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Professor King on Taking Front and Back Measurements

In this short video with Professor Kenneth D. King, you’ll learn the difference between front and back measurements.

A question many people ask Professor King relates to the ripple that often appears near the armscye. They wonder if this is a function of old age and want to know why it occurs. Kenneth has found that when drafting patterns for measurements, the front and back lengths differ, and that’s mainly for ease of movement in the finished garment. In fact, the back is longer than the front by 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches.

There’s also a difference in front and back widths, and he explains why.

This video is part of the Fit and Sew Tops project guide. While this installment focuses on basic torso adjustments, additional articles and videos in this chapter include lessons on learning to fit the bust, the waist and hips, and the arms. We hope you will continue to follow along with the rest of the chapter to keep developing your skills.

The next section of Chapter 1 is Ease and Self-Fitting.


Kenneth D. King, a Threads magazine contributing editor, is a sewing and couture expert and an adjunct instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in Manhattan. He also teaches at his studio in New York City and travels extensively in the United States, teaching fitting and couture sewing techniques. Kenneth produces one-of-a-kind, made-to-measure pieces for women and men, as well as limited-edition pieces for boutiques. His work is in the permanent collections of several museums, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and San Francisco’s DeYoung Museum, as well as in many private collections. Kenneth was the 2013 recipient of the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Previous: Q & A: Locating the Waistline Next: Learn to Fit with Your Sloper
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  1. Tulafitz | | #1

    Prof. King, your videos are eye opening. Just starting back to sewing after a30 year break. You have probably saved me years of tome and errors.

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Basic Torso Adjustments
Bust Fitting
Sleeves and Shoulders
Construction Secrets: Collars, Yokes, Cuffs, Vents, Plackets
Make It Your Own