Measuring Your Child for Handmade Clothes

Do you find it difficult to buy children’s clothing that fits the way you want it to? Perhaps you shop from the same places over and over again because you know the clothes will fit your child and you’ve given up buying from a certain shop because the clothes never fit.

Like us, children come in all shapes and sizes. What fits one child doesn’t fit another. Big tummies, chunky thighs, little legs or special requirements – there is no one size fits all. Even for children’s clothing.

Buying handmade children’s clothing is a great way to get something you love, that will last. If it made well then it will be a great investment – both for you and the planet. Worn and then washed carefully you can pass handmade clothes onto siblings and friends, or even resell.

If you have looked at buying handmade clothing, but worry it won’t fit then this blog post is for you.

Is it True To Size?

This is a common question. Before someone makes a purchase they often ask me what the sizing is like. Is it true to size?

One of the best way to answer this question is to look at photos of the clothing on a model. Knowing their age and the size they are wearing is a good place to start.

Here is an average 3.5 year old in age 3-4 leggings:

And here she is in age 4-5:

This is a really good visual guide and something that can really help when buying handmade clothing. You can see that 3-4 fits well but that 4-5, although bit bigger and baggies in the legs would also be OK. You can the decide if you want to buy something that fits perfectly right now, or opt for a bigger size to have a little growing room. 

Size Guides

The other great way to work out which size to buy is to look at the size guide for each product. Knowing inside leg or waist measurements means you can choose to size up or down as required. Bigger, mass produced brands often have a page dedicated to size guides – which is great for you, they buyer.

But what about smaller handmade brands?

There are some amazing patterns on the market which are available for me to use in my small business – and I want to support other small businesses too. I use a variety of patterns, designed by different pattern designers and so my sizing isn’t standard across the range. The raglan dress is from a German designer, the leggings are my own pattern and the tops and dungarees are from British designer.

As I use a range of pattern designers it means that there is no standard sizing across my range, but I do include a size guide on a page of my website which should help you choose the right size. 

How Do I Measure My Child?

To use a size guide correctly you will need to take some measurements from your child. It isn't as scary as it first seems - just follow these simple steps and you will have a set a measurements you can use!





Firstly, it is important that you buy a soft, tailors tape measure. You can usually get these in the supermarket so they aren't too tricky to find. 

These are the measurements we will be taking:

  1. Height
  2. Chest/Bust
  3. Waist
  4. Hips
  5. Inside Leg

1. Height

With your child standing against as wall ask them to stand as straight as possible. Move the heels of their feet to the wall and using a pencil mark where the top of their head comes to. When they move away from the wall you can measure from the pencil mark to the floor - this give their height. Make sure the child is in bare feet or socks to get an accurate reading and be sure to use a very light pencil mark that you can easily erase!

2. Chest

Using you soft, tailors tape measure, pass the measure under the child's arms and around their chest. Do not pull it too tight but it should be snug to get the correct measurement. Make sure the measurement is taken iver a thin t-shirt or vest and not a thick jumper. 

3. Waist

Be sure to measure the natural waistline, which is usually above the tummy button! Make sure the tape measure if parallel to the floor and not too wonky and measure around the child's waist. Be sure to measure over a thing top rather than a thicker sweater to get an accurate result!

4. Hips

The hips are the fullest part of the buttocks. Pass the measure around the child and take a note of the measurement. Make sure the child is wearing thin trousers or leggings to get the right measurement!

5. Inside Leg

Ask you child to stand with their legs slightly apart. Measure from the crotch to the ankle. This is the inside leg measurement. 


What Do I Do With These Measurements?

Once you have these measurements you will be able to use most size guides. Of course, it is unlikely that your child will fit neatly into one size so look for the one that is the best fit. 

I find that it is often better to buy leggings with a waist that fits and roll up the legs which is why I make Tutti Frutti Clothing leggings with a reversible cuff. 

If your child is slender you can always purchase the bigger size to match the leg length and ask for a smaller waist elastic - that is the joy of handmade, things can be made to fit!

When buying customised or personalise clothes do be aware that they might not be eleglble for a return. 

Read more on returning handmade clothes here: Can I Return Handmade Clothes?

I hope that you have found this short guide useful. If you are in any doubt over which size Tutti Frutti Clothing item to buy please send me a message via my Facebook Page! I would love to hear from you and help you choose the right size for your child! 


Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published