Let's speak the same language. Here are the terms of endearment.

Baste: Make long temporary stitches by hand or matching.

Bias: Diagonal direction of fabric (45 degrees slant from vertical or horizontal grain).

Bodice: The upper part of the body covering the neck to the waist.

CB: Center Back (lines up with the spine or center back of the body).

CF: Center Front (lines up with the midpoint of the front body).

Dart: Triangle created to help mold fabric to the contours of the body (bust, hips, shoulders).

Ease: Fitting seams of unequal length so excess fabric won't appear to pleat or buckle.

Gather: Make row of running stitches which, by pulling the thread, controls fullness.

Gore: A shaped, tapered section of a skirt, dress or coat which is wider at the lower edge.

Grain: Direction of woven thread of the fabric.

Lining: Fabric used to cover interior of garment or section of garment.

Marking: Transfer of lines, seams or marks from pattern to fabric

Muslin: A plain woven cotton used for draping patterns, or creating a fabric "draft" of a paper pattern. The term "muslin" applies to this cloth draft which is used to control fit, proportion and design.

Notch: A small mark on the seam allowance of patterns used to match seams.

Paper Pattern: Blueprint used in the creation of garments.

Pin baste: Pinning seams or darts before stitching

Pinking: Use of shears with zigzag blades for cutting fabric edge or finishing cut edges.

Seam: The line formed by sewing together parts of a garment or edges of fabric.

Seam Allowance: Width of fabric beyond seam line which is generally 1/4-inch for doll clothes.

Selvage: Narrow, woven border on lengthwise edges of woven fabrics.

Sloper: The basic pattern, created from the body's strategic measurements, has no seam allowance and is used as a foundation template in the creation of other garments. Also called (in the UK) a "block."

Straight of Grain: The vertical threads of fabric are perpendicular from horizontal threads.

Tack: Hand sew two fabric surfaces together with small, loose stitches.

Top stitching: A line of stitching made on outside of garment parallel to seams.

Trim: To cut away excess fabrics


  1. I love your blog! Just wondering what size graph paper you have used to illustrate your pattern designs. Thanks ever so much!

  2. Hi there. Most of the time, I'm using US graph paper which has 1/4" squares. There might be a few that were made with European graph paper which comes very close to this same measure. I usually indicate the exact measurements I have use, though those measurements might vary according to the doll you're making the pattern for.

  3. Thank you for this! If only your list included a fabric guide for dummies, I wouldn't scratch my head trying to imagine what silver lame fabric is like and what to use instead of it.

    1. Ha ha ha!!! Actually, I had thought of making a fabric lexicon.


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