Hello everyone, firstly thanks for taking the time to come over and read the mid-month musings of mine… 
A lovely member gave me this idea of a place to start when they posted a question on our Facebook group about the wording of a pattern, and I thought this would be a great place to start, to get you guys involved too and hopefully teach someone, somewhere, something! 
The technical wording and lingo can make the simplest of projects a whole lot more daunting. When you can decipher the terminology the rest often falls into place… 
I won’t tell you how long I once spent looking at a pattern, trying to work out what it meant by “line for the tunic”! Looking back I realise this was so simple, and I know exactly what a tunic is, but sometimes deep in the evening, after a long day you can spend too much time and start doubting your ability to even read!! It took a day at a retreat and a lovely crafting friend to encourage me to pluck up the courage to ask what the pattern was telling me. Once I knew, I really quickly made the dress and it’s one of my proudest makes… 
So below is a random list I’ve collated of all the different kinds of wording you might find when you are brave enough to try working from a pattern!


Muslin is plain lightweight cotton used to experiment and assist when working out sizes of a garment you wish to make, usually lower in cost too.



A very narrow stitched fold of fabric. When this is achieved it creates lovely tidy finish.


Princess Seam

A seam line vertical on the garment giving shape instead of darts. Usually found on female, dresses, jackets, and blouses.



Also known as gathering, ruffle or pleat of fabric used for decoration.



Material used on the inside of a garment. They hide seams and will make the garments comfortable, neater.


Stitch Line

The line you stitch along.


Cut Line

Line used to cut out pattern pieces.



The finished bottom edge of fabric. Folded up, sewn, creating a neat and even finish. (If you’re a steady sewer of course…)



Also see ruching… create fullness. Creates a lovely finish on a garment. Bring the fabric together.



The front of a piece of fabric AKA the right side.


Pattern Paper

Strong white paper available in variety of weights and widths. Reusable usually as a template.



These are marks made in the fabric to help assembling the garment. An indentation of sorts.


Grain Line

Grain line on a pattern will be a line or arrow to indicate the way the thread or knit rubs go. Follow the grain line to ensure stretch (or not) in the correct way for the garment/pattern piece. Parallel to the selvedge.


Edge Stitch

Stitches that are very close to the edge of a seam.



Wedge shape or triangular shape marked on the pattern that controls the fit of the garment. Smart finish.


Dart Point

The tip/pointed end of a dart (above)



Temporary stitch which can be made by hand or machine used to hold fabric together before you permanently stitch. Ensuring no movement! But can be taken out if necessary.



A panel across the shoulders or the waistline.

Feel free to comment below any additional words and descriptions you’ve come across. I’m in no way a professional seamstress and picked the ones I know and have seen. There’s so many more I know, it’ll be a great challenge to get you all thinking. 

Thanks again for reading and don’t forget to check back on the website at the end of the month for another blog entry from a marvellous member of our group!

Meisha x

5 thoughts on “Meisha’s Mid-month Musings – Sewing Pattern Glossary

Leave a Reply to Jackie Powell Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.