What Is The Metric System of Measurement in Dress Making

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Check out the essential metric system of measurement with conversion chart, used in dressmaking / sewing for accuracy in your sewing projects.

Mastering the Metric System of Measurement in Dressmaking: A Step-by-Step Guide

Dressmaking and sewing require precision and accuracy to ensure perfect-fitting garments. One fundamental aspect is understanding and utilizing the metric system of measurement. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the essential steps and provide a conversion chart to help you navigate the metric system with ease. 

Let's get ready!

Step 1: Familiarize Yourself with Metric Units - What is the Metric System of Measurement in Sewing?

If you're eager to learn stitching and make your own clothes, understanding the Metric system of measurement is essential. It's a simple and universal system that makes sewing easier.

No matter where you are in the world, when you talk about sewing and measurements, everyone can understand what you mean.

Some people have a natural talent for estimating measurements with their hands and getting the size right, but not all of us are that gifted.

That's where the metric system comes in. It's a universal system of measurement used in most countries. As we progress through projects on this site and Stitching Mall YouTube channels, we'll use metric measurements with imperial values in brackets to help you transition to the metric system smoothly.

Start by getting acquainted with the basic metric units used in dressmaking. These include centimeters (cm) for length, meters (m) for larger measurements, and grams (g) for weight.

Step 2: Gather Your Measurement Tools

To accurately measure your body or garments, ensure you have the following tools on hand: a metric measuring tape, a ruler with centimeters, and a digital scale for weighing fabric or trimmings.

Useful Reading : You Must Have These Sewing Tools 

Standard Body Measurement

Step 3: Body Measurements 

Learn how to take precise body measurements using the metric system. Include measurements such as bust, waist, hips, shoulder width, and inseam length. Remember to record all measurements in centimeters for consistency.

This Ready to Use Chart for Body Measurement includes Standard Measurement Chart, Sewing Pattern Formulas, and Division Charts also

Ready to Use Chart for Body Measurement (Sewing Formulas)

Step 4: Pattern Adjustment 

When working with sewing patterns, understanding the metric system is crucial. Learn how to adjust patterns by converting measurements from inches to centimeters, ensuring a perfect fit for your garments.

1 inch = 2.54 centimeters or 2.5 cm (i.e.Inch X 2.5 = cm)

1 yard (36 inches) = 91.5 cm and

1 meter (100 cm) = 39.57 inches

The values given in this system are not exact but nearly equal, e.g. 60 cm is equal to 23.5″ but the value taken is 24″. In the same way 36″ = 91.5 cm, but here it is taken as 90 cm, in order to make 1/2, 1/4, 1/6, 1/8,1/12 divisions easier.

Useful Read : Ready to Use Chart for Armhole and Sleeve Cutting 

Step 5: Fabric Measurements 

Accurate fabric measurements are vital for cutting out pattern pieces. Calculate the required fabric length and width using metric units, taking into account any pattern layout specifications or fabric designs.

How to Know Fabric Requirement for Your Dress when you make your own clothes. Right amount of fabric will ensure that you sew your dress perfectly right

How to Know Fabric Requirement for Your Dress (Sewing)

Step 6: Conversion Chart 

To simplify the conversion process, refer to our handy conversion chart. It provides a quick reference for converting between inches and centimeters, as well as other commonly used metric measurements in dressmaking.

I have added here conversion table for your ready reference to make things easier for you.

Conversion Chart Of Inches Into Centimeters

Inches Cm.Inches Cm.Inches Cm.
¼ = 0.64 = 10.022 = 56.0
½ = 1.35 = 12.524 = 61.0
¾ = 2.06 = 15.026 = 66.0
1 = 2.57 = 18.028 = 71.0
1 ¼ = 3.28 = 20.530 = 76.0
1 ½ = 3.89 = 23.032 = 81.5
1 ¾ = 4.510 = 25.534 = 86.5
2 = 5.012 = 30.536 = 91.5
2 ¼ = 5.714 = 35.538 = 96.5
2 ¼ = 6.516 = 40.540 = 101.5
2 ¾ = 7.018 = 46.042 = 106.5
3 = 7.520 = 51.044 = 112.0

Step 7: Practice and Test 

Put your newly acquired knowledge to the test. Practice measuring, converting, and applying the metric system in various dressmaking scenarios. Experiment with different fabrics and patterns to gain confidence.

Step 8: Double-Check and Verify 

Double-check your measurements and conversions for accuracy. Precision is key in dressmaking, so take the time to ensure everything is correctly calculated and recorded before proceeding with your project.

Step 9: Stay Consistent 

Consistency is essential when using the metric system. Avoid mixing metric and imperial units within the same project to maintain accuracy. Make it a habit to work exclusively in the metric system for dressmaking purposes.

