flyer for measuring your child

How to Measure Your Child for Sewing

So, you want to make clothing for your child, but want to make sure you get the right fit.  Often sewing patterns don’t match up with ready to wear sizing.

The most common measurements you’ll need to make the perfect outfit for your child are:

Bust, Waist, and Hip

Occasionally you’ll need inseam-if making pants, girth-usually for leotards or swimsuits, and height.

First, the bust measurement.  Wrap your tape measure around the chest at nipple level.  You’ll want to have the tape measure taut, but not so tight that you’re digging in.

Next, the waist.  This is typically 1-2″ above the belly button.  You can find the right spot by having your child lean to the side.  Where their side creases is the natural waist.

Measure around the body here.

Hip measurement should be taken around the fullest part of the butt.

Inseam is from the top of the thigh to the lower part of the ankle.

Girth measurement is essentially the torso.  Sometimes you have a longer torso or longer legs which can make fitting swimsuits or leotards trickier.  Knowing your child’s girth can help you adjust your pattern so you get the perfect fit!  To do this, you’ll fun your tape measure through the crotch up to one shoulder.

Last is height.  I have my daughter stand on the tape measure and then measure to the top of her head.

One note about making clothing out of woven fabrics.  They have no stretch to them.  You’ll want about 2″ of ease, meaning your body measurements should be about 2″ smaller than the finished garment measurements.  This is so you can fully move around without feeling restricted.

Now that you’re able to take your child’s measurements, you’ll get the perfect fit every time!

If you need a little more visual help?  I also made a quick video tutorial.

I hope this helped you!


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