Measuring Perfection

Spacer 5x5 pixels Crochet Cardigan - Ocean Pearls
The Ocean Pearls Cardigan  is a great choice for all body types. (Interweave Crochet Summer 2008)

Apple, pear or tomato? Sounds like food you'd find in the kitchen, not descriptions of body types! And does it really matter what type you are? When you have fallen in love with a sweater or skirt all you want to do is crochet a garment that fits. Learning how to take proper body measurements will enable you to choose and create garments designed to fit your body and provide you with the base knowledge to start modifying patterns for a perfect fit.

Pull out a tape measure, a pen, and notebook. Stand in front of a mirror wearing just undergarments (clothing will skew the measurements). Don't be afraid of the mirror; mirrors are sworn to secrecy. We are going to take five measurements.

Bust measurement


Wrap the measuring tape around the fullest part of your bust. Hold it just firmly enough that it doesn't slide, without pulling it tight. Different bra types can alter this measurement slightly, so keep in mind the underclothing you would wear with the garment you want to make. For garments such as the Ocean Pearls Cardigan (above) the bust measurement is more important than the waist or hip measurements.

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Waist Measurement  


Take the measurement at the narrowest part of the waist, about at bellybutton level. Be careful not to suck in your tummy; you'll pay for that tiny tummy tuck when your garment is too snug at the waist.

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Hip Measurement Spacer 10x10 pixels 


Wrap the measuring tape all the way around at the fullest part of the hips. This measurement is especially important for skirts or tunics such as the Spice Market Tunic (below).

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Torso Measurement  


Measure from your collarbone to your waist, then from your waist to your crotch. If your waist-to-crotch measurement is longer than your waist-to-collarbone measurement, you are short-waisted. The distance from your waist to your armhole or bust will affect the length you should make your tops and the placement of darts.


Ask a friend to help you measure from your waist to the top of your knee. Now you can create skirts and dresses that stop at the most flattering point on your leg whether that's just above the knee or a few inches below.

Crochet Sweater - Spice Market Tunic

The Spice Market Tunic accents small waists and mimicks great curves on boyish figures. (Interweave Crochet Fall 2009)

And Then Some

Take some more measurements on your own. You know your body best and where standard garments don't quite fit. Maybe clothing fits a little loosely at your waist or tightly at your bust. (Shirts pull tightly on me just below the bust since I inherited my grandmother's large rib cage, along with her smile.) Measure the width of your shoulders or the circumference of your upper arm. The more information you have the better you will be able to customize your garments.

Write down all of your measurements and keep them handy, updating them if you fluctuate throughout the year. Now comes the fun part, finding the perfect pattern. You can now order the Interweave Crochet 2008 and 2009 CD collections and browse all eight issues on your computer. With your measurements at your side your only problem will be choosing the first project to crochet from these great collections.

Best wishes,

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