There are three different techniques that you will use to measure. The techniques are circumference, conforming and straight.
Circumference simply means that you will wrap the measuring tape around a body part. A circumference measuring tape makes quick work of this, if you have one.
A conforming measurement means that you will hold the tape against the body and conform it to the body as you measure.
A straight measurement means that you will hold the tape straight up and down. You can use a ruler or yardstick for these measurements because you don't want it to conform to the body.
Measuring Infants & Toddlers
It is hard to measure someone who is squiggling the entire time. Just do the best that you can. Clothing for them is typically very loose, so being exact isn't important.
If you are taking measurements of yourself, its a lot more work. If at all possible, get a helper. We will make it as easy as possible so someone without sewing experience can do this. Recruit a significant other, child or friend to take them for you.
Model Posture & Mood
Ask the model to stand with their weight evenly distributed on both feet. When being measured, people have a tendency to lift their shoulders in tension or straighten up their posture. Keep your model relaxed and comfortable. You might want to warm the room up for them.
Never talk about the measurement you are taking or make comparisons. Being measured can be stressful for people. Talk about something else entirely and keep the mood light.
Humans Grow & Shrink Hourly
Our sizes fluctuate throughout the day. Keep this in mind as you measure. A big lunch is going to expand that waist measurement! Remember that we are organic and measuring is never going to be an exact science. Do the best you can.
Practice a Bit
Taking measurements takes a bit of practice. Give it a try on an inanimate object, like a dress form or doll before you take on a human. It is much easier to measure something that doesn't move or fluctuate in size. You can take your time and get the hang of it.