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Here's where the magic happens. I'll be posting about all of my experiences and experiments (both failed and successful ones), introducing you to my costumes, sharing fun stories, linking tutorials and useful products, and who knows what else!


MDC Measurement Guide

Michael MacWolff

So I know I've already done this, but here I have a brand-spanking new version to share with all of you! It's updated with a few more useful pieces of information, and I wanted to add a basic patterning guide so that you can actually put this information to use yourself! 

So, first things first we have the visual guide:

Vertical Measurements


All heights are going to be measured in reference to your shoulder. When finding your starting point, the easiest thing to do is use the seam on a t-shirt as reference. Then simply measure from that point to your Bust, Waist, Hips, and to the Floor. This can be done all at once, easy-peasy!

The "Garment Length" shown here is a custom length for the garment you are making. If you're making something that only covers your top, like a shirt, hoodie, etc. the Garment Length will fall just past your hips.
If you're making a robe, dress, cloak, etc. that is longer, you will have to determine this measurement yourself. It's still helpful to have your measuring tape at your shoulder, and simply figure out visually how far down your body you want the garment to be and determine what your measurement is.
The same can be done if you're making a crop top, or something that is shorter than your full torso. Just do the same thing: place your measuring tape, then record the length you want to the end of your garment.

Arm Lengths

When measuring your arm length, you again want to use a shirt seam as your reference point. This time we'll use the sleeve seam and measure down the outside of your arm to both your elbow & your wrist. For most patterns, you'll only use the Shoulder-Wrist measurement, but for some things like armor and other details, it's useful to know were your elbow sits on your arm.


Inseam and outseam can be tricky to measure on yourself when you're trying to stand, so here's a simple way to avoid that issue:
1) Find a pair of store-bought pants that fits you well and is the length you want.
2) Measure the seam on the outside of your leg (where your hip is, not your crotch) - this is the Outseam.
3) Measure the seam to the inside of your leg (from your crotch to the bottom) - this is the Inseam.


Horizontal Measurements

Remember, while in the visual guide, there's just one arrow, all of these measurements shuold go all the way around  whatever area you're measuring. I imagine most of you know that but we all have brain farts sometimes :-)
Most of these are fairly self-explanatory, but here are a few tips for certain ones:
Crown - You should measure your crown just above your ears, across your forehead. IF YOUR COSTUME INVOLVES A WIG, make sure to wear the wig when you take this measurment.
Bust - This is also sometimes called Chest. You should be measuring under your armpits, and roughly across your nipples.
Underbust - This is only relevant if you have breasts (or your character does). Measure just under the breasts, hence why it's called "Underbust."
**IMPORTANT NOTE** If you are altering your body in any way for your costume (e.g. binding, etc.), you should make those alterations when you're taking your measurements.
Arm Hole - The simplest way to measure this is to put on a t-shirt and measure around the sleeve seam.

And that's that! Now you have all of your measurements and are ready to use them! In my next post, I'll be putting together a very basic patterning guide to use alongside this measurement guide so stay tuned!