Simple Box Top Glossary

Please utilize this glossary to assist navigating the Simple Box Top Pattern as well as Simple Box Top Construction Instructions.


Pattern Terminology

Grainline -  Refers to the direction of the lengthwise grain on your fabric and indicates how you place your pattern piece on the fabric. A grainline on a pattern piece always follows the warp and runs parallel to the selvedge. This will be a long line with arrows on your pattern piece.

Seam Allowance – Seam allowance is the distance (usually in 1/8’’ increments) between the fabric edge and stitch line when two materials are sewn together. Seam allowances will always be indicated on Third Born pattern (they may vary based on design or type of seam).

Center Front – Vertical line of pattern that indicates it is intended to align vertically down center of your front bodice.

Center Back - Vertical line of pattern that indicates it is intended to align vertically down center of your back bodice.

Bodice Front – Pattern piece covering body from front neck/shoulders to waist.

Bodice Back – Pattern piece covering body from back of neck to back of waist.

Side Seams – Seams that bind bodice front and bodice back under arms.

Shoulder Seams – seams that bind bodice front and back at shoulders.

Notches – Notches are placed along seams to create an opportunity to align pattern at mid points.

“Cut 1” – You will read “CUT 1” often on patterns, this indicates only one piece is needed and is often cut on the fold, i.e. a pattern piece that is whole such as a the bodice front of the Simple Box Top.

“Cut 2” – You will read "CUT 2" when you need two pattern pieces such as two sleeves, or when you need to join two pieces to create a whole (i.e. a the bodice back of the Simple Box Top).

“Place on Fold” – This indicates the edge of the pattern is placed on a folded piece of fabric to cutting a mirror image of the pattern piece in one process.

Gathers (for headband) – Gathers are created by stitching two parallel basting (long) stitches in seam allowance. By pulling on basting stitches you  can evenly gather or ruffle fabric.  

Fold Line (for scrunchie and headband) – Fold Line indicates pattern piece is folded on that line.

Ease – Difference between body circumference and garment circumference at any given point. Most garments will not match exact measurements of your body unless fabric is stretchy.



Garment Construction Terminology

Stay Stitching - Stay stitching is often used around curved edges such as necklines or armholes in order to prevent stretching of fabric that would lead to pattern dimension changes. This stitch is done inside seam allowance so it is not visible on finished garment. Alternative methods to stay stitching include using specialized tapes. 

Back Tack - At the beginning and end of the seam, back tacks are used to lock or anchor a stitch into place by stitching backwards, then forwards 2-3 stitches.

Understitch -  An understitch is a technique to secure a facing or liner to a seam allowance. This stitch is not visible from the outside of the garment, hence the term “under” stitch.

Edge stitch – Edge stitching is made along a folded edge of fabric. It is usually stitched 1/8’’ from the edge.

Baste Stitch -  A Baste stitch is a temporary stitch (or preliminary stitch). They can be easily removed or aid a purpose. Baste stitches are long stitches that can serve the purpose of gathering fabric. 

French Seam – A technique to enclose raw edges. It is a seam that is enclosed in a second seam. See tutorial on “French Seams”.

Facing – piece of fabric used to finish a section of a garment such as a neckline. This can be a bias strip or fabric piece that mimics the shape of the curve to provide added stability and finishes a raw edge.

Bias Facing – This refers to a strip of fabric cut on bias that is used to finish raw edge of neckline.

Hem – Edge of garment that has been turned under and sewn enclosing raw edge. Hems typically occur on bottom/sweep or garment or end of sleeves.  


Fabric Terminology

Woven – Fabric that consists of vertical and horizontal yarns (this will be textiles such as muslin, shirting, lawns, flannel, denim, canvas, poplin, organza, and many more. The content does not indicate if the fabric is a woven or knit, for instance linen is most often a woven, but can also be a knit. Sharps or universal needles are used on woven fabric, size of needle is dependent on fabric weight. 

Knit – Knit fabrics are made from one continuous thread that is comprised of loops, each intertwining with the next. It is important to use ballpoint needles on knits so you do not damage the thread as it could eventually cause holes or unraveling. Likewise, you should use ballpoint pins.

Lengthwise Grain – Lengthwise Grainline is parallel to selvage of fabric. Often runs parallel to center front/back of garment as it provides stability in garment.

Crosswise/Horizontal Grain – Crosswise Grainline runs perpendicular to selvage of fabric. Usually runs perpendicular from center front or center back of garment.

Selvage – The selvage on textiles is a binding on the edge of fabric indented to keep it from unraveling. The selvage is usually not used as part of the garment, but if it is pleasing to the designer it can be incorporated. Tip: remove selvage when pre-washing fabric as it can prevent fibers from shrinking on your first prewash. This may be a reason why your garment is still shrinking the first time you wash it after it is sewn.  

Bias – Bias runs at 45 degree angle from selvage of fabric. Fabric cut on bias will have noticeable stretch in comparison to lengthwise and crosswise grain. Fabric cut or draped on bias will relax and fall nicely around curves. “Bias tape” is cut on the bias as it curves nicely along necklines and curved edges.

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