Terms Peculiar To Garment Construction
Proper understanding of terms used in garment construction requires definition of certain words (terms) commonly used in garment construction. The terms include:
1. Stitches: These are configurations of interlacing of sewing thread in specific repeated units.
2. Seams: It means the way/method fabric pieces are joined together. It can also be referred to as a place where two or more pieces of fabric/garment are joined. Seam can simply be described as joining of two or more pieces of fabric together.
3. Facing: Facing is a piece of fabric that is used to neaten/finish raw or unhemmed edges of a garment e.g. At the neckline, and sleeveless armhole.
4. Hem: It is an edge of a fabric double folded from the back and stitched down. It is used to neaten raw edges of the garment.
5. Darts: It is a triangular shape sewn onto a flat piece of fabric, to allow the fabric conform to the body contour.
6. Notion: It is any sewing item apart from pattern and fabric that is used to complete sewing projects e.g. Pins, thread, buttons, zippers, hook and eye.
7. Notching: It is a technique that involves cutting wedge from seam allowance of the inward curve to allow the seams to lie flat or relax for a smooth finish and appearance.
8. Wrong Side: It is the inside or back side of fabric (usually the rougher or less finished side).
9. Right Side: It is the outside/front side of the fabric (it is usually the smoother side or softer side).
10. Seam Allowance: It is the amount of fabric between the stitching or seam line and the fabric edge.
11. Selvedge: It is a firmly woven strip formed along each length-wise edge of finished fabric.
12. Pressing: It is the process of ironing to heat set fabric flat (typically at the seam allowance). Pressing involves lowering and lifting the iron down on different portions of the garment or fabric to heat set the garment and not moving the iron about on the surface of the fabric.
13. Ironing: It involves moving the iron to and from on the surface of the article/fabric to strengthen or remove wrinkles/creases.
14. Pleat: It is folds of fabric that provide fullness in some parts of garment.
E.g. Knife pleat, box pleat and inverted pleat.
15. Gathers: They are graceful folds of fabric that provide fullness over a given area. It can be made by either hand or machine using long and loose stitches.
16. Trucks: They are folds of fabric stitched in place by running stitches or machine stitches on the right side of the garment as a means of shaping the garment to the body, for holding in fullness or to add decorative effect at shoulder, waistline, yoke pocket, sleeve, etc.
17. Frills/Ruffle: It is a strip of fabric cut and handled in such a way as to produce fullness. It is used for decorative purposes.
18. Godet: They are wedge shaped piece of fabric usually inserted into skirt so that the wide side of the wedge becomes part of hem of the skirt. It is used to add fullness to the skirt hem.
19. Armscye: It is the opening in the bodice or garment on which the sleeve is attached to. It can also be referred to as armhole.
20. Darning: It is a technique used for preparing holes or worn out areas in fabric or knitting using needle and thread.
21. Drape: It is used to describe the way fabric hangs and falls from the body.
22. Placket: It is a V shaped opening at the end of a sleeve that is finished with a bias strip before the cuff is attached.
23. Raw Edge: The edge of fabric that is not stitched or finished.
24. Ease: A way of sewing a length of fabric into smaller area without resulting in gathers or puckers. It allows the garment to fit better especially at the sleeve head.