How to Measure Your Child for Sewing

Sewing is really frustrating if you aren’t sure what size(s) you should be using, everybody likes clothing that fits perfectly, including children. This is totally possible with the DIBY Club children’s patterns. Our size chart is a little bit different for the kids, and in my opinion, a little easier (if you can get them to stand still long enough to get each measurement). Let’s get started on how to find your child’s size in PDF Sewing Patterns.

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To take all of these measurements you’ll want to use a fabric tape measure. Make sure the tape measure is not stretched out. You would be shocked at how often this happens, and with kids, a 1/2″ is a BIG difference. Nothing is worse then a tape measure that is stretched out and all those measurements go out the window.

Let’s wrangle the kids and get started, shall we?


This measurement is taken around the chest, right under the armpits right at the nipple line, with the arms down. Try your best to keep them from slouching.


This measurement is taken about 1/4” above the belly button. Lot’s of kids like to be silly and either puff out their bellies or suck in. Distract them into a relaxing that abdomen.


Put what you’re learning to task with some of our favorite children’s sewing patterns:

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Full Hip

This measurement is the fullest part of the hips. Do this with them either wearing tight leggings or no pants at all.


This measurement is just the midpoint between the crotch and the knee. If you don’t know just measure from the crotch to the knee, then divide it in half and you can find the midpoint.


This measurement is taken at the widest part of the lower leg.


This measurement is the vertical distance from the midpoint of the crotch to the ball of the ankle. Some patterns measure this down to the floor. Consult your pattern’s instructions. If it’s not mentioned always err on the side of too long because you can always shorten them.

Arm Length

This is measured from tip of shoulder bone to the wrist with the arm bent at a 90-degree angle.

Total Height

This is measurement is the vertical distance from the top of the head to the floor.

Compare Your Measurements to the Sizing Chart

After you have all of your measurements, you are almost ready to begin sewing. Take your measurements and compare them to your sewing patterns in order to determine which size you will need to cut. If your measurements vary significantly between sizes, you’ll likely want to do what’s called “size grading“.

DIBY’s Children’s patterns differ from most PDF patterns because we offer patterns drafted in both a regular and slim fit. Check this tutorial out to see which pattern your child fits into.

I love sewing for my kids and they love it too. My kids grow inches overnight and I have to continually remeasure them. So knowing how to do it really helps and keeps my crazy level down.

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