Glossary of Terms
|A-line||A garment with sloping sides, the widest part being|
at the hemline
|Alter||To change patterns so that it corresponds to|
|Allowance||Extra fabric outside the seamline or within the|
garment to accommodate gathers, ease, tucks and
|Applique||Decorative pieces of fabric applied by hand or|
|Armhole||The opening in a garment for the arm|
|Armscye||It is commonly known as Armhole|
|Backstitch||A small hand stitch that looks like machine stitching|
on the right side, but with stitches overlapping on
the wrong side
|Bands||Strips of fabric, ribbon or bias applied to edges or|
set into garments to finish or decorate.
|Bar||A group of cross threads used to stay the ends of a|
|Basque||A woman’s tight-fitting dress-waist made separate|
from the skirt and having the waistline finish attached
to the waist portion
|Basting||A long, loose temporary stitch made by hand or|
|Bell sleeve||A straight sleeve flaring at the bottom|
|Bias||Any direction in the fabric which does not follow|
exactly the selvedge or weft yarns. A true bias makes
and angle of 450 across the lengthwise and
widthwise grain. It has maximum stretch.
|Binding||A bias strip of material used to enclose a raw edge|
as a finish or trim
|Bishop’s sleeve||A long, full sleeve gathered onto a narrow cuff|
|Blend||A mixture of different fibers in one yarn or different|
yams in one fabric, each lending its own
characteristics of the fabric
|Blind stitch||A form of hemming made by catching only one|
thread of the outer fabric
|Braid||A woven novelty trim, finished at both edges|
|Brides||The threads of warp or weft connecting parts of the|
pattern in lace
|Buckram||A stiff fabric made by impregnating a light-weight|
open cloth with adhesives and fillers
|Cap||The top part of a sleeve which is curved to fit the|
|Cap sleeve||Extension of the shoulder and upper armhole to|
cover the top of the arm
|Casing||A hem with an opening so that ribbon or elastic may|
be drawn through
|Center front||The position of the pattern or garment at the exact|
the center of the front section of the garment.
|Clip||A small cut in the seam allowance of a garment|
which allows a comer or curved area to turn and lie
|Closing||A placket or any garment opening.|
|Construction||Basic seams that give shape to flat cloth.|
|Co-ordinates||A number of garments which match and can be worn|
together in different combinations.
|Cord piping||A cord which is encased in bias fabric and used to|
finish and decorate edges, waistlines, buttonholes
|Cord seam||A seam with a corded effect which is produced by|
turning both seam edges to one side and then
stitching through the three thicknesses of material.
|Costume||Dress belonging to a given country, time and class.|
|Count of Yarn||A number indicating the mass per unit length or the|
length per unit mass of a yam.
|Dart||A fold of fabric stitched to a point at one end. Used|
to fit body curves.
|Design lines||Lines or seams that add design and make the|
|Drape||Soft folds of fabric 7ic controlled by pleats or gathers.|
|Draped||A style in which the fabric is gathered or folded into|
unpressed pleats to create a soft effect and provide
|Dressform||A duplicate of the human form which is useful for|
fitting or draping a garment.
|Ease||(a) Extra measurement allowed for comfort. It is|
the difference between actual body measurement
and the size of the garment.
(b) To work in excess material that has been allowed
|Edge stitch||A line of stitching placed along an edge, usually|
|Edging||Narrow lace having one finished edge and the other.|
usually scalloped or indented. Used for trimmings.
|End||An individual strand of yarn.|
|Extension||Additional fabric jutting out beyond a seam or a center|
|Eyelet||A small hole in a garment finished by hand or a|
metal ring to hold the prong of a buckle. Also for
lacing with ribbon and cord.
|Facing||A shaped or bias piece of self-fabric applied to a|
garment edge as a finish.
|Fastenings||Hooks and eyes, press buttons, and zippers used|
to fasten garments.
|Fittings||Adjusting the pattern or garment-to fit the individual|
|Flared||A style which is much wider around the lower edge.|
|Flounce||Flared bands of fabric, sometimes gathered and|
used to decorate edges of garments or used in tiers
to make a skirt.
|Fly front||A closing which conceals buttons or zippers of|
|Fray||The threads which come out during the handling of|
|Gathering||One or two rows of stitching, either by hands or|
a machine, that is drawn up to form even fullness.
