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What to Measure When Making a Dress

What to Measure When Making a DressA lot goes into making a dress. Every little detail counts tremendously! When dresses turn into beautiful gowns and highlights of a major event such as a wedding, it is obvious that a lot of care goes into the making of them. The stages of measuring a person for a dress are very critical and many things will need to be measured during this process.

The Bust

One part of the body that will need to be measured is the bust. According to Maureen Callaghan Dressmaker, one of the best dressmakers in Orpington, bra size is generally not the right measurement for the dress making world. A measuring tape will need to be wrapped around the bust firmly but not too tight. This step should not be overlooked. Many women wear the wrong bra sizes, so the bust should still get measured to ensure accuracy.

For more information on how to properly measure a bust size, this article on may have some helpful information.

The Waist Should Be Measured

When taking down measurements to make a dress, it is also important to get a correct measurement of the waist. When measuring around the waist the measuring tape should be wrapped straight across the waist. If the measuring tape dips down in either the front or the back it may result in an improper measurement.  The waist should be measured no matter the style of the dress.

To properly take the measurements for the waistline, this YouTube video may be of assistance. It shows a visual of how to measure the waist correctly.

Measure the Height of the Individual

The length of the dress is just as important as all of the other measurements required when making a beautiful gown or dress. The height of the person should be measured from the top of the shoulders all the way to the desired length of the dress. The length of the dress can even be flowing, which in turn will require a longer length, and dresses that have a longer length in the back like high-low dresses will vary.

  • A high-low dress is where the dress is long in the back but shorter in the front of the dress. This allows the wearer to show off their legs while still having the elegance of a flowing gown. This can make the measurements much more intricate. (For more information on a high-to-low dress, can offer some valuable information.)
  • To properly measure from hollow to hem, make sure to start at the collar bone. Then measure all the way down to where the individual will want the dress to stop. This is for dresses that are the same length all the way around. Guessing on this step can end up in the dress being too long or too short.

Don’t Forget the Hips

While the hips are the most often forgotten part when it comes to taking down measurements for making a dress, they should not be overlooked. Every measurement is important and makes the dress into a beautiful masterpiece in the end. The hips should be measured fully around without compromising by going and higher or lower during the measurement.

When measuring the hips, both feet should be placed together. Then the measuring tape should be brought around evenly on the thickest part of the hips. This will make the dress more flattering, comfortable and give an overall better fit for the unique body shape of the individual.

Standing Is a Factor

When taking measurements to make a dress, posture plays an important role. It is very important that the person stand up straight, steady and evenly. If any slouching is involved it can make the dress tighter in some areas and looser in others. Make sure that the individual uses proper poster while taking measurements. Ears, shoulders, and hips should be aligned evenly.

Clothing Definitely Matters

Another important thing to take note of when taking down measurements for making a dress is the style of clothing the individual to be measured is wearing. Some clothes such as jeans, bulky sweaters, and large t-shirts can make it difficult to get an accurate measurement. If the individual can strip down to undergarments or specific clothing for measurements, it will give a more accurate reading.

Some clothing shops sell undergarments to wear just for taking down measurements. It all depends on the location. Some simple tank tops and cotton shorts can be an option to wear when getting measured for the making of a dress.

Don’t Forget the Elbow

If the dress is going to be one that has sleeves, then the arm will need to be measured also. This can be done by bending the elbow. If the elbow is not bent, then the sleeves can end up being too tight. Measure from the shoulder down to the length desired.