Easiest ways to measure a sleeve length


We will see how to measure sleeve length, but first what is a sleeve length? – A sleeve length can best be explained using a specific sleeve size; like 34/35. A 34/35 sleeve length can be said to be a sleeve that is 34.5 inches in length. The 34/35 is an indication that someone who wears a 34 or a 35 can wear the shirt. A short with sleeve length 34/35 will have the following measurements.

Shirt Size
Neck Size
Sleeve Length

16 – 16 ½
34 – 35

17 – 17 ½
34 – 35

How to measure sleeve length?. To measure a sleeve length first and foremost spread the cloth with which you want to measure its sleeve, the make sure to spread it out on its front and avoid wrinkles. When you’re done with spreading out the cloth in question, use your tape measure from the nape of the collar or the backbone then the measuring should then run over the top of the shoulder (following a seam line, if one were to be there), down to the arm to just below the wrist bone. Take note Sleeve lengths are not always based on your arm length, because shirt sleeves do not end at the same spot on your shoulder. And each person has different shoulder widths. Also, the shape of the sleeve armhole affects the shoulder measurement which affects the sleeve measurement. Sleeve armhole shapes can be: set-in, drop shoulders, raglan, straight, and saddle.

1. Measure from the nape of your neck (at your spine) run through the end of your shoulder at the top of your arms.

2. Measure from your shoulder to just past your wrist bone to where you would like your shirt cuff to sit. Always slightly bend the elbow when measuring to allow space for easy movements. If you do not do this your sleeve length will be short because the arms are always slightly bent.
3. Add the two measurements together and conclude your measurements to the nearest sleeve length.

Being able to take body length is one of the keys to having a shirt that’s fits perfectly. Whether you choose to make your pattern block from a commercial fitting pattern or draft it from measurements, take note that having an accurate reading is key for a well-fitting block. (And a well-fitting block is critical to the success of everything you make)

What you need is tape while it’s easier to have someone else take your measurements, it can be done by yourself Just by standing in front of a mirror so that you can see that you have the tape in the right position.

Ideally, you should be measured wearing only your undergarments.

However, a close-fitting clothing will be fine. Take note do not measure yourself while donning heavy clothing’s such as; Jeans, Sweaters etc. Because wearing this will give you an inaccurate body measurement.

The body is soft and as a result of this, it can be a bit difficult to know exactly how tight to pull the tape around the body. The tape should be a bit close fitting but not tight it should not “dig in” or make an indentation in the body. It should not be loose, either just wrap the tape around the area of the body being measured and hold it in place. You should be able to put a finger behind the tape, but no more than that.


A – Bust – Measure the bust at the fullest part. Measure all around the body (total circumference).

B – Waist – Measure the waist where the body bends. It helps to bend side to side to identify exactly where to measure. You can put an elastic band around the waist to mark the correct placement.

C – Hip – Measure the hips at the fullest part, usually around the seat.

D – High Hip – Measure around the fullest part, about 3 – 4″ below the waist. This is helpful when fitting a slim skirt or pants (to get an accurate idea of the shape of the hip, or the belly).

E – Front Waist Length – Start at the shoulder (right next to the base of the neck), and measure to the waist, measuring over the fullest part of the bust.

F – Back Waist Length – Measure from the base of the neck (in the center, not the side), to the center of the waistline.

G – Arm Length – Measure from the top of the arm (find the bone at the shoulder/top of arm) to the wrist (find the bone at the side of the wrist), WITH THE ELBOW BENT. It’s important to keep the elbow bent to allow for movement when you make a sleeve.



The most important part of purchasing a high quality shirt is making sure that it is a great tailored fit. It may make more sense to just tailor a big boxed shirt that fits everyone, but not every individual loves a big bogus shirt. Look for back seams or back darts to contour your back. A well fitted shoulder and armhole it takes a great effort to perfect and make a shirt that fits perfectly. No matter how great a dress or the quality used to make a shirt is if it doesn’t hang well from the frame of the individual donning the shirt it’s just wasted effort at the end.


Collars are made from three pieces of fabric, the top collar, the under collar and interlining that is sandwiched between. Interlining is basically another layer of fabric of comparable fiber composition. The interlining give the collar the stiffness and “body” that allow the collar to stand up with a rigid formal look. The stiffness and drape of a collar can be altered by changing the interlining. Also the interlining is cut on bias to give the collar a better “roll” at the top edge. Quality shirts do not use press-on fusing, similar to fine bespoke suits do not use press-on fusing.


It’s not new to see series of fine stitching on the outsides of a shirt. The challenge is the same fine stitches on the outsides should also be repeated on the insides. No loose threads, no chain stitch, great stitch tension and a high stitch per inch count. Not only does a high stitch per inch count make for a longer lasting shirt, due to stitches not catching and breaking on sharp objects. It also makes for sharper lines and tighter seams. The fineness of the stitching in distance from the seam edge is also a consideration. 1/16” stitching away from a seam edge should be standard for a great quality shirt and no missed stitches or wobbling lines.


Through buttons you can easily differentiate between inferior and quality shirts. Simply put a shirt maker is not going to put cheap buttons on an expensive shirt or put expensive buttons on a cheap quality shirt. Plastic buttons are functional and durable but add little more to the look and can melt against a hot iron. They are the most used button in the market and are a fraction of the cost of nicer alternatives. The best option is mother-of-pearl buttons, they are natural, beautiful, heat resilient, and feel great to the touch. The natural luster and one-of-a-kind look of each individual button gives them a rare look that can’t be duplicated. There are many kinds of natural shell that can be made into buttons, each with their own special look. Just be careful that if you get a mother-of-pearl button that is too thin it will crack easily. Some other options to consider are horn buttons, wood, coconut and metal. All come with their own care requirements and can be found in both natural and faux versions. Make sure to check on the buttons before purchasing to avoid getting into the trouble of changing the buttons.

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