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Men’s Sewing & Craft Projects

Project provided courtesy of:
Carol Nolan  ©

Sewing for Men - How to Measure

Measurements

Measurements are easy. You'll need a measuring tape. You'll need a friend, a spouse, a parent or someone who can help you! If you have no one to help you, please follow the directions on how to provide finished measurements and simply send those. For trousers, outseam and inseam measurements need to be taken by someone other than you. Follow these simple steps:

Trouser Measurements

Waist measurement: Place the measuring tape around the body at the natural indentation of the waistline. Pull the measuring tape so it conforms to the body like a glove - but don't pull it tight. Record the measurement.

Hip measurement: Place the measuring tape around the body at the fullest part of the seat. This measurement should be done with trousers on. Pull the measuring tape so it conforms to the body - but don't pull it tight. Record the measurement.

Outseam measurement: This measurement is done with trousers on. Place the measuring tape at the top of the waistband and measure down to the bottom of the ankle. Record the measurement for the right leg, then measure the left leg. Record the measurement for the left leg. (It's not uncommon for one leg to be as much as 1/2" or more different than the other leg.) Measure again to the bottom of the trousers. Hopefully this is where you want your trousers hemmed. If not, measure to where you want your trousers hemmed. Record the measurement.

Inseam measurement: This measurement is done with trousers on. Place the measuring tape at the crotch of the trousers and measure down to the bottom of the ankle. Record the measurement for the right leg, then measure the left leg. Record the measurement for the left leg. Measure again to the bottom of the trousers. Hopefully this is where you want you want your trousers hemmed. If not, measure to where you want your trousers hemmed. Record the measurement.

    Tip: If you have a pair of pants that fit you well, you can measure those also. Here's how to take finished measurements: Lay your trousers on a flat surface - dining room tables work well and floors work well.

    Outseam measurement: Fold the legs of the trousers together - such as you have them hanging on a hangar. Place inseams together. Lay the trousers flat. Measure from the top of the waistband to the bottom of the cuff. Record the measurement.

    Inseam: With the trousers laying flat from your previous measurement, fold back the top leg to expose the inseam. Measure from the crotch to the hem. Record the measurement.

    Waist: Zip up the pants, and button the front fly button. You're going to measure the inside of the finished waist. Place the tape measure on the right front side of the fly and measure around the waistband. Measure until the left front meets the right front where you began. Record that measurement as the waist measurement.

    There is no hip measurement on finished trousers.

Here's a worksheet for your convenience:

  • Trouser Measurements:
  • Actual measurements:
  • Waist:
  • Hip:
  • Outseam: 
    • Right leg waist to bottom of ankle
    • Left leg waist to bottom of ankle
    • Right leg waist to bottom of trousers
    • Left leg waist to bottom of trousers
  • Inseam:  
    • Right leg crotch to bottom of ankle
    • Left leg crotch to bottom of ankle
    • Right leg crotch to bottom of trousers
    • Left leg crotch to bottom of trousers
  • Finished measurements:
    • Waist:
    • Outseam:
    • Inseam:
  • Your height?
  • Your weight?
  • Your jeans size?

Coat Measurements

These measurements should be done with a dress shirt on. In each case, pull the measuring tape so that it conforms to the body like a glove, but don't pull the tape tight.

Shoulder to shoulder: Hold the tape measure across the back starting at the bone of the left shoulder and measure across to the right shoulder along the base of the neck. Follow the shoulder seam of the shirt. Record the measurement.

Chest: Measure around the fullest part of the chest. This measurement is taken at the breast. Record the measurement. Is the chest full, regular or flat?

Waist: Place the measuring tape around the body at the natural indentation of the waistline. Pull the measuring tape so it fits like a glove on the body and conforms to the body - but don't pull it tight. Record the measurement.

Hips: Place the measuring tape around the body at the fullest part of the seat. This measurement should be done with trousers on. Pull the measuring tape so it conforms to the body - but don't pull it tight. Record the measurement.

Center back: Place the measuring tape at the base of the neck on the spinal column and measure down to the natural waist. Record the measurement. Continue measuring down center back to where the coat will be hemmed. Record the measurement.

Posture: Is the posture erect, medium erect or very erect?

Front length: Place the measuring tape on the shoulder seam of the shirt and measure down to where the coat will be hemmed. Record the measurement.

Sleeves: Measure from the top of the shoulder bone to the bottom of the wrist bone. Then measure from the top of the shoulder bone to where you want the sleeve hemmed. Measure both arms as one arm may be longer than the other.

Here's a worksheet for your convenience:

  • Coat Measurements:
  • Shoulder to shoulder:
  • Chest:
  • Waist:
  • Hips:
  • Center back: 
    • to waist:
    • to coat hem:
  • Posture:  Erect / Medium Erect / Very Erect:
  • Front length:
  • Sleeves:
    • right arm shoulder to wrist:
    • right arm shoulder to finished hem:
    • left arm shoulder to wrist:
    • left arm shoulder to finished hem:
  • Your height?
  • Your weight?
  • Your coat size?

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