Bra fitting terms - a guide/ glossary

When dressmaking you usually need your bust, waist, hip and height measurements.


In bra making you will need your under bust, over bust , maybe your BCD, your vertical apex etc!


Here I explain what the most common measurements needed in bra making.


Depending on the pattern, you may not need all these measurements - many just use under bust and over bust measurements.


When taking measurements it is best done wearing a well fitting bra. 



1. Under bust measurement - It sounds like it is. It is the measurement around your torso just underneath your breasts. It's usually used to give you a band measurement. 


2. Overbust / full bust measurement - this is the measurement around the torso at the fullest part of the breast. 


3. Calculating cup size - Many patterns use under bust measurement to give the band measurement and to get the cup size the  full bust / overbust measurement is subtracted from the under bust measurement. Depending on your pattern the difference is converted into cup sizes.  


4. Upper bust  / high bust measurement - This is the measurement around the torso at the top of chest, going under the arms. 


5. B.C.D / Bottom Cup Depth - this measures the volume of the bottom half of the breast. Measure from the Apex seam (usually where the nipple sits), straight down to the bottom of the cup where the wire line is. Note when Apex is mentioned in bra making it usually means the nipple. 


6. Vertical Apex - This is the measurement of your full individual breast vertically. Measure a straight line down from the top of your breast across the apex / nipple to the bottom of the breast, the crease where your breast tissue meets the ribcage.  The B.C.D is the bottom half of the breast from the nipple down, and the vertical apex is the whole breast.


7. Horizontal Apex - This is the measurement across the breast. Measure a straight line from one side where your breast tissue starts, across the nipple to the other side when the tissue ends. 


If you have any more measurements to add to the list comment below or email me at!


The top blue line is the upper bust / high bust  measurement.


The bottom aqua line is the under bust measurement.


The orange line on the right is the vertical apex.


The pink line on the left of the picture is the horizontal apex.


The red line on the left breast is the B.C.D or bottom cup measurement. 


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