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How to Find Your Waist and Other Measurements

Threads magazine - 173 - June/July 2014
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Susan Lazear’s article in Threads #173 provides valuable insight into better garment fitting techniques.

Experienced sewers know accurate measurements are the basis for good garment fit. It is, therefore, unfortunate that the measurement methods described by the sewing pattern industry, and even some fitting books, can be difficult to perform precisely, and the reference points can bear little relation to the way individuals prefer to wear clothes. For better garment fit, I think it’s time to reconsider where and how you take certain body measurements.

Throughout my years teaching fashion design and working with patternmaking software, I have witnessed the results of guesswork and inaccuracy when it comes to where and how measurements are taken. Based on my experiences, I believe that measuring methods should be flexible, not static.

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  1. dowserjaney | | #1

    Absolutely SPLENDID article! I have always known my shoulders sloped but didn't know how to measure for that -- and now I do. I know it's going to make a tremendous difference in the fit of my clothing.

    So many thanks!
    Jane Lienau

  2. catstexas | | #2

    Enlightening, especially on where is the side seam. Once I learned about shoulder slopes, front and back, it improved greatly the fit of my garments. Thank you.

  3. dagmaro | | #3

    This was a fantastic article! I wonder if you can clarify where to find your neck point. I am slightly longer in the shoulder to bust point area than "normal" yet have trouble figuring out by how much as I have never seen a specific guide on where to determine the neck point. As well, can the back neck point be clarified as determining my back to waist length is also confusing for me - where do I measure from?

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