Tutorial 2. Taking Measurements.
I tie a cord around Noa's waist...
...along the under-bust line...
...and around the area where I want the bodice to stop.
And I start taking measurements. There is no difference between taking measurements off an adult and off a child.
Waist Circumference. You can make it a little tighter in the waist but do not make it uncomfortable for the child.
Bust Width Front: measure from side seam to side seam along the bust line.
Under-Bust Width Front: again, measure from side seam to side seam.
Waist Width Front: measure from side seam to side seam along the cord tied around the waist. This measurement is a must because girls still tend to have a bit of a belly at this age.
The next measurement is Stomach Width Front taken from side seam to side seam along the stomach line. This measurement helps you achieve a comfortable fit in the stomach area (i.e. avoid making it too tight) and determine the exact position of the side seam.
When sewing a slim-fit skirt or pants, measure the Hip Circumference through the most prominent points of the buttocks.
Next, I measure the distance from the level where I just placed the measuring tape up to the waistline along the side. This is Hip Depth. There are standard values for adults but you always need to measure it for children.
There are some other crucial measurements.
Waist to Under-Bust: measure the distance from the waistline up to the under-bust line.
I always record the distance from the waistline to the Stomach Circumference line:
Side Length: measure the distance from the waistline to the underarm. This measurement often stops at the bust line level in children. However, it starts gradually surpassing it at ages 11 and up. I determine the level at which the bodice should stop and measure the distance to the waistline.
Above-Bust Circumference. I seldom take this measurement off adults but it is recommendable to take it off children. If you realize your pattern does require some adjustments, you will need to know exactly how much to ease in the neckline. And then you can always take a measuring tape and check it on the pattern whether the top edge of the bodice corresponds with this measurement.
You can also measure the distance from the blade line to the waist and from the waist down to the stomach line along the back in case you need to apply some adjustments there, i.e. make the back neckline lower or higher. The bodice can be longer or shorter depending on the style and personal preferences.
Bust Apex to Bust Apex and Clip are very important measurements. You cannot do without them when sewing a corset or a bodice, regardless whether for an adult or for a child.
Instead of actually measuring the distance from Bust Apex to Bust Apex, I measure the distance between the bust princess seams which are positioned the way I want them to be positioned on the girl's body. I rely solely on my eyes and experience. In this particular case, I measure this distance as shown in the picture below.
And then, I place my finger at the point where I took the previous measurement and measure Clips the way I would on an adult:
- To the armpit point:
- Straight up to the neckline. I decide how far from the bust apex point the neckline will be.
- And toward the front of the supposed neckline:
And the final measurement is Skirt Length measured as the distance from the waistline to the floor along the side.
The child is supposed to be wearing flat shoes or no shoes at all.
These are all key measurements.