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How to take your body measurements for made-to-measure clothes

21.5.2022
A drawing showing how to take body measurement for making made-to-measure and custom clothes

When it comes to made-to-measure clothes, having a correct set of body measurements to work from is imperative. Though that may sound obvious (for the same reason it would be pleonastic to call it made-to-the-right-measure) it's easier said than done, and it's important to take the time to do it properly.

If you are looking to fill out the MILKSHAKEN online measurement form in order to provide your measurements for a custom piece you bought from us, you can find it HERE.

things you will need

- Tailor's measuring tape

- Some ribbon or skin friendly sticky tape.

- Pen and paper

- A helper (optional)

preparation

- It's best to wear some unobtrusive underwear that provides a little bit of support but has no added bulk. Avoid anything with padding or protruding decorations, or that is too constrictive/body sculpting. The goal is to have as neutral a state as possible with nothing too squished or too loose. A slip and/ or a wireless unpadded bra (for the boob owners) work well.

- Be barefoot.

-Stick the tape or tie the ribbon snugly around your waist, so that it does not move. It's best to use ribbon or tape no wider than 1cm. This step is to ensure that all measurements taken with the waist as a reference point are constant.

-Unless otherwise indicated, all measurements are taken standing. Stand in a straight neutral position, with your arms naturally by your side. Don't slouch or arch your back. Keep your shoulders down, your chin parallel to the floor, and look forward. Don't contort or twist your body in any way.

-All horizontal measurements should be taken aiming to keep the measuring tape parallel to the floor. Do net let it slip or ride up, especially when you are taking circumference measurements. This is very important in order to achieve accuracy.

-Always take each measurement twice, this is very important! If there is a discrepancy, take it again until you are certain you have the accurate number.

method

A drawing of a nude woman, with an overlaying graphic, assisting users in learning how to take their own body measurements for dressmaking and made-to-measure clothes.

1. BUST: Breathe out. Measure around the bust at its widest point, with the measuring tape crossing over the nipples. Hold the measuring tape taut all around and parallel to the floor, but without pulling it too tight.

2. WAIST: Breathe out. Measure the circumference of the waist at it's narrowest point.

3. HIPS: Measure around the hips and over the buttocks at their widest point. You may wish to mark this point temporarily (on your clothes with a safety pin or on your body with a lip pencil or such) if you also want to take any measurements with the HIP as a reference point.

4. CHEST: Measure across the front of the chest, over the pectoral muscles, from armpit to armpit.

5. BACK WIDTH: Measure across the back over the apex of the shoulder blades, from armpit crease to armpit crease.

6. SHOULDER: Measure from the base of the neck along your shoulder, to the end of the humerus (greater tubercle; this is the outermost bone protrusion on your shoulder before the arm begins). This is where the shoulder seam would sit on clothes.

7. NECK SIZE: circumference of the base of the neck where it meets the shoulders, without pulling the measuring tape tightly.

8. SLEEVE LENGTH : With your arm bent and you hand resting naturally on your hip, measure from the top of the humerus shoulder bone (the greater tubercle; this is the outermost bone protrusion on your shoulder before the arm begins) to the bottom of your wrist bone.

9. INNER ARM: With your arm fully extended at 90° and palm towards the floor, measure on the inner side of your arm (anterior; or the side closest to the front of the body in this position) from armpit to the bottom of the wrist bone.

10. SHOULDER TO ELBOW: With the arm fully extended parallel to the body, measure along the arm from the top of the humerus shoulder bone (the greater tubercle; this is the outermost bone protrusion on your shoulder before the arm begins) to the pointiest point of your elbow.

11. ELBOW TO WRIST: With the arm fully extended, measure from the the protrusion of the elbow bone to the bottom of the protrusion of the wrist bone.

12. TOP ARM: circumference of the top of the arm, underneath the armpit. Hold the measuring tape firmly but not too tightly.

13. ELBOW: circumference of the elbow at its widest point, without pulling the measuring tape too tightly.

14. WRIST: circumference of the wrist at its widest point, without pulling the measuring tape too tightly.

15. KNUCKLES: Measure all around the bones of the knuckles at the widest point, holding the measuring tape firmly.

16. INNER LEG (INSEAM) : With the measuring tape very slightly loose and following the curve of your leg, measure the inside of your leg, all the way from the crease at the groin where the leg starts (inguinal crease) to the ankle bone.

17. UPPER THIGH: With the measuring tape looped snuggly around your thigh and parallel to the floor, measure the circumference of your thigh at the point just under your crotch, where the leg starts.

18. MIDDLE THIGH: With the measuring tape looped snuggly around your thigh and parallel to the floor, measure the circumference of your thigh at it's widest point.

19. KNEE: With the measuring tape looped snuggly around your knee and parallel to the floor, measure the circumference of your knee joint at it's widest point, where the bones protrude the most.

20. ANKLE: With the measuring tape looped snuggly around your ankle and parallel to the floor, measure the circumference of your ankle joint at it's widest point, where the bones protrude the most.

21. NAPE TO WAIST : From the nape bone (vertebra prominens) to the waist tape, with the measuring tape very slightly loose and following the curve of your back.

22. FRONT SHOULDER TO WAIST: With the measuring tape perpendicular to the floor, very slightly loose, and following the curve of your torso, measure from your shoulder to the waist tape while crossing the apex of the bust (i.e nipple).

23. WAIST TO LOW HIP: With the measuring tape perpendicular to the floor, very slightly loose and following the curve of your hips, measure downwards from the waist tape to the point your hips are widest (this means the point which is in line withe apex of your buttocks)

24. WAIST TO KNEE: With the measuring tape very slightly loose and following the curve of your leg, measure at the side of your body from the waist tape to the middle of your knee (where your leg would bend if you were not standing)

25. WAIST TO FLOOR: With the measuring tape straight and taut, measure from the waist tape to the floor.

26. BODY RISE: Sit upright on a hard unpadded surface. Measure from your waist to the surface, with the measuring tape taut and straight.

And, if you are looking to fill out the MILKSHAKEN online measurement form in order to provide your measurements for a custom piece you bought from us, you can find it HERE.

Written by Elektra, the force behind milkshaken.net.

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