Where to measure on a pattern

After my posting part 2 “Measure Your Patterns” of my series, I got some feedback as to why some don’t do this. The common response was… I don’t know where to measure on the pattern. This sparked some curiosity on my end.

You will find most all of the big 4 companies have major fit points labeled. Usually found by a small line with the label (bust, waist, hip, elbow, bicep, etc). Or what’s commonly shown as a circle with a cross in it. I have noticed many of the Indie Pattern Companies (not all) don’t label theirs. My assumption is going to be that they don’t like to have it clutter their nested sizes or that they don’t find it necessarily important. I’m not sure.

So I decided to write this post showing through illustrations where certain points are on a pattern. Just a few.

Disclaimer: Every company uses their own drafted slopers or they purchase them. From there, they create style blocks. Measurements may vary and are not the same between companies. If the major fit points are not labeled on the pattern, the only person that would know this information accuratley is the pattern maker. The following information given is just a general assumption that pattern makers may use or understand when drafting slopers. 

One of the best ways I can suggest to help bridge the connection between a flat pattern and visually seeing it as a 3dimensional garment is to drape the pattern paper/tissue on a form or yourself. You will be able to see where certain fit points fall.

The following images will be without seam allowances.


Bodice Labels-01
The full Bust level usually (dependent on size, sleeveless or sleeved bodice) can be found around 2″ down from the armseye. It will pass through the apex.

Bodice Labels2-03Bodice Labels-03Bodice Labels-05



Bicep is found by drawing a line connecting the two ends of the sleeve cap.

* Grain line should always stay center of the sleeve. Keeping the sleeve width balanced. Shoulder point/notch falls 1/4′ towards the front sleeve.



Hip Level can be found around 6 -8.5″ from waist.

The area shown as thigh level is the start of the thigh.

*Tip: Grain line of pants (or shorts) should stay center of pants. To slim down the leg of the pants take the amount you want to remove divide by 1/2. Take that (1/4 per side and front/back) amount off either side of the grain line. Essentially taking equal amounts off on either side of the pants. If you take more from one side than the other you run the risk of the seams twisting.


Thank you for following along with me on this series. Stay tune for part 3.

Find me on Instagram here.

2 thoughts on “Where to measure on a pattern

  1. Hi Michele, thank you so much for your helpful blog posts! I have a question – you say to slim down the leg, we should divide the amount to remove by 1/2. I’m wondering if this isn’t by 1/4 to account for each side seam and inseam front and back? Or should I only be taking them off on one side of the pattern? Thank you!


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