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How to measure your child for handmade clothes

Updated: Jun 19

Lizi is looking face on to the camera whilst holding a white measuring tape around her neck

So, the first thing you need to understand is - handmade clothes don't always follow the same sizing as high-street fashion. Please don't assume that just because you buy a certain size on the high-street that it's going to be the same for a piece of handmade clothing! It is always best practice to accurately measure your child first!

Babies, toddlers and young children come in all shapes and sizes and that is absolutely normal, and I want to make sure you get the best fit possible - so I'll always recommend measuring your child with a tape measure before choosing the size you want! (And just a little side note on tape measures - they can stretch over time, so make sure you check them against a solid ruler to make sure they're still accurate).

The front view of a child's black pinafore and a black romper. Both have a dog design sewn on the bodice, with brown flappy ears and a pink flappy tongue.

What is also frustrating about children's clothes on the high-street is that often, boys and girls clothes are cut differently - with boys clothes being more on the generous side of sizing, whereas girls clothes tend to be more 'skimpy' and often cropped. There is no real reason for this as there is no significant difference in size and shape between boys and girls until they hit puberty! That's why you will not find a 'girls' or 'boys' section on my website. All my clothes are cut the same because all the styles and designs are for all children!

There are 5 main points on the body that you'll need to measure (if they can sit/stand still for long enough!). I find bribery usually works!!!

A simple outline of a child's body with arrows depicting the 5 main areas where measurements should be taken - their height, around the chest, around the waist, around the hips and the inside leg.

I'm going to go through them to make sure you get the most accurate measurement:


Ask your child to stand straight against a wall (if they can!) with their heels (bare feet) back on the wall. Mark where the top of their head comes to - measure from this mark to the floor (double check what units you need to measure in - mine are always clearly stated on each measuring chart).

If they can't stand yet, don't panic - just lie them on a flat surface and measure from the top of their head to their feet!

2 - CHEST:

Wrap your measuring tape underneath your child's arms and around their chest. You want the tape to be level all the way round and it should also be snug - but don't pull it too tight! Make sure your child is wearing a light-weight top and not a thick woolly jumper, otherwise your measurement won't be accurate.

3 - WAIST:

It's really important to measure the natural waistline, which is around the belly-button. Don't let the tape measure go wonky - it needs to be parallel to the floor (if they're standing). Again, just like the chest, don't pull too tight but keep it snug, and make sure they're wearing a thin top.

4 - HIPS:

This is actually the fullest part around their bottom (whether they're wearing pants or a nappy). Wrap the measuring tape around them snuggly to get the most accurate measurement. Make sure their wearing thin trousers too!


Along with their height, this measurement is really important if you think you might need a garment lengthening or shortening. Ask your child to stand with their legs slightly apart and measure from crotch to ankle.

Now you can compare these measurements to the garments sizing chart to determine which size you need to order - the measurements might not match up exactly so look for the best fit!

All of my products on my website have an image of the sizing chart to compare your measurements against. Here is an example:

A simple sizing chart example, showing the ages ranges with the associated body measurements.

You'll notice that this sizing chart requires you to measure your child using centimeters, but some will ask you to measure in inches. This is just because I have sourced my patterns from different suppliers - so please check which units to use!

If you're struggling with figuring out which size will be best, please do get in contact with me and we can chat through your options. I will always give you my expert opinion and I will always suggest rounding up to the bigger size if needed - this way you get way more wear out of the garment and it will last you longer!


Don't panic if the numbers fall between different sizes - maybe you're finding that the chest, waist and hip measurements are sitting in the 2-3yrs range but their height and inside leg is more 3-4yrs (they might be tall for their age). This is not a problem as I also offer a FREE 'MADE TO MEASURE' service.

If you're ordering a MADE TO ORDER garment then this item can be cut out with more tailored measurements (I can always help you with this if you send me the measurements - I can recommend the best blended fit). So if you require a little bit more or a little bit less length, that's no problem! And the same is true for the width!!!

PLEASE NOTE: if you choose this option, the garment becomes a personalised order, which is not eligible for a return/refund.

It is completely normal for children to come in all shapes and sizes - it's what makes us all unique! I want to make sure that my clothes fit your child, not the other way round!

A young girl is standing whilst wearing a pink unicorn tutu dress. She is smiling.

At the end of the day, all I want is for your child to be happy and comfortable wearing my clothes. It's never a problem to contact me about sizing - I totally understand that you can't try anything on because I only sell online. So please be assured that I uphold all your consumer rights as an online seller!

I have an excellent track record with my sizing - you only need to speak to any of my past customers to find this out!

If you have found this article helpful, please do let me know - I appreciate every comment and I'm keen to find out what other sizing issues you've encountered on the high-street in the past - drop your comments below!


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