Taking measurements before dressmaking is an art and a science because you need to combine dedication, time, and accuracy to get the job done. Note that measuring the body is more than just measuring the hip, bust, and waist in inches. Measurements for clothing should be more detailed especially if you aim to come out with a custom-fitted outfit. You have to aim to keep the accuracy at all costs. It can be tedious and costly re-doing a dress from scratch just because you messed up in measurements.
Before making any dress, you need to first take the necessary body measurements of the person who will wear the outfit. If you are making your own dress, you need to take your own measurements. If you are dressmaking for another person, you need to schedule a session so you can take the necessary and important body measurements.
You should include the necessary measurement tools in your dressmaking kit. The basic tool for measuring sizes is a tape measure. You can use a nylon or plastic tape measure for the purpose. Use the English standard measurement (i.e. inches).
Before proceeding to measure anyone, be sure the person is not wearing bulky outfit. Advise the person to come wearing well-fitted undergarments. This is because oversized underwear may drastically affect the accuracy of measurements. For women, bras should fit well, and for men, boxers and other loose underwear should not be worn when in the session.
Make the person to be measured stand correctly and in good body posture. He or she should stand proudly, with eyes gazing straight ahead and both arms very relaxed at either side. The back should be ideally straight and shoulders in a relaxed state. Some people do not naturally stand this proud, but advise the person you are measuring to observe correct and proud standing for the sake of getting accurate and ideal body measurements. There is a need to take a good position base.