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This lesson covers all sizes -
*denotes measurements to be taken on child type dolls.
Measurements are shown on an MSD doll.
What you will need:
-Blank Measurement Sheet (the sheet is available in the group Files section)
-Narrow Measuring Tape - I use a small measuring tape that comes out of one of those circular, spring back containers. The tape is narrow, flexible and has both inches and centimeters on it.

-Your doll
-Pen or pencil

-Placing your doll on a stand will make it easier to take the measurements
-Always take the measurements in the same place and in the same way.
-If you find the measurements hard to take, cut strips of paper, wrap them around the doll and mark a beginning and end spot, take off and measure the piece of paper.
-You can write down the measurements in either the English system or Metric - I will be covering both when we get to creating the pattern
-It helps to place masking tape or some other kind of tape on the doll to mark the bust, waist and hipline as these become reference points for several "vertical" measurements.
-I have numbered each measurement on the blank sheet and refer to those number below.
The tape on the pictures below show where measurement should begin and end.

1. *Shoulder to Shoulder - take across upper back as shown. Determine where you want the shoulder line to be on a regular garment and take the measurement there.

2. *Neck (base) to shoulder - take measurement as shown and end at the same shoulder line you determined in measurement #1.

3. *Neck (around) - this measurement is used to determine neckline size, or for a turtleneck collar size.

4. *Cross Back - used to determine angle of shoulder.

5. *Bust (or Chest on a child doll) - This measurement should be taken around the fullest part of the bust and tape measure should remain parallel to the floor all around the body (don't let it droop in the back).

6 & 7. - Separate Front and back bust measurements - I mark (with tape) each side seam of the doll, then take separate front and back bust measurements. These will be needed if your doll has a full bust so that you can do an accurate full bust alteration to the pattern.

8. *Waist - I always place something at the waist when I am taking a full set of measurements. Either a strip of masking tape or a rubberband so that I have that as a reference point while doing other measurements.
I visually note where the waist appears to be (the indentation at the side of the doll)
and place my marker there.

9. Underbust - taken direcly under the bust. Important when creating a fitted bodice or corset type pattern.

10. High Bust - Taken above the bustline and under the armpits. Important if doll has a full bust.

11. Bust Point to Bust Point - The measurement is taken "nipple to nipple" on the doll and is a reference point when placing bust darts on a pattern. It is also used when altering a pattern for a full bust.

12. Shoulder to bust point - taken from the middle of the shoulder (I use the seam on the doll) to the bust point. Another reference measurement for placement of bust darts and altering the pattern for a full bust.

13. Shoulder to waist over bust - Taken from the shoulder (seam of doll) over the bust to waist. I actually cup the tape measure over the breast when I take this measurement to build in a slight bit of ease. This is yet another measurement that is used when doing a full bust alteration.
Note: When a doll (or a person) has a full bust, the pattern usually ends up short in the front.
You need this length to determine the amount of alteration to the pattern.

14. *Underarm to waist - taken from under the arm to the waist.
Used to determine length on a fitted bodice or corset.

15. *(Back) Neck to Waist - used to determine length of bodice.

16 & 17. *Arm Measurements--Shoulder to Elbow and Elbow to Wrist. Taken from where you marked the shoulder to the elbow and then from the elbow to the wrist.

18. *Total Arm Length - taken from the shoulder to wrist over a bent elbow to build in a slight bit of ease.

19. *Wrist Circumference - I take this around the bottom of the lower arm piece as it is larger around than actually around the wrist (or ball joint).

20. *Bicep (circumference) - useful if doing a short sleeve.

21. *Left and Right Hand Spread - take separate measurements because usually the hand
spread is not the same measurement on both hands. You need this to determine
how big around a sleeve is going to be to insure it will go over the hands -
or whether you will want to make an opening in the sleeve (to get a tighter fit.

22. Upper (High) Hip - taken around the body at the place where the hip "bone" starts.
This measurement is used to help determine the proper hip curve on skirts and pants.
This measurement would also be important if you had a doll with a pot belly! :)

23. *Hip (full hip - around fullest part of derriere).

23A & 23B - Front and Back Hip - place a marker (piece of tape) at side seams and take an
individual front and back hip measurement. This will be used if your doll has a full derriere).

24. *Hip (around ball joints) - OPTIONAL. You would take this measurement if your doll has ball joints
that protrude in the front (the doll pictured here does not). This measurement is taken around
the fullest part of the derriere and around the protruding front ball joints and then would be used
as the "hip" measurement when doing a pattern for a skirt or pants. It is usually a larger
measurement than the hip. Think of someone who has "full" front thighs - skirts and pants will
fit too tight in that area of the garment is fit to the hip measurement.
CLICK HERE for further measurement information - and alteration guide for pants and skirts.

25. *Waist to Hipline - taken down side of doll from waist to hip. This measurement is used to make sure the hipline curve is placed correctly so that the fullest part of a skirt or pants (at hipline) is in the right place.

26 - 27 - 28 - *Crotch Front, Crotch Back & Crotch Total - Take the entire crotch measurement from front waist thru crotch to back waist (going over the butt). To get the separate front and back measurements I determine where the front will stop and the back will begin by turning the doll upside down, aligning the inner leg in the socket and using the leg seam to place a tape marker at that spot.
This is used for making pants or legging patterns.

29. *Thigh (around) - used for pants or legging patterns.

30. *Waist to Floor (outer leg) - used to determine length of long skirts, etc.

31. *Outseam (waist to ankle) - to determine pants length.

32. *Waist to Knee (outer leg) - to determine short skirt length.

33. *Inseam (Crotch to Ankle) - also for pant length

34. *Head Circumference - useful for wig size!

35. *Torso Length - taken from shoulder over bust thru crotch and up over butt to shoulder.
Very useful for body suits.

Last revised: 5/29/2008
Copyright 2000 - Dale Rae Designs