Dressmaking terms.


Ease: To hold in fullness without showing gathers or pleats.

Face: To finish raw edges with matching shapes.

Grain: Lengthwise or warp threads running parallel to the selvedge, Crosswise or weft threads running across fabric from selvedge to selvedge.

Interfacing: Fabric between facing and garment to support an edge and hold a shape.

Interlining: Inner lining between lining and outer fabrics for warmth or bulk.

Marking: Indicating pattern detail on fabric. Showing seam allowance for cutting. Showing fitting corrections.

Nap or pile: Fibrous surface given to cloth in finishing product.

Notch: Small “V” cut in seam allowance to eliminate bulk in outward curving seams.

One-way fabrics: Fabrics where the surface interests run in the same direction. This includes prints, nap or pile as well as warp-knitted fabrics.

Pile: Raised woven in surface on velvet and fur fabrics.

Slash: To cut along a given line to open a dart or fold.

Slip-stack: To tack a seam through a folded edge from the outside to match perfect plaids or stripes for stitches.

Snip: A small cut made either at right angles or at a slant to the raw edge of the seam allowance to enable it to spread and follow a stitched curve.

Stay stitches: A line of stitches made either by hand or by machine in order to prevent stretching.

Tacking: A continuous row of low hand or machine stitches to hold tow or more layers of fabrics together.

Tailor’s tacks: Taking stitches made with double thread where every second stitch forms a loop can be made into one continuous row or over a few grains of the weave to form a single tack. Only used to mark details through two layers of fabric.

Top-stitching: A line of machine stitches made on the outside of a garment parallel to an edge or seam.


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