hips are larger at the hip or thigh level. If in doubt, take both measurements. Use the larger one. Record measurement from side seam to side seam, across the front and from side seam to side seam across the back.
7. Record distance of full hip measurement from waistline. Usually, it is 6"-10" below the waist.
8. Back waist length-Measure from the prominent bone at base of neck to waistline.
9. Chest width-At a point about 6" down from shoulder seam at neckline, measure from armhole seam to armhole seam.
10. Center front length-Measure from base of neck straight down to waistline.
11. Bodice length over bust-Measure from the neckline at shoulder seam over bust, straight down to waistline. Keep tape parallel to center front.
12. Shoulder length-Measure from base of neck to top of armhole line.
13-14. Sleeve length-Measure from top of armhole down to the elbow with arm bent. Also measure distance from elbow to wristbone.
15. Upper arm-Measure around fullest part of upper arm. This is usually at bottom of armhole. Also record distance of this measurement from top of armhole seam.
16. Elbow-Measure around elbow with arm bent.
17. Sleeve-cap length-Tie a cord around the arm, level with bottom of armhole. Measure from top of armhole seam to this cord.
18 Shoulder to bust length-Measure from shoulder at neckline to bust point.
19. Bust width-Measure from bust point to bust point.
20. Underarm length- From the cord tied around the chest, measure underarm side down to waistline.
21. Back neck seam-Measure along back neckline, from shoulder seam to shoulder seam. Stand tape on edge to measure a good curve.
22. Upper back width-Measure across back from top of one armhole seam to the other.
23. Back width across shoulder blades-At a point 7" down from shoulder seam at neckline, measure from armhole seam to armhole seam.
24. Back bodice length over shoulder blades- Measure from middle of shoulder seam, over shoulder blades, to waistline. Keep tape parallel to center back.
25. Shoulder height-Measure from shoulder seam at top of armhole, down back to the cord tied around chest.
26. Armhole depth-Measure from shoulder seam at neckline down to the cord around chest.
27-28. Skirt length-Measure from waistline to the floor center front, center back and on each side.
New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. NMSU and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating.Reprinted June 2001
Electronic Distribution July 2001