When taking your measurements, try to choke your ego to death with your measuring tape.  No sucking in the gut, pushing out the chest or any other body altering allowed! You’re supposed to be taking leave of dress size here.  If you just cannot stand it, take your measurements in whatever unit is strange to you — in the USA, for instance, take ’em in centimeters.  Inaccurate measurements will give you a bad fit!   (Incidentally, it is my goal to become such a skilled tailor that I will be able to forget dress size entirely)

I do not recommend taking your own measurements — they won’t be accurate.  If you absolutely cannot find someone to take them for you, check out Fitting Your Figure by Threads Magazine.  There is a method for taking your own measurements described there, but it’s really involved and a pain in the butt.  I get my husband to do it for me.

This chart obviously asks for far more measurements than is required for the kameez, however, this is a chart I made for myself for pattern drafting (stored on my computer — I am such a geek) and I really didn’t feel like re-doing it for this one garment.  Besides, as I add to the page, the measurements will come in useful.

There are fairly detailed instructions on how to take measurements below the chart.  If you are experienced with this, feel free to ignore it. However, I am assuming that not all who will try this are experienced tailors.


Measurement Formulae Total
Neck N/6
Shoulder S/2
Front width FW/2
Back width BW/2
Bust Point
Bust + 2″ B/4
Waist W/4
Back Waist Length
Front Waist Length
Skirt Length
Hip + 1″ h/4
Hip Length
Short Sleeve length
3/4 Sleeve Length
Long Sleeve Length
Upper Arm
Shorts Length
Slacks Length
Armhole Sleeveless + 2″
Armhole with sleeves
Entire Back Length
Entire Front Length
Long evening dress length
Side bust dart (fw-bw) Fw-bw
Front bust dart (w/8) W/8
Bust tip (bt/2) Bt/2

When measuring for a garment, it is a good idea to be wearing the foundation garments one would wear with the new outfit.  Some bras can change one’s shape a bit.  If you don’t like being measured in your underwear, you can wear a leotard, but don’t wear anything else when being measured.

  1. Neck Measure a little loosely around the front neck joint, and around the top vertebra at the base of the neck.
  2. Shoulder Measure across the back from shoulder to shoulder
  3. Front Width Measure 3″ below the neck joint.  At that point, measure from armhole to armhole
  4. Back Width From the most prominent vertebra at the base of the neck, measure down 5″.  From that point, measure across the back from armhole to armhole
  5. Bust point Measure from where the shoulder joins the neck to the bust tip
  6. Bust Measure around the fullest part of the bust and across the shoulder blades loosely.  Notice in the chart that you need to add 2″ to this measurement.  DO NOT USE YOUR BRA SIZE FOR THIS MEASUREMENT
  7. Waist Measure either around either the thinnest part of the torso or where you wear your waistline most comfortably when dressed.  Tie a string or piece of elastic around the point where you measured, as you will need it for other measurements
  8. Back Waist Length Measure from the most prominent vertebra at the base of the neck to the string line at the waist.
  9. Front waist length Measure from where the neck and shoulder join, passing over the bust to the string line at the waist
  10. Skirt Length Measure from waist down the knee to the desired skirt length.  The most attractive skirt length varies from body to body, but it is a good general rule not to let the hem fall at the widest point on one’s leg unless one intends to give the illusion of more leg girth.
  11. Hip Measure the widest point on the hip and add 1″
  12. Hip Length Measure from waist to widest point on the hip.
  13. Short sleeve length Measure from shoulder point to desired length
  14. 3/4 Sleeve length Measure from the shoulder point to 4″ below the elbow.
  15. Long Sleeve Length Measure from the shoulder point past the elbow to the thinnest part of the wrist.
  16. Upper Arm Place hand on hip and measure loosely around the thickest part of the arm
  17. Wrist Measure loosely around the wrist.  If this measurement is smaller than the fist measurement, use the fist measurement or the sleeve will not go over the hand.  You must put a slit in a tightly fitted sleeve.
  18. Palm Make the hand into a fist and measure from thumb knuckle across the other knuckles around the hand.
  19. Shorts length Measure from waist to desired shorts length.
  20. Slacks Length Measure from waist to ankle
  21. Armhole/armscye Extend the arm slightly bent at the elbow to the side and measure around the armhole.  For a sleeveless garment, add 2″.
  22. Entire Back Length Measure from the most prominent vertebra at the base of the neck down to the desired hemline of the garment.
  23. Entire Front length Measure from joint between neck and shoulder, over the bust to the desired hemline of the garment.  Measurements 22 and 23 are most useful for drafting dresses.
  24. Long Evening Dress length Measure from the most prominent vertebra at the base of the neck to the ankle
  25. Bust Tip Measure from point to point on the most prominent part of the bust. (Most likely the nipples).


Now that we have your measurements  (You did know that you could print out this page and have a chart of your very own, yes?????) let’s get on to drafting the  Front Torso.


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