Sewing Pattern Vocabulary

Parts of basic garment sewing patterns -

Hey y’all – today I want to go over a few parts of sewing patterns. Sometimes when you’ve been sewing for a while, you forget that words like “armscye” and “rise” as they’re used in sewing aren’t common knowledge, so today I’m going to break down the basic parts of  bodices, pants and sleeve patterns – a sewing pattern vocabulary, if you will.

Let’s start with the bodice – below is a basic bodice block.

Parts of a bodice pattern -

  1. Bodice pattern piece – basically a top for a dress or shirt
  2. Armscye – the curve on the bodice pieces that goes around the arm.
  3. Shoulder seam
  4. Dart – part of the fabric that is sewn together to help flat fabric mirror the three dimensional curves of the body.
  5. Neckline
  6. Waistline

Parts of a pants pattern -

  1. Pants Pattern
  2. Crotch seam – the seam that goes around the crotch in pants
  3. Rise – basically the same thing as the crotch seam – known as a rise because it is measured while a person is sitting and is the distance from the waist to the flat surface the person is sitting on.
  4. Inseam – the seam on the inside of the leg
  5. Outseam – the seam on the outside of the leg
  6. Waistline – which may or may not be at the true waist, depending on the rise of the pants
  7. Hem

Parts of a sleeve pattern -

  1. Sleeve Pattern
  2. Sleeve cap – the edge that gets sewn into the armscye; also all of the sleeve above the biceps line
  3. Sleeve cap height – this is taller for more fitted sleeves and shorter for looser sleeves
  4. Underarm seams
  5. Hem

So there you have it – basic parts of the 3 basic pattern pieces. Hopefully that helps!

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  1. Cindi says

    Awesome post! I have two daughters that are learning to sew as adults. They both had sewing in school and around Mom of course. But they haven’t made it to making clothing yet. This will remind me to explain the terms they will need to know.
    Seems they depended on MOM for their sewing needs. they want to do it themselves. Finally!
    Thank you!

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