A term used to describe the way a fabric hangs under its own weight. Different fabrics have different drape qualities. The addition of extra fabric in a pattern to allow the finished garment to fit the body well. A row of stitching on the very edge of a garment, usually 2-3mm ( ⁄ - ⁄ in) from the folded or seamed edge. Used to hold the fabric edge neatly in place. This pattern piece is cut separately to stabilise and create a neat finish on the edge of a garment, such as the neckline. A term used to describe a cut piece of fabric often used for patchwork projects, usually measuring 46x55cm (18x22in). This is done to stop the fabric edges, particularly of a seam, from fraying. It can be done by machine zigzag stitch, using an overlocker or trimming the raw edge with pinking shears. The lengthwise fabric grain, running parallel to the selvedge. Fabrics like velvet, corduroy and fur have hairs or loops which all lie in one direction and are called the nap, or pile. When cutting out pattern pieces make sure the grainline arrow always runs in the direction of the nap. Small tools or accessories used in sewing such as zips, fasteners, lace and buttons. The right side of the fabric, also called the ‘public’ side, has the design on it. The wrong side is the other side – this is usually a little duller or faded on plain fabrics. The fabric between the raw or cut edge of the fabric and the seam is called the seam allowance. Your pattern will tell you the required seam allowance measurement. This is usually 1.5cm ( ⁄ in) for dressmaking, but can vary. The finished woven edge of fabric, often with the fabric name printed on it. The grain runs parallel to this and the bias diagonally. Called selvage in the US. A line of regular machine stitching usually worked 3mm ( ⁄ in) inside the seam line, often used to stabilise curved edges to stop them stretching out of shape. A line of temporary stitching used to hold fabric pieces together before machine sewing, worked in the same way as running stitch. Known as basting in the U.S. A line of stitching worked 5mm ( in) from the folded or seam edge. Used to hold the seam in place and as a decorative finish. A line of stitching worked through the facing and seam allowance 3mm ( ⁄ in) from the seam to stop the facing rolling to the outside of the garment. Understitching will not be visible on the outside.
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