To get the best fit from the clothing you make you need to know what size you (or the person you are making for) are. And for preference you need to know all the measurements that relate to what you are making; not just the bust/chest measurement (see the last post for chat about how we differ from averages). You can skip foot measurements if you are making a sweater!
Once you know your measurements you can compare them to the pattern and choose which size will be best for you, and maybe add some adjustments for a better fit (more on that in later posts).
Now, I get that this can sometimes feel uncomfortable, but badly fitting clothing can be worse. So that tape measure is going to have to come out.
The things you will need:
A good quality tape measure, honestly, cheap ones can be noticeably off. It is also worth checking it occasionally as they can stretch out and be reading incorrectly.
A helpful friend, partner, family member (not the dog). It is almost impossible to get true measurements of yourself- the tape slips, or sits wonky, or as you bend to get the tape in position bits of you move and distort the measurement.
Something to write on, because we all think we will remember but honestly don’t.
A list of the measurements you need. Or maybe while you have the tape measure and the friend handy, ask them to take all your measurements so you have them for the next project. Remember to update occasionally them though.
Yourself in whatever you would usually wear under the item you are making (side note, if you wear a bra, and haven’t recently had a fitting, it is worth getting that done).
Tip- Hold the tape measure snug against the body part to be measured, but not tight to avoid incorrect measurements.
If you are really stuck for getting measurements you can make use of the clothing you already have. If you have a similar style item that fits just the way you want your new knit to then you can lay it out flat and measure. Remember to compare these numbers with finished measurements in the pattern, rather than “to fit” body measurements.