Step 1 –  Measuring your bust

You’ll need to measure the fullest part of your bust to get the proper measurement. Make sure that the measuring tape (a dress maker’s soft tape measure is best) goes under your arms.

Keep the measuring tape snug but not too tight. If you do it too tight (if your bust is popping out over the tape) then you’ll get the wrong measurements and your dress won’t fit properly.

Step 2 – Measuring your waist

Bend to one side (doesn’t matter which) and find your waist’s natural crease. At the crease, measure around your waist, making sure that the measuring tape is a bit loose. You can also find your natural waist by measuring 2 inches up from your belly button. It’s usually the smallest part of your waistline.

Step 3 – Measuring your hips

Stand with your feet together. Measure around the fullest part of your hips.  You may want to measure looser rather than tighter, so that your dress size doesn’t end up being too small.

Step 4- Measuring the length

With a tape measure, place one end on the top shoulder and the let the tape fall to the floor, depending on the height of the shoe you will be wearing this will have to be added to your measurement. A seamstress will be able to take up the hem of the dress if necessary.

Step 5 – Measuring the sleeve

Place the tape measure at the top of your arm down to your wrist where you require the sleeve to finish, it is also advisable to measure the circumference of the top of your arm and check the measurement with the dress. Vintage dresses do tend to measure smaller than today’s dresses and sleeve widths are important.