It's finally time to get out the measuring tape! Follow these helpful guidelines and tips to make the process much easier.

We strongly suggest that you jot down your measurements on paper, as well as entering them into the system. Computers . . you know. Things happen and it's nice to have a backup. Here's a PDF of measurements in the same order as the website for you to print out and use.

Measurement Sets

The best place to record your measurement values is right in your account on Patternmaker Pro. On the Measurement Sets tab, you can create a new set or edit an existing one.

New Measurement Set

If this model doesn't yet exist in your account, select the plus(+) icon at the top to create a new set. Type in a name for this measurement set. You might want to use your model's name for this. 

Unit

Next you need to decide what unit of measure you will use for this set. You can use Imperial (inches) or Metric (centimeters or millimeters). This is an important choice because all the future pattern drafts will use the chosen unit for this model. If you use the Fashioner, every value will need to be in this unit.

You can select Save to save the set and close the page or Save & Enter Measurements, if you want to go to the measurement list for this new set.

Edit Existing Measurement Set

If you have already created a Measurement Set, you can edit the Name and the Unit at any time. Select the Edit Measurement Set icon.

Make any changes you like to the set. You can Save the set and return to the list or Save & Change Measurements to be taken to the measurement list of this set.

Important!

Never change the Unit of a measurement set after you have entered measurements UNLESS you chose the wrong unit to begin with.

The measurements will not convert to another unit automatically and your pattern will not draft correctly. It will also destroy all your history using this set. BE CAREFUL WITH THIS!

Edit Existing Set Measurements

If you already have a measurement set for your model and you need to add or edit existing measurements, select the ruler icon on the set. This will open the measurement list for changes.

Measurements List

The top of the page will show the measurement set name and the units that you have chosen. Make sure you take measurements using this unit only for this set.

All the measurements used by the system are included in this list. The list is divided into six categories to make it easier to use. Those categories are:

  • Torso 
  • Shoulder / Neck 
  • Arms 
  • Legs
  • Miscellaneous
  • Bust Specialty

The Bust Specialty category applies only to adults with breasts and it is very specialized for conforming, fitted garments. If you aren't planning on making fitted items, like corsets, you can skip this category.

The measurements within each category are listed in groups for ease in taking measurements. If you following the list as you measure, it will save you some time.

When you click on a measurement, it will open a helpful window that tells you the name, a brief description, an image of where the measurement is found on the body, the direction and instructions for taking the measurement.

As you become familiar with taking these measurements, you'll use the name and description to find what you're looking for. If you are just starting out, you'll find the image, direction and instructions to be very important.

Saving & Closing

Patternmaker Pro will keep track of your activity when entering measurements. When you first open the list, your only option will be to Close it. The Save option will be inactive.

Once you have made a change to any item on any tab, the options will change to Save and Close without Saving.

Direction

The direction tells you what tool to use and the direction you will measure. This can be helpful, if you get confused.

Horizontal

These measurements are taken horizontally in parallel to the floor. For example, measuring across the hips in front.

Vertical

These measurements are taken vertically, perpendicular to the floor. For example, measuring the height of the model.

Circle

This indicates that you will measure the entire distance around something. The start and end of the tape will be in the same location.

Conforming

A conforming measurement means that you will hold the tape at the start point and end point and allow the tape to conform over the body in between. If you see two asterisks ** after the word conforming, that means there is extra information within the instructions that you should note.

Straight

A straight measurement means that you will hold the tape straight and taut between the start and end point. You can use a ruler or yardstick for these measurements in many cases.

Instructions

These are very specific instructions on how the measurement is taken. You'll find reference to the points and lines you created following the Starting Points page.

Imperial Fractions vs Decimal

Most people who use the Imperial measurement system don't use decimals. They are accustomed to using fractions and Patternmaker Pro can accommodate that.

When you are entering inches as measurement values, you can use a fraction. As you focus out of the box, it will be automatically converted to a decimal.

Not All Measurements Apply

If you are making clothes for infants or children, the measurements that are required are much fewer than if you are drafting for adults. For example, you won't have a Bust Apex measurement for people without breasts. 

Each pattern lists the measurements that are required. You can choose only to take those measurements needed at that time, rather than the entire set.

Read the Instructions for each measurement and determine if it applies to your model. If it doesn't, simply skip the measurement. When you pick a pattern to draft based on a measurement set, Patternmaker Pro will compare the measurements in the set to the pattern requirements. If something is missing, it will tell you. If you've missed a needed measurement, it is very easy to add it to the set later.

Important Reminders

Take note of the width of your measuring tape and the elastic you are using. If you take one measurement to the top of the elastic and another to the bottom, your measurements will be off by the width of the elastic. Decide which side of the elastic you will use from the beginning. The top is usually a good choice.

When you line up your measuring tape on one point and then measure the distance to another point, make sure you use the same edge of the measuring tape at both points.

Test Fit

It is very important to make a muslin and test fit your basic block garments. Once you get the perfect fit in a block, everything after that will be much easier.

When you do your fitting, sometimes a bad measurement becomes obvious and it is easy to correct. However, every measurement is highly integrated when drafting. You may think one measurement is at fault and it turns out that it was another.

Many times it is just easier to retake measurements rather than spending hours trying to pinpoint the problem.

Regardless of your method, you will need to redraft after your changes and do another fitting. I really can’t express enough how important this is.