The first thing you have to do is get some decent measurements. Sounds easy right. Especially when you brandish a tape measure and ask hubby do it, who think his luck is in. This is probably the most important step of the whole process. I went through three muslins before I got the fit right and the reason was not getting the right measurements to start off with and looking at the bust dart E (I am an F/FF) and thinking “thats one big $#@%# dart, I’ll just got with an E… I surely cant be THAT big” . Erm well yes… anyway. More of the fitting later.
Glenda has a bunch of information online about how to take the measurements and I used this alot to get the fit right. That said, I still found that the first fit wasn’t great but this has more to do with how I took the measurements than her instructions.
Get a reliable fit person to help if you can! Tie a bit of elastic or ribbon around your waist and around your neck. I would get a sticky dot (or a marker pen will do) to mark the following key points:
Dent of neck: Where you shoulder ends. Dont go anywhere up your neck! I made this mistake the first time round.Imagine a high jewel neckline or a fitted necklace. this is where it starts – no higher.
Shoulder point: Feel where the top of the shoulder point is – the bony bit. I have a few layers of warmth in this area so its easy to mistake my arm to where my shoulder actually ends and so for my first try nothing fit right at all! I actually think this measurement is one the most important as everything else hands of the shoulder – the scoop of the armscye; the bust placement; the centre front and back.
Middle of shoulder: Imagine a seam running along your shoulder. Place a mark right in the middle. I have put some tape on my dressform. Note where the shoulder starts – its right at the base of the neck.
Bust apex: put a good bra on – don’t do this in your dressing gown!. Place dot on the fullest part each boob. Sorry – I couldn’t think of a better way of phrasing that one. Mexican Pink has a really good page on how to determine your bust apex found here
So the measurements with some of my suggestions after doing this a few times are:
Full Bust: TIP: Make sure you measure parallel to the floor. Look sideways into a mirror – its easy to let the tape measure fall down the back.
See the two pics below. Its very easy to end up like the left side – check your view sideways on.
High Hip and full hip: TIP: Stand straight, tape measure goes around perpendicular to the floor. Look sideways into a mirror to check this. Look straight ahead, pinch the tape measure and use this measurement.
If you bend forward to look down at the measurement this reduces the measurement. Try it yourself and see.
Shoulder length – join the two dots : base of neck to shoulder point
Middle of Shoulder to Waist: This goes down from the centre dot on your shoulder to the waist and over your bust dots. Don’t indent the measure up under your breasts as shown below. Go straight down from apex to waist. as this defines the length of the fall of the front of the bodice.
Shoulder to wrist: Shoulder marker to wrist marker with the arm at a relaxed right angel to the body. Make sure this measurement goes around the fuller part of the back of your arm as this will ensure the sleeve length fits you. This is best done with a third party, alternatively move your bra strap or put a vest on so the edge sits on the shoulder marker and pin the the measuring tape carefully to this. Ideally enlist the help of a friend/friendly neighbour/partner..
Shoulder to elbow:This is as the above but to the bony corner of your elbow.
Part 3 is coming up: This is taking the measurements to start to join the dots.