Measuring for Blocks

This page contains the information on measuring for the following blocks:

  • Bodice Front
  • Bodice Back
  • Sleeve
  • Skirt
  • Pants

measurement croquis

Getting your measurements correct is probably the most difficult and important aspect of making your own personalised blocks. It should go without saying that correct measurements are necessary to end up with a block that fits well. 

If you have no-one to help you take your measurements, or the person helping you does not take them correctly, it will make your block-making process more difficult.  If you have a  problem, it may be worth paying a dressmaker to take the measurements for you.

The fitting process (making and toile and checking your block) is essential, and if you have no-one to help you with this it may take some time and some back-and-forth with the block and toiles, but it is possible, and it will be worth it.

These Measurement Pages contain the information for taking the measurements needed for creating your personalised blocks.  There is a downloadable Personal Measurements table to help you with this.

Bodice Block (Bodice Sloper)

The Bodice Blocks include the Bodice Front, Bodice Back and Sleeve.

Measurements for Drafting the Bodice Front Block (Bodice Front Sloper)

There are 12 measurements needed to draft the Bodice Front.  These measurements is shown in the image below.

  1. Waist: Around the smallest part of torso.
  2. Full Length Front: From the shoulder seam line at the neckline to the waist.
  3. Upper Bust: Around the underarm area, about 2.5cm below armpit at the sides.
  4. Across Shoulder Front: From the pit of the throat to shoulder tip.
  5. Centre Front Length: From the pit of the throat to the waist.
  6. Shoulder Slope Front: From centre front waist to shoulder tip.
  7. Shoulder Length: From the neckline shoulder point to the shoulder tip.
  8. Bust Depth: From shoulder tip to bust apex (nipple), along the Shoulder Slope line.
  9. Bust Span: From Centre Front to bust apex (nipple).   (You can measure from bust apex to bust apex then divide by two).
  10. Across Chest:  From Centre Front to armhole. (You can measure from armhole to armhole, then divide by two).
  11. Front Armhole Depth: From Shoulder Point to Upper Bust. (Tie a piece of elastic around your Upper Bust, and measure from the shoulder point to the elastic.)
  12. Side Length: From 2.5cm under armpit to waist.

measurements bodice front

Measurements for Drafting the Bodice Back Block (Bodice Back Sloper)

There are 11 measurements needed to draft the Bodice Block Back.  They are shown on the image below.

  1. Waist: Around the smallest part of torso.
  2. Full Length Back: From Neck Shoulder Point to Waist.
  3. Upper Bust (Arc): Around the armhole area.
  4. Centre Back Length: From the prominent vertebra at the back of the neck to waist.
  5. Across Shoulder Back: From Centre Back to Shoulder Tip.  (Measure from shoulder tip to shoulder tip, then divide by 2).
  6. Shoulder Slope Back: From Centre Back Waist to Shoulder Tip.
  7. Back Neck: From the prominent vertebra at the back of the neck to Neck Shoulder Point.
  8. Shoulder Length: From Neck Shoulder Point to Shoulder Tip. 
  9. Across Back: From Centre Back to Armhole line.
  10. Side Length: From 2.5cm under armpit to waist.
  11. Dart Placement: Where it suits your body. There are general guides given.

measurements bodice back

Click on any image to see a larger version. Click near the bottom of the image.

Measurements for Drafting the Sleeve Block (Sleeve Sloper)

There are 6 measurements needed to draft the Sleeve Block.  The sleeve is created to fit your Bodice Block, so you have to (obviously) create the Bodice Front and Bodice Back before you can create the sleeve.

  1. Bicep: Around the largest part of the upper arm.
  2. Full Length Sleeve: From the shoulder tip to the wrist, with the elbow bent.
  3. Cap to Elbow: From the shoulder tip to the elbow.
  4. Elbow circumference: Around the elbow, with the elbow bent.
  5. Armhole Front: Using a flexible ruler, measure the armhole length of your Bodice Block Front.
  6. Armhole Back: Using a flexible ruler, measure the armhole length of your Bodice Block Back.

The measurements you need are shown in the image below.

measurements sleeve and armhole

Skirt Block (or Skirt Sloper)

There are really only 4 measurements needed to create the Skirt Block, but if you prefer to divide the waist and hips measurements into the Front/Back Arcs, then you need 8 measurements.

Measurements for Drafting the Skirt Block (Skirt Sloper)

The measurements are shown on the images below.

  1. Waist: Around the smallest part of the torso.
  2. Front Waist Arc: From the Side seam to Centre Front.
  3. Skirt Length: From Waist down below knee (personal preference).
  4. Hip: Around the widest part of the body below the waist.
  5. Front Hip Arc: From the side seam to centre front of the hip circle.
  6. Hipline Depth: From waist to the widest part of the body.
  7. Back Waist Arc:  From side seam to side seam at waist level.
  8. Back Hip Arc: From side seam to side seam at hip level.

measurements skirt

Pants Block (or Pants Sloper)

Note that the written instructions that are listed in this menu and the measurements below that relate to those written instructions work well only for Standard Figures.

I have devised a new method for drafting pants, but currently only have videos (not written instructions) for drafting pants using that system.   If you have a non-standard figure (i.e. you find it difficult to find ready-to-wear pants that fit well), use my video instructions, which include the measurement information.

(Note that from the 8 August 2020 the videos are no longer available.  They will be uploaded again in September or October 2020)

Measurements for Drafting the Pants Block (Pants Sloper)

There are 9 measurements needed to draft the Pants Block for the Standard Figure; They are shown on the images below.

  1. Waist: Around the smallest part of the torso.
  2. Waist to Ankle: From Waist to the ankle bone.
  3. Hip Depth: From the waist to the hip.
  4. Front Hip Arc: From side seam to side seam at hip level.
  5. Front Waist Arc: From side seam to side seam at waist level.
  6. Back Hip Arc: From side seam to side seam at the hip level.
  7. Back Waist Arc: From side seam to side seam at the waist level.
  8. Crotch Depth: From the waist to upper thigh/crotch intersection.
  9. Crotch Length: From front waist, under the crotch, to back waist.

measurements pants

The use of 3D Measuring Stations (e.g. mPort in Australia)

With the arrival of 3D measuring "Pods" like mPort in Australia, I thought it would now be easy to get your exact measurements, but mPod in Australia only supply the basic measurements (e.g. bust, waist and hips) to the people who use the pods. (I am unsure if this is the same in the USA).

mPods in Australia supply the use of the machines for free to the general public; in order to get people to use the machine their marketing is to sell it along the lines of Keeping Track of Your Weight and BMI.  They supply only the basic body measurements to these people, such as Bust, Waist & Hips.  They do take much more detailed measurements of the people who use the machine, and sell this on to the Fashion Industry.  This anthropometic data is valuable and essential to fashion houses and fashion lines.

While I can understand that they don't give out the information wholesale, I do not understand why they cannot supply individuals with their detailed measurements.

Related Article

Fit, Sizing & Measurements - The Fashion Industry & Garment Manufacturing

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