Before using a commercial pattern it is best to test it to see whether it is approximately the correct size. The following measurements should be taken and the pattern tested by several of them. It is not necessary to test the pattern by all these measurements, however, unless the figure is quite abnormal. The commercial patterns are very well proportioned; therefore, if the pattern is correct in the length of the waist and the bust measure, it will generally prove satisfactory. In the skirt the test measurements used are the waist, the hip-line 6 inches below the waist, and the length of the skirt in front.
Place a tapeline around the waist, and pin it securely. Adjust the tape-line until it is as nearly parallel to the floor as possible, and at the normal waist-line.
Bust measurement: Place the tapeline around the figure over the fullest part of the bust. An easy measurement is taken for a shirt-waist and a close measurement for a tight-fitting waist. Keep the tapeline rather high under the arms and straight across the back.
Width of back: Measure the width of the back from armhole to armhole. Divide the space between the base of the neck and the waist into fourths. Measure the width of the back at approximately the first quarter division below the base of the neck.
Width of front: Measure the width of the front l 1/2 to 2 inches below the hollow at the base of the neck across the widest part of the chest from armhole to armhole.
Waist: Take the measurement around the waist, keeping the tapeline as nearly parallel to the floor as possible.
Length of back: From the bone at the base of the neck in the back straight down to the lower edge of the tapeline around the waist.
Length of front: From the center of the hollow at the base of the neck straight down to the base of the tapeline placed around the waist. This is a rather loose measure.
Depth of dart: This measure is not often used except when testing or drafting a tight-fitting lining. It is taken from the base of the neck at the center front in a slanting line down to the point of the bust. It averages from 8 to 9 inches.
Length of under-arm: Take this measure carefully. For the shirt-waist one-half the length of the back may be used; but when a more careful measurement is necessary, the tapeline is folded over a pencil and the pencil slipped in under the arm and the measurement then taken to the bottom of a tapeline which is around the waist. The shoulder must be in a normal position with the arm lowered.
Neck or collar measurements:
Base of neck: This is a close measurement taken around the base of the neck. It is better to have this measurement taken too small than too large, because in the fitting of the waist the neck-line can easily be made larger.
Top of neck: This is a close measurement around the top of the neck just under the chin.
Height at back: From the base of the neck to the height required.
Height at front: From the base of the neck in front to the height required.
Height at side: Take this measurement just back of the ear from the base of the neck to the height required.
Armhole measurement: Take the measurement of the armhole where the arm joins the body. The curve of the line is rather deep at the lower front, and is a practically straight line in the back.
Length inside: Take this measurement along the inside of the arm from the little muscle where the arm joins the body to the bone in the wrist.
Length outside: From the point where the width of the back measure ended, over the outside of the arm to the elbow. Then bend the elbow and take the measure down to the bone in the wrist.
Size at elbow: Place the tape-measure around the elbow; bend the elbow, and take the measurement rather closely over the point of the elbow.
Wrist size: Close the hand as though it were to slip through a small hole with the thumb held in the palm. Take the measure then, very closely over the knuckles and thumb.
Waist: Take this measurement in the same way as for the waist.
Hip: The first hip measurement is generally taken 6 inches below the waist-line. The second hip measurement is generally taken about 10 inches below the waist-line, or over the fullest part of the thigh. These two measurements are parallel to each other and parallel to the floor. There is generally a difference of 4 to 6 inches between them.
Length of front: From the waist-line to the floor, exactly at the center front.
Length of side: From the waist-line to the floor, directly over the fullest part of the hip. The tapeline should fall at right angles to the waist-line.
Length of back: From the waist-line to the floor, exactly at the center back.