Several years ago, I attended the Worcester Sewing Expo with my friend Lisa. I took almost two full days of sewing classes with Cynthia Guffey and after those classes my sewing changed dramatically. One of the reasons was because I took a class on measuring your body and purchased Cynthia's book, "Precision Measuring & Pattern Alterations for Bodice, Skirt, Jacket." Lisa and I spent an entire afternoon after the Expo, measuring each other so that we both ended up with a complete set of measurements.
I use this list of measurements whenever I start a new pattern...comparing the flat measurements of the pattern to my measurements and then making changes to the patterns based upon those measurements. I rarely have a fitting issue with a garment when I take the time to compare the numbers and alter the pattern pieces. So I thought I would share this information here and encourage you to visit Cynthia's site and purchase her books and DVDs! To me they are worth every penny and will definitely take your sewing to another level!
Here is her opening paragraph to the book on Precision Measuring (copyright 1995):
"Accurate measurements are the first step in assuring proper fit. This booklet illustrates a basic measuring process plus jacket measuring techniques. There are separate charts for each with descriptions and measurements. You will need a partner to take your measurements. Even if they do not have a sewing background you can instruct them on what to do. If this is the case, select someone who is patient, knows how to listen, and can follow instructions."
And a few more of Cynthia's salient points:
- For a jacket take the measurements fully dressed
-Measure the waist and hip area over a skirt or pants this helps to eliminate guessing about the amount of wearing ease
-She stresses the importance of making a muslin and including the sleeves...mark the center front lines, waistline - front and back, and any pocket placement
-transferring a proper set of measurements to the pattern in the beginning should yield a muslin that needs few, if any adjustments
But I love this sentence:
"By following the system that is outlined, you can achieve beautifully fitting, comfortable clothing!"
Here is the list of measurements:
Finished Shoulder Width:
Upper Back Curve:
Back Waist Length:
To wrist - both right and left wrists
To elbow - both right and left
Circumference of Upper Arm (bicep) both right and left
Circumference of Forearm - both right and left
Circumference of wrist - both right and left
Back Bustline Area:
Shoulder to Bust Apex:
Shoulder across bust apex to waist:
Right side to floor:
Left side to floor:
Center to floor:
Back waist width:
Front waist width:
Back hip width at 2" below:
Back hip width at 4" below:
Back hip width at 6" below:
Back hip width at 8" below:
Front hip width at 2" below:
Front hip width at 4" below:
Front hip width at 6" below:
Front hip width at 8" below:
Front Widest hip point at _______"
Back Widest hip point at _______"
Finished skirt length:
Finished jacket length from back base of neck:
This will take awhile to complete but you when you've taken the entire set you will be able to compare them to your pattern pieces and get a much more accurate fit.
I hope that you will take the time to measure yourself via the Cynthia Guffey measuring system! I am sure that you will be more than satisfied with the resulting garments made using her system. To me, she is a sewing goddess and has such wonderful information and sewing revelation! And yes, I am a bona fide Guffeyite!