This post deals with methods of taking various body measurements for making of Indian garments in a comfortable order along with useful how-to measure illustrations. This post is a part of dressmaking basics series.
It’s been long since I was preparing to post about ‘various body measurements and how-to measure’. I had lots of confusions. After researching a lot about dress making over the years, I had realized that there are different ways to ‘measure, draft patterns and make a dress’ in the east and the west. My fear was that what is right in one country may be wrong in the other. Since Tantu has readers from all over the world, I decided to start with this topic as taking measurements for Indian garments.
Taking Measurements for Indian Garments
Indian outfits are made using fewer measurements compared to that of the westerns. Indian dress making is quite easy too, may be sari blouse is an exception. Hence all the Indian outfits fall under dress making category even though most of the Indians use the term tailoring. The measurement taking methods mentioned here are useful in making any Indian garments. Some of the Indian outfits to list are – Kameez, Angarkha Kameez, Kurti, Salwar, Chudidar/Churidar, Dhoti Salwar, Patiyala Salwar, Choli/Chola (Sari Blouse), Kutra, Paijama, Langa/Lehnga, Langa-Dhaavni (Half-sari) and so on. Here I have not included western attires like men’s shirt, trousers.
Method and Order of Taking Measurements:
Keeping in mind all the tips to measure accurately, let us start taking body measurements.
Bust circumference is taken around the fullest part of the bust when the person being measured is breathing in. Remember to hold index finger and middle finger beneath the tape.
Waist circumference is taken around the waist at the navel point having kept index finger and middle finger beneath the tape while the person is breathing in.
Seat circumference is measured around the fullest part of the hips. Do not forget to place index finger and middle finger beneath the tape while measuring.
Bust point measurement is taken from the shoulder (at the neck base) to the bust point.
Bust point to bust point:
It is measured from bust point to bust point.
Shoulder measurement is taken between two shoulder ends. We can feel a prominent bone when gently sliding a finger on the shoulder line. The outer end of this bone is considered as the shoulder end. Half shoulder measurement is taken from nape (position of the prominent bone at centre back of neck) to one shoulder end.
Length of waist is measured from nape to the waist (where waist circumference is taken). You can also note that this location would be the first prominent bone you get when sliding your finger down the centre back.
We have to measure garment length from nape to the desired garment length for any one piece dress. For an upper garment, we have to measure from nape to the desired length of the garment. For a lower garment, we have to measure from waist to the desired garment length. We can also get a lower garment length by subtracting waist length from garment length measured for one piece dress. This second method is useful when making a two-piece dress.
Back neck depth:
Back neck depth is measured from the neck base to the desired back neck depth.
Front neck depth is measured from the neck base (where shoulder starts) to the desired front neck depth.
Neck round is measured round the neck base. Locate neck base by noting the crease formed while shrugging the shoulder. Or simply note the place on shoulder where your neck ornament stays as neck base. Remember to keep index finger and middle finger beneath the tape.
Armscye or armhole depth:
Armscye depth or armhole depth is taken round the armhole at shoulder end when the hands are kept close to the body. Place your index finger and middle finger beneath the tape while measuring.
Sleeve length is measured from the shoulder end down the arm. While taking full sleeve length, take measurement along the arm through elbow, when the hand is slightly bent (or kept on waist).
Sleeve round is measured around the arm where sleeve length is measured keeping your index finger and middle finger beneath the tape.
Keep the measuring tape around the elbow. Then, let the person fold hand in such a way to touch shoulder with fingers. Now take elbow round measurement around the elbow keeping index finger and middle finger beneath the tape.
Wrist round is taken around the wrist having kept index finger and middle finger beneath the tape.
Thigh round is measured around the thigh keeping index finger and middle finger beneath the tape.
Keep measuring tape around knee. Fold the leg in such a way that thigh meets calf. Now, knee round is measured around the knee keeping index finger and middle finger beneath the tape.
Calf round is measured around the fullest part of calf keeping index finger and middle finger beneath the tape.
Ankle round is measured around the ankle keeping index finger and middle finger beneath the tape.
Measurements for Upper Garments & Lower Garments
Below are quick charts for the beginners to note measurements for upper garments and lower garments.
- Taking measurements accurately is the key to proper fit.
- Order of taking measurement given here is designed for a comfortable sequence. This order may vary from person to person.
- If the person has any deviation in the body, note that.
- If left half of the person differs from that of the right half (example, shoulder), measure them separately.
- All the measurements listed in this post may not be needed for all the garments. Say, for sari blouse, we don’t need any measurements below waist.
- Dotted half circles in the pictures indicate that measurements are taken around that particular body part.
Hope this measurement post is useful. Do write to me in the comment section if ever you find this post worth it.
Bye until the next post!