Garment Construction Terms
When delving into the world of garment construction, it's essential to familiarize yourself with the terminology used in sewing patterns and instructions. Below, we have compiled a list of commonly used terms to help you navigate the process of creating beautiful garments:
- Clip: Small snips made in curved or angled areas of pattern pieces to add ease and ensure a smooth and even finished garment.
- Cutting Line: Solid lines printed on patterns that indicate where to cut out the pattern pieces from the fabric.
- Darts: Triangular wedge-shaped areas that are folded and sewn into garments to provide shape and better fit, often found at the bust, waist, and hips.
- Dots: Marks placed on pattern pieces at seam intersections, dart points, collars, and other important areas to indicate where garment pieces should align.
- Cut On Fold Symbol: An open-ended rectangle with a double-edged arrow that specifies when a pattern piece needs to be placed on the fabric's fold before cutting.
- Ease: The space allotted in a pattern to ensure a comfortable fit and accommodate the body's specific measurements and movement.
- Grade/Layer: The process of increasing or decreasing the sample size of a pattern to create a complete size range.
- Hem: The finished bottom edge of a garment that is folded and sewn to prevent fraying and provide a clean finish.
- Iron: The act of using an iron to press fabric and finished garment pieces, helping to create crisp seams and ensure the garment lays correctly.
- Layout: A printed portion in pattern instructions that guides the placement of pattern pieces on fabric for cutting.
- Marking/Tracing: The process of transferring important lines and guidelines from muslin or pattern pieces onto pattern paper using marking tools or tracing aids.
- Notch: Triangle-shaped cuts or marks placed on pattern pieces to assist in aligning different pieces during sewing.
- Pivot: A sewing technique used when sewing corners, where the needle is lowered into the fabric, and the fabric is rotated to achieve the desired position.
- Pre-shrink: The process of laundering fabric before sewing if the fabric is prone to shrinkage, to prevent any unwanted changes in size after construction.
- Press: The action of lifting and lowering an iron onto fabric and pattern pieces to remove wrinkles and set seams for a professional finish.
- Seam Allowance: The width of fabric between the seam line and the fabric's edge, allowing for fraying and wearing ease.
- Seam: A series of stitches that hold two or more pieces of fabric together to create a finished seam.
- Tack: A type of stitch used for reinforcement at points of stress, such as pockets or zippers, to provide additional strength and stability.
- Trim: The process of cutting down the sewn seam allowance to reduce bulk and achieve a neater finish.
- Yoke: An additional fabric element added for fit and design purposes, often placed across the shoulders or at the waistline of a garment.
By familiarizing yourself with these common garment construction terms, you'll be better equipped to follow sewing patterns, understand sewing instructions, and communicate effectively within the sewing community. Remember to consult the specific pattern instructions for any additional terminology or techniques unique to your project. Happy sewing!