|Gingham||Plain weave fabric constructed with colored woven|
|Godets||A shaped or pleated section of material inserted|
|Gore||A skirt section that is shaping up to the hip level and|
then flared out to the hemline.
|Grain||The direction of threads in a woven fabric. The|
lengthwise grain runs parallel to the selvedge and
the cross-wise grain from selvedge to selvedge.
|Grey goods||Woven fabrics as they leave the loom before being|
bleached dyed or finished.
|Gusset||A shaped piece of fabric inserted usually at the|
underarm of the garment to provide comfort.
|Hand-finishing||The details sewn by hand to finish the garment.|
|Hem||The finish formed by folding back the raw edge of a|
garment to the wrong side.
|Hemline||The line designating the finished length of a garment.|
|Knife pleats||Series of-pleats that turn in the same direction. They|
are usually equal in width and are pressed straight
down to the hem.
|Layout||The arrangement of pattern pieces on the material|
so as to ensure economical cutting.
|Lining||A fabric used inside garments. Its edges may be|
attached to the garment at the seams with slip stitch
or it may hang loosely from the neck or from the waist
in the case of skirts.
|Loop||A fastening which extends beyond the finished edge,|
used for closings with no overlap. Can be made
of thread, cord or fabric.
|Machine basting||A temporary machine stitching using the longest|
|Marking||Transferring all necessary pattern lines or markings|
to the wrong side of the fabric.
|Nap||The word means “pile” Pile fabrics should always|
be cut in one direction only.
|Notch||A small V-shaped mark or cut, on seam allowance|
of the pattern pieces.
|Opening||Term used interchangeably with closing.|
|Pile||Weave of a fabric with upright surface yams such|
as velvet or velveteen.
|Pintucks||Tucks as fine as the width of a pin.|
|Pinking||Jagged cut finish for a raw edge.|
|Placket||A closing or opening in a garment.|
|Pleats||Folds of fabric used to control fullness.|
|Princess line||Seam lines running from shoulder or armhole to the|
hem with no waist seam.
|Pucker||To draw up into folds and wrinkles.|
|Puff sleeves||Short sleeves having fullness gathered into the|
armhole, and into a band or binding at the lower
|Raglan||A style in which the armhole seams run up to the|
neckline giving a loose and comfortable fit.
|Ravel||Yans drew out along the edge of the fabric.|
|Ribbon||An attractive woven fabric with a lustrous|
appearance, used for trimming and adornment.
|Ricrac||A flat, woven braid made in the zigzag form|
|Rip||To open a seam by pulling out or cutting the stitching|
|Rolled hem||A kind of hem used on sheer fabrics. The edge is|
rolled tightly between the thumb and forefingers of the
left hand and hemming is done to hold the roll in
|Ruffle||A band of fabric that is gathered or pleated and|
applied to an edge as a trimming
|Sag||The stretch that occurs in the bias grain of a garment|
after hanging or as the effect of strain on any part
of a garment
|Scallop||An edge finish made up of a series of semicircles|
|Smock||A straight garment with a gathered or smocked yoke|
|Stay||A reinforcement of fabric or tape, to hold a part of a|
garment securely in position
|Stay binding||A narrow, woven fabric generally used for the|
covering of seams and the strengthening of
|Stay stitching||A row of stitching worked just inside, the seam|
allowance and close to the stitching line in order to
prevent areas of the bias or curve from stretching
|Straight of goods||A term used to designate the length-wise in a fabric|
|Tack||To fasten two fabric surfaces together loosely by|
|Tailor’s tack||A stitch used to transfer pattern markings to the|
|Taper||To decrease width gradually and bring to a point|
|Thread count||The number of threads in a square inch of fabric|
|Top Stitching||A line of stitching along the seam line on the right|
side of a garment, to add strength or design
|Trim||To cut off ragged edges or a part of a seam allowance|
to prevent it from being bulky and to give the seam
a neat edge
|Trimming||An ornamental addition used on garments|
|Tubing||A hollow cylinder of fabric used for button loops and|
|Tucks||Straight folds of fullness, evenly stitched|
|Underlap||A part of a garment that extends or laps under|
|Underlay||An additional piece of fabric placed under a section|
for the purpose of joining, as in a pleat or slot seam
|Weave||The pattern of interlacing of warp and weft yams in|
a wove fabric
|Wrap||The upper part of an opening which overlaps the|
|Yardage||The amount of fabric needed to make a particular|
|Yoke||Separately made shoulder piece of bodice or the|
top of a skirt