Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Measuring Up

In my circle of friends and family I would trust to take my measurements, everyone lives in another state. I have not really reached out to the sewing community in Chicago at all for help. I'd actually like to have more projects under my belt before I start hobnobbing with real stitchers! 2012 has not been a good sewing year at all ...

With that said, I did have my measurements taken by a sewing instructor in May 2011. I shudder to think of how much weight I've gained since then. Anyhoo. I've made several half-hearted attempts to take my own measurements since then. The hardest things are CB and front crotch vs. back crotch. I've been watching some Craftsy courses and correct measurements seem critical, so I decided to give taking my own measurements some serious attention.  I think I've cracked the code. It's all about the tools! (Of course that would be my answer; I am such a gadget person.)

Okay, well the first item, the Dritz Measure Me Beautiful Kit, has been in my possession for a while. I found it on clearance for $2.97 at Jo-Ann. What really intrigued me was the sticky measuring tape. This seemed like exactly what I needed! A regular measuring tape was difficult to use on my hips and I just couldn't see if I was taking my CB measurement correctly.

This kit was a bust. The sticky tape wasn't sticky enough and there just wasn't enough of it. Even still, I tried to find more kits at other stores, but with no success. I was clearly having a brain fart during my online efforts because I kept searching "How to Measure" when the actual name of the kit is "Measure Me Beautiful." Silly me.  

I found this tape on Nancy's Notions. I didn't have very high hopes, based on my experience with the Dritz tape, but I decided it was worth a shot. Man! Who knew it would work as well as it did? This stuff has been sitting in my sewing room since March! (I told you this has not been a good sewing year.) I could have had more accurate measurements ages ago!
Removable Ruler Tape Set

I didn't use the next two items for the last round of measurements, but when I gear up for pants, they will be the first things I grab. First up is the Two Easy Tape by Lorraine Henry. I attended her fit workshop at the Sewing Expo in 2004. I can't find an image of the actual tape, but according to the website, it's a two-ended tape with 0 in the middle and its companion tape that slides right on. Lets you measure front and back crotch curve and inseam all in one take! Works great. My only concern is determining where the middle of my crotch is. I guess and move on.

The tape comes with an instruction book that includes every conceivable measurement you could ever take for sewing purposes. The book is very overwhelming. In the past, I've frustrated three people trying to get all of those measurements done.

Another item Ms. Henry shared in the workshop is a flexible curve for a proper crotch curve measurement. It is a great idea, but the one she sold did not have measurements marked. I found a nice 40" version that works.
I'm interested in the crotch curve because what started me on this sewing journey was the need for pants that fit. I struggle with visualizing my three-dimensional curves and a flat pattern. Pants are a 2013 goal for me, so I obviously need a better understanding of body space. In Fitting & Pattern Alteration, there's a 12-page section called Altering the Pant Crotch Curve.   Threads #122 has an article, Adjusting the Pants from Waist to Seat, which also deals with body space.



Faye Lewis said...

See this is what I was talking about. You are so thorough!

NuJoi said...

Ha! It's because I'm a nerd with OCD.