Press "Enter" to skip to content

Month: March 2010

Waist to Full Hip

The Waist to Full Hip measurement is used to fit pants, fitted skirts/dresses, and very long line corsets.  It’s the secret measurement that lets you make patterns that keep skirt hems and prints level on figures with a pronounced tum or bum.  (For historical purposes, making patterns up using a modified Waist to Full Hip measurement taken over hip pads/skirt supports can be used to keep hems and fabric patterns level.)

Leave a Comment

Armscye to Waist

The Armscye to Waist measurement, sometimes called the Side Length, is important for properly fitting bodices, jackets, blouses, or any other fitted torso garment.  Properly used, it helps us create garments that don’t wrinkle or poof at the sides of the torso.  The Armscye to Waist measurme becomes critical in boned bodices and corsets, because it prevents garments that dig in to the waist or armpits – problems that are uncomfortable at best, and leave scars at worst…

1 Comment

Armscye, Front/Back Armscye

The Armscye measurement, loosely defined, is the size of the hole you need to put into a bodice, shirt, doublet, etc in order for your arm to fit through.  I suspect that many people guess on this point, and tend to guess large.  For many periods of history, including the Elizabethan era, however, the armscye measure needs to be fairly precise to help create the long, unbroken torso seen in period artwork.


Full Hip, Front/Back Full Hip

The Full Hip measurement is, as advertized, the measurement of the fullest part of the hips.  For some of us, this sits down on the thigh, and causes us to flee in horror from any pair of jeans that boasts of being “cut slim through the thigh”.  Beyond being crucial to making sure that a pant or a fitted skirt fit well, the Full hip measurement is important in extreme long line corsets of the Edwardian period.

1 Comment

High Hip, Front/Back High Hip

If your background is like mine, your mother taught you to take a hip measurement – but only one.  In pattern making, women’s hips are generally measured in two places.  There’s a High Hip measurement, which represents the top of the hip curve, and the Full Hip measurement, which is the actual widest part of the hip line.  Given the amazing variety of of feminine shapes, it makes sense to take the extra measurement. The high hip measurement is used for fitting both skirts and pants that are meant to skim the body between the waist and hip, and for longer line corsets.

1 Comment

Underbust, Front/Back Underbust

The Underbust measurement isn’t as famous as the bust or waist, which is sort of a shame, I feel.  The Underbust is the measurement of the ribcage, directly below the bust.  Aside from being a crucial measurement for making modern bras fit, it’s important for underbust style corsets, some styles of later-era long line corsets, regency fashion, and even modern baby-doll styles.  Here’s how to take the measurement accurately….

1 Comment

Waist, Front/Back Waist

There seems to be some confusion these days as to where waists are located.  Taking a waist measurement at the proper place is a crucial step in pattern making, especially for historical periods that emphasized the waist as a central point of the feminine silhouette.  We’re going to talk about the right way to take a waist measurement, as well as some “cheats” for specific body shape issues.


A Model, a Direction, and the Upcoming Flood

After years and years of showing the entire internet how to draft patterns to my measurements-du-jour, I’ve decided to start working with a model.  There’s a couple reasons…  Firstly, I already have more costumes than I possibly know what to do with.  I have so many that I’m trying to come up with ways to get rid of them, without actually taking the huge, ego-wrenching risk of putting things on ebay and finding out that my treasured work is not worth a 25$ bid.