Final Words: 

Understanding the metric system of measurement is a valuable skill for any dressmaker or sewing enthusiast. By following this step-by-step guide and utilizing our conversion chart, you can confidently work with metric units, achieving precise and accurate results in your sewing projects.

Embrace the metric system and unlock endless possibilities in dressmaking.

Happy Stitching!

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Sew Your Own Clothes

What is the basic of the metric measurement system?

The metric measurement system forms the basis for accurate and precise measurements in tailoring, dressmaking, sewing, and fashion designing. Here are the basics of the metric measurement system with examples related to these fields:

  1. Length:

    • Base Unit: Meter (m)
    • Example: When measuring the length of fabric for a dress, you would use meters. For instance, a dress pattern might require 2.5 meters of fabric.
  2. Weight:

    • Base Unit: Gram (g)
    • Example: When weighing buttons or beads for embellishments, you would use grams. For example, you might need 50 grams of sequins for a garment.
  3. Volume:

    • Base Unit: Liter (L)
    • Example: When mixing fabric dyes or determining the capacity of a sewing machine oil bottle, you would use liters. For instance, a bottle of sewing machine oil might contain 0.5 liters.
  4. Prefixes:

    • Kilo- (k): Represents a thousand times the base unit. Example: A bolt of fabric might be sold in kilograms (e.g., 3 kilograms).
    • Centi- (c): Represents one-hundredth of the base unit. Example: When measuring small seam allowances, you might use centimeters (e.g., 1.5 centimeters).
    • Milli- (m): Represents one-thousandth of the base unit. Example: When measuring very thin needles, you might use millimeters (e.g., 0.5 millimeters).
  5. Conversion:

    • Converting between metric units is simple, as it involves moving the decimal point. For example, converting 50 centimeters to meters would be 0.5 meters, or converting 1 kilogram to grams would be 1000 grams. Please check the conversion table I have given above.

By using the metric measurement system consistently in tailoring, dressmaking, sewing, and fashion designing, professionals and enthusiasts can ensure accurate sizing, precise fabric cuts, and reliable measurements for a perfect fit and well-crafted garments.

What is metric system of measurement used in dressmaking?

The metric system of measurement is widely used in dressmaking due to its simplicity, accuracy, and universal applicability. In dressmaking, the metric system is utilized for various purposes, including:

Taking body measurements

Taking body measurements

  1. Body Measurements: When taking body measurements for custom-fitted garments, dressmakers commonly use metric units such as centimeters (cm). Measurements for bust, waist, hips, shoulder width, and inseam length are recorded in centimeters.
  2. Pattern Adjustments: Sewing patterns often provide measurements in metric units, allowing dressmakers to adjust the patterns accurately. By understanding the metric system, dressmakers can convert measurements from inches to centimeters or vice versa, ensuring precise pattern alterations.
  3. Fabric Measurements: Metric units are employed to measure and calculate fabric requirements. Dressmakers determine the length and width of fabric needed for a particular garment, taking into account pattern layout specifications and fabric designs.
  4. Sizing Systems: Many countries adopt metric-based sizing systems for ready-to-wear clothing, such as the European sizing system. Dressmakers who work with commercial patterns or cater to an international clientele find it crucial to understand and use metric measurements to ensure consistent sizing and fit.
  5. Industry Standards: Within the fashion and garment industry, metric measurements are commonly used for standardized communication and production. This facilitates collaboration and consistency between designers, manufacturers, and suppliers across different regions.

By embracing the metric system of measurement in dressmaking, dressmakers can ensure accuracy, ease of communication, and compatibility with global standards, contributing to well-fitting garments and successful sewing projects.

What are the 3 types of measurement in sewing?

In sewing, there are three main types of measurements that are commonly used:

  1. Body Measurements: Body measurements involve measuring various parts of the body to determine the size and proportions for a well-fitting garment. These measurements typically include the bust, waist, hips, shoulder width, arm length, and inseam length.

Taking accurate body measurements is crucial in sewing to ensure the garment fits properly and flatters the wearer.

  1. Flat Measurements: Flat measurements refer to the dimensions of pattern pieces or fabric when laid flat. These measurements are essential for cutting out pattern pieces accurately and ensuring that the fabric or garment pieces have the correct dimensions before sewing them together.

Flat measurements are typically taken for length, width, and depth of pattern pieces or fabric sections.

  1. Finished Garment Measurements: Finished garment measurements are the dimensions of a completed garment. These measurements indicate the final size and fit of the garment after all the sewing and construction steps are completed.

Learn How To Take Measurement from a Readymade dress. You can duplicate any dress to cut and sew a new dress for yourself in this simple way.

How to Take Measurements from a Ready-Made Dress Easily: Step-by-Step Guide

Finished garment measurements are crucial for comparing against body measurements or desired sizing to ensure the garment meets the intended specifications.

By considering and accurately measuring these three types of measurements, sewing enthusiasts can create garments that fit well, flatter the body, and meet the desired sizing and proportions.

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