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Dressmaking 101: Know your Body Points

Updated on May 7, 2011

Before you can even start with the basics of dressmaking, you have to know which part of the body you need to measure in order to assemble the dress of your choice. It would be very beneficial to you if you could memorize these parts to be able to work efficiently.

Follow these simple steps:

Things you need:

1. Tape Measure

2. Cord string or tape

3. Paper

4. Pen


* First know your body points:

The Body Points

A = Side Neck Point (SNP)

B = Shoulder Tip Point (STP)

C = Center Base of Neck (CBN)

D = Arm Joint (AJ)

E = Bust Point (BP)

F = Side Waist Point (SWP)

G = Center Waist Point (CWP)

H = Side Hip Point

I = Shoulder Blade Point

* Next Take the body measurements

Things to Remember When Taking the Body Measurements

1. Tie a cord string or tape around the waistline.
2. The one being measured should stand straight.
3. Take the measurements as accurate as possible.
4. Use the same tape measure in taking the body measurements as well as in drafting the pattern.

Where and How The Measurements Are Taken

1. Shoulder Width (SW) - taken from left shoulder tip point to the right shoulder tip point with the tape measure passing over the back center base of neck.
2. Back Bodice length (BBL) - taken from side neck point down to the waistline passing over shoulder blade point.
3. Bust Height (BH) - taken from side neck point down to bust point
4. Front Bodice Length (FBL) - taken from side neck point down to the waistline passing over bust point
5. Across or Chest Measurement (AM/CM) - taken from arm joint to arm joint
6. Bust Distance (BD) - taken from bust point to bust point
7. Bust - taken around the body passing over the bust and insert 2 to 3 fingers at the back for ease
8. Waist (W) - taken around the waistline
9. Upper Hip (UH) - taken around the body 10 cm below the waistline
10. Lower Hip (LH) - taken around the fullest part of the buttocks
11. Armhole (A) - taken around the arm inserting two fingers at the shoulder tip point
12. Sleeve length (SL) - taken from the shoulder tip point down to the desired length
13. Lower Arm Girth (LAG) - taken around the arm where the sleeve length is taken inserting 3 fingers for ease.
14. Length of skirt (LS) - taken from the side waist point down to the lower knee.

* Now, you are ready to draft your pattern.


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