How to Measure Yourself

Learn how and where you will need to measure for proper knit fittings Measurements are a very important part in knitting. Knowing where and how to measure can make or break your designing skills. Meaning when you want to design your own sweater, you will certainly want to make positive that you have all the correct measurements or all your hard work may have to be given to your little sister or even worse your favorite niece. Not that giving is not a good thing, but once in awhile knitters do love to make for themselves. Of course you can use a favorite fitting sweater by laying it flat (remember this is a key word flat) on either your kitchen table or a nice clean floor and take your measurements from it. This is great for a loose fit but what if you want a custom close fitting sweater? Let’s get started with the most important thing a sewing tape measure. It does not have to be expensive but just make sure that it does not have a stretch to it and that you can easily read all the markings. Next a tablet or piece of paper for writing and a good pencil with an eraser. You can use pen but remember pencil can be erased. It is preferable that you get help from a friend to help measure. Please print out this CHART to write down your measurements or family members measurements and keep them updates as much as possible. Be sure to takes note of certain measurements, there are keys or red flags to look for if area measurements don’t add up, I will put these in bold type for your convenience. Don’t be alarmed if you make a mistake , just re-measure and we have all made measurement mistakes so I use what I like to call my Bookkeeper rule. Do it twice to save strife. Meaning if you do it twice and come up with the same answer it will save your hours of later grief. If you happen to come up with two different measurements, just do it a third time. Be sure to write them down as you go to compare. Also DO NOT GUESS !!! I can tell you from experience that guessing can cause you to frog (rip it rip it) more than you want to. So far here are the rules: Print out the chart for safe keeping Use a pencil and eraser Use a good sewing tape measure Do it twice to save strife.

Full explanations on where and how to take correct measurements.

Do not pull tight, make sure at all times two fingers will fit comfortably under the tape measure before writing down the actual measurement.

Waist: Just below the ribs. You can also easily locate this area by having the person being measured bend sideways.

Bust: Taken around the FULLEST part , make sure the tape measure is not raised in the back

Across the back underarm: Raise and bend arms forward, not too high (sort of like you are a mummy monster) Measure from underarm seam to underarm seam (this means sort of pretend there is a seam under your arm)

Front bust measurement: Taken across the largest part of the bust from underarm seam to underarm seam (again pretend there is a seam under your arm), making sure the tape is loose enough to allow FLAT fingers under the tape.

Total Bust Measurement: The “Across the back Underarm” and “Front Bust Measurement” combined. This is the necessary total bust measurement. Check this measurement by adding 4 inches to the previous BUST measurement and it will give you the LEAST your combined bust measurement should be for any knitted sweater.

NOTES: Under no condition should the back measurement be larger than the front. The combine measurement must be at least 4 inches more than a BRA or normal bust measurement, adding 1 inch for B cup, 2 inches for C, 3 for D, to actual bra measurement.

Waist to Underarm: Measure from the hollow of the armpit (make sure to just raise your arm, don’t try to reach for the sky, sort of raise your hand like you know the answer but don’t want to be picked) to the center of the waist. Bold deduct 1 inch from this measurement and write down the remainder (ie 32 – 1 = 31, use 31 for your waist to underarm measurement)

Shoulder to Shoulder: Do not confuse this measurement with the back underarm measurement. Raise your arm slightly and feel the TOP of your shoulder bone, measure from that point to the other shoulder. NOTES: For children, multiply the measurement inches by two, if the answer is almost the chest measurement, it will be too large. It is usually a good idea to just use a “Bust” or “Total combined Bust” measurement for children.

Wrist: Measure directly below the wrist bone (you can usually see or feel your wrist bone)

Upper Arm: Just like the “Bust”, measure at the FULLEST part between the elbow and the shoulder. This is for everyone including children.

Forearm: Just like the “Bust” , measure at the FULLEST part between the wrist and the elbow. Make sure this is and EXACT measurement.

Sleeve Underarm Length: Raise your arm slightly, just enough to create the “hollow” in your armpit. Measure from the “hollow” under your armpit to the wrist of the thumb side. Do not measure from your armpit to the pinky side. DEDUCT one inch from this measurement. This is almost always used for sleeve length.

Armhole or Armscye: The armhole or armscye is the closed curve starting from the shoulder tip, passing around and under the arm and back to the shoulder tip again. Take your measurement and test it: You should have seven or eight inches MORE than your “upper arm” measurement, never less. For example if your “upper arm” measurement is 10, your armhole/armscye measurement should be 17 or 18. You can take your “upper arm: measurement and just add 7 or 8 inches but I would take this measurement anyway, to be sure.

Remember you want to learn how to take proper measurements so that your creations not only look great but they fit great.

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