Chapt 18 - Finished Dimensions
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Table of Contents ] Chapt 1 - Fabric ] Chapt 2 - Tools and Equipment ] Chapt 3 - The Sewing Machine ] Chapt 4 - Patterns ] Chapt 5 - Pressing ] Chapt 6 - Marking The Fabric ] Chapt 7 - Preparing to Begin ] Chapt 8 - Seams ] Chapt 9 - Seam Finishes ] Chapt 10 - Stabilization ] Chapt 11 - Control of Fullness ] Chapt 12 - Finishing Edges ] Chapt 13 - Hand Sewing ] Chapt 14 - Closures ] Chapt 15 - Body Measurements ] Chapt 16 - Ease In Clothing ] Chapt 17 - Pattern Alterations ] [ Chapt 18 - Finished Dimensions ] Chapt 19 - Common Terms ] Chapt 20 - Common Costume Fabrics ] Index of Sewing Exercises ]

Finished dimension refers to the measurements of a fabric piece when it is sewn in place. Seam allowances, pleating, gathering, tucking, etc. are not included in this measurement, for example:

The finished dimension of a waistband is to be 2" x 26". In order to do this the piece of fabric cut must be:

Width = 2" + 2 seam. allowances.

Length = 26" + 2 seam allowances.

If we are using a standard 5/8" SA, the measurements would be

Width = 2" + 2 (5/8") or 3 1/4".

Length = 26" + 2(5/8") or 27 1/4".

Let use say that we wanted to attach a gather skirt onto this 26" FD (finished dimension) waistband. Gathers must be at the minimum of one and half times the length of the area:

Skirt width = 26" x 1 1/2 + 2 SA or 40 1/4".

Cuffs, waistbands, and certain facings are often finished with a fold *L facing. This eliminates some seaming, and is really just a piece of fabric that is twice as wide as needed that is then folded in half. On the finished garment, half the width of these items is sewn in place on the wrong side. This has to be taken into consideration when given FD. For example:

A cuff with a FD of 2" x 10" with a fold over facing.and a standard 5/8" SA.

(2" x 2) + 2 SA by 10" + 2 SA

4" + 1 1/4" by 10" + 1 1/4" = 5 1/4" by 11 1/4".


These abbreviations and symbols are found on custom and commercial pattern pieces and written sewing

  1. SA Seam allowance.
  2. CF Center front of a garment or pattern piece.
  3. CB Center back of a garment or pattern piece.
  4. FD Finished dimension of a particular garment piece or edge (for particulars see the FINISHED DIMENSION section of this book).
  5. NSA No seam allowance. The pattern has been drafted without any fabric allowed to join the garment pieces together. The desired seam allowance must be added to the pattern before the garment can be cut out.
  6. On the fold. Place any pattern edge where this symbol appears on a fold of the fabric.
  7. Grainline. This symbols tells the technicians exactly how to place each pattern piece on the fabric before cutting for proper garment hang and fit. Lengthwise grain is shown with an arrow running vertically (most common), crosswise grain when the arrow runs horizontally and the bias when the arrow runs diagonally.

Any of these symbols indicate particular points necessary in the construction of the garment, such as where a seam is left open for a placket or zipper.

horizontal rule

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