How To: Measuring Neck, Wrist and Ankles

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A few helpful hints for measuring.  I have quite a few items that are custom fit or have different sizing choices.  It is always best to measure to ensure the fit is just how you want it. You can measure yourself, but it is much easier if you have someone else adjusting and reading the measurements for you.

The easiest way to measure is using a flexible sewing tape.  It can be found for sale in many many places.  It looks like this:aMeasureTape


Of course, if you don’t have a flexible tape, you probably don’t want to make a special trip to buy one.  No worries, there is another way to measure using a marker, ribbon or string, and a straight ruler. Gift ribbon is best if you have it: it doesn’t stretch as much as string and there is usually a lot on hand (if you make a mistake).  As my dad always says, “A screw driver is not a punch”.  Whoops wrong saying.  As my grandfather (and many other wise people) says, “Measure twice, cut once”.  And it is true, measure a few times to be sure you’ve got it right and you will have a great fitting (and great looking!) piece.

The example pictures and instructions below show measuring a neck, but the same steps apply to measuring wrists and ankles.

The stuff you need:


Cut a length of ribbon much longer than the actual size needed.  This ensures you have enough ribbon for adjustment.  I tie a knot with a loop on one end to make it easier to manipulate and/adjust as you can see in the following pictures.

Now to start the measuring.

Wrap the ribbon around your neck.  The tightest adjustment would be your actual neck size.  This is not the measurement you want to use.  For most people it would be too tight and uncomfortable.  So adjust the ribbon to give your self some room.  Take into account whether you are measuring for a chain or leather accessory.  Leather collars and cuffs are designed to fit close to body.  If measuring for body chains, please remember that you have to move and breath!


Once you find the best adjustment make a mark on the ribbon.


Next take the ribbon and lay it out flat and use your ruler to get your measurement. If you are using the method pictured above with the loop on the end include the loop in the measurement.



Some additional tips and tricks:

If you don’t want to use a marker you can pre-cut pieces of ribbon in a few sizes you think are close to the sizes you want, then you can try the ribbon on to see if it is the right fit.

For fitted items you may be buying as a gift and know the exact neck size, but not the fit size needed. In that case a good rule of thumb is the neck measurement plus 1/2 inch.  If the recipient prefers a very tight fit use the neck measurement plus 1/4 inch.

Please note for body chains it is best to measure the actual person.  Depending on the style of the chains and personal preferences it is very difficult to “guess” the correct size.

Now that you have your measurement you can return to the shop to make your purchase:

What do you think?

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