I wanted this quick tutorial set up to go hand in hand with our Starry Garden release! I illustrated the bits for it forever ago, but life was so busy I never got the chance to upload it! : o Let's get to it!
1. Have a frilly friend on hand for assistance!The most important part of this tutorial is this step right here! No, really! One of the number one problems that any designer has when doing a commission is having a client give them incorrect measurements, which results in an ill fitting garment that is either too tight or too loose.
The mistake a lot of people make is trying to measure themselves, well, by themselves, with no help.
You know the feeling: You've got the tape measure hoisted up around your chest but it keeps slip sliding around, and it won't stay where you want it to, and it may not be in the right place to begin with, so you just pull the tape measure really, really tight to keep it in place..... Right?
And then all the sudden, your dress arrives and sac le bleu! It is WAY too tight!
Or perhaps you've got it way too loose and you're just like, "Eh, good enough" and then your dress gets there and it doesn't fit you well, and you look like a frumpy mess!
So pretty pretty please, have a frilly friend, a loved one, or prince charming help you get the correct measurements by following this guide!
The only way to get a perfectly fitted, tailored dress is ideally to let the designer fit you in person, but since I can't fly out to each and every one of your beautiful kingdoms (though I would like that!) to do so, make sure you're careful. : )
Things You'll Need to Continue this Adventure:
-A Frilly Friend
-A Soft Measuring Tape
-A Bit of Elastic, any kind will do
2. Measuring Naturally, or Go Ahead and Stand Normal, silly!The second mistake a lot of people tend to make is how they stand, or move while being measured or during a fitting. Yeah, you wanna stand like a rigid Barbie who has the most immaculate posture so you're at your tallest, right? And lift your arms, and do all sorts of crazy stuff too!
But is that how you stand, move, react normally on a day to day basis? Of course not! I, for one, have the worst posture in the world unless I'm wearing heels. : )
When you're being measured, remember to just stand how you would normally. Don't worry about straightening back your shoulders, or standing super super straight. And when the person is measuring you around the bust, waist, hips area---do NOT lift up your arms. Let the person slip the measuring tape under your arms, and around you, while those arms just hang naturally by your side. This will give a more accurate circumference of your torso.
3. What You're Wearing Matters, Sort Of.Before we get started, it's important to note how you are dressed. Not that you don't look beautiful I'm sure! When doing a fitting it's really important for the client to be dressed in a way that is easy for the person measuring to do their job and know the results are accurate. When I did fittings regularly, I always asked my girls to wear things that fit them well---most of the times they wore leggings and a tank, or a nice fitting t-shirt and some skinny jeans.
Having clothing that is too loose or baggy will add "bulk" to the measurements your partner will be taking. So dress for the occasion! There's no need to strip down to your skivvies for this, just wear things that are fitted!
Lastly, please wear a bra that is natural and does not have a lot of padding in it. This will also cause the garment to be too loose, and ill fitting because it adds a lot of bulk. Unless that's the bra you know for certain you will be wearing only with the garment, natural is better!
4. Get Out That Elastic!The first thing we do during a fitting is turn our models into a dress form. (I know you're thinking, whatttt are you talking about, crazy person.) Remember that elastic I told you you needed earlier, now is the time to pull that out.
Wrap the elastic around your natural waist (whenever I say this please remember it is the narrowest or smallest part of the waist, which is usually your belly button area on most girls) and go ahead and make it snug than knot it or tie into a little bow.
This turns you into a dress form, voila! It is easier to take basic measurements knowing where this line is. : )
When measuring you want to make sure you are either measuring from the top edge of the elastic or the bottom edge, not somewhere in the middle. So make a choice and stick to it, eh?
5. It's time to get intimate! With your tape measure that is... Bust/Waist/Hips
And when you're sending me your measurements in particular, always add 1/2 inch onto the original measurement you took. This is called "ease" which just makes sure the garment will be a comfortable fit.
Front Body Width: This is located 1/2" below the armpits. + 1/2 inch.
Bust: This measurement is always taken at the widest point of our bust, a.k.a. the "apex" and if we're going to be technical about it (or a bit salacious you might say! : o) this is located at the nipples.
+ 1/2 inch.
Natural Waist: We're all shaped differently, but usually this measurement is taken at the smallest part of your waist, usually located at the belly button area but not always (or where your elastic currently is!) If you're having trouble locating where yours is, just look in the mirror: where does your waist dip or curve in at the most?
+ 1/2 inch.
High Hips: This measurement is taken 3 1/2 inches below the natural waist. So measure down from your natural waist, or the measuring tape area, and then take that circumference measurement.
+ 1/2 inch.
Hips: This measurement is usually the widest part of our torso, and can be found 7 inches below our natural waist. So measure down from your natural waist/ measuring tape, and then take that circumference measurement.
+ 1/2 inch.
(See why that tape measure is so handy now, eh?)
Torso Length: This measurement allows for me to know the length of your full torso. This measurement is taken from your collarbone and extends down to your natural waist, or where your tape measure is.
6. If you have sleeves, we'll need these! (Oh dear, I'm rhyming now...)
Shoulder Width: This measurement is taken from the edge, or tip of one shoulder and to the other edge, tip of the shoulder. You are only measuring the FRONT part of you for this one, not the circumference.
Arm Length: You know how I said not to bend your arm? Well for this one, you want to. : ) You want to measure from the top of your shoulder, over the elbow, and down to the wrist bone with your arm in a bent position making kind of a right angle.
Bicep: This is the widest part of arm when flexed (look how muscley and strong you are!) and can be found 1 inch below the armpit, or wherever your arm is the widest. So measure that and get the circumference.
+ 2 inch.
Elbow: This is another area where you want to have your arm bent. Bend your arm, and measure the elbow at its widest point to get circumference.
+ 1/2 inch.
Wrist: This one is easy, find your wrist bone and measure from there to get the circumference!
+ 1/2 inch.
7. A Quick Summary of Measurements Needed & Stuff:*Always have a buddy help you measure yourself!
*You need a soft measuring tape and elastic
*Wear fitted clothing
*Never hold the measuring tape too tight, or too loose!! Just right!
Front Body Width: Located 1/2" below armpit, +1/2 inch of ease
Bust: Located at the apex, widest point, + 1/2 inch of ease
Natural Waist: Located at the smallest part, belly button, + 1/2 inch of ease
High Hip: Located 3 1/2 inches below natural waist, add 1/2 inch of ease
Hip: Located 7 inches below natural waist, add 1/2 inch of ease
Torso Length: Located from collarbone to natural waist
Shoulder Width: Located from edge of shoulder to edge of shoulder, front only
Arm Length: Bend arm, located from top of shoulder to wrist
Bicep: Widest part of arm, + 2 inches of ease
Elbow: Bend arm, + 1/2 inch of ease
Wrist: Located near the wrist bone, + 1/2 inch of ease
Whew! I hope that wasn't too much info for everyone! *0* And I hope it was helpful! Perhaps we can make a more in depth version later!
For now, lets embarrass myself with this all new video guide tutorial! : O