Purpose of Finished Garment Measurements in Sewing

Finished Garment Measurements are often found at the back of pattern envelopes; but not a few understand the purpose of these measurements in creating garments. While it is often explained as a way to achieve a perfect fit when sewing a garment, the FGM concept is still not widely understood.

As a standard sewing practice, body measurements of the bust, waist and hips are taken to determine the size of the person who will wear the finished garment.

The Finished Garment Measurements (FGM) that are usually provided as info of a commercially-produced pattern, indicate the actual size of a garment after undergoing sewing processes. FGM also comprise bust, waist and hip measurements to which allowances are added when applied in creating different sizes for a single commercial dress pattern.

Why are Body Measurements and FGMs Different?

The differences between FGMs and body measurements (BMs) are largely dependent on the type of garment to be sewn or the kind of fabric that will be used to sew the garment. When sewing a fitted dress, the FGM and BM measurements will more or less be the same. Yet if a body-contouring garment, let’s say for a pair of leggings that makes use of a stretchable fabric, the FGM will likely have smaller waist and hip measurements when compared to the BM.

In the same way, if the commercially made pattern is for a voluminous dress, the FGM indicated at the back of the pattern envelope will be larger than actual body measurements. Mainly because there will be a dramatic measure of ease added to the pattern size, usually on the waist and hip measurements but only slightly different for bust measurements. .

Such examples illustrate the application of Finished Garment Measurements when creating one’s own pattern. In having a finished garment measurement guideline for a specific type of apparel, measuring the sewn garment and comparing it to the FMG will indicate where necessary adjustments will be made to ensure that the finished or sewn garment achieves a perfect fit.