Day 1 Giveaway winner and comments

jalene_winnerI intended to post this two days ago but was delayed by personal circumstances. So sorry for the delay, I’ll be working all weekend to catch up.

I was pleased with the comments to Wednesday’s challenge, by my count we had 37 entries by the time I closed comments (so sorry for those who missed the unannounced deadline, I’ll be clearer about that moving forward). Courtesy of the internet random number generator, #17 is the winner and that would be Jalene. Yay! The rest of you still have chances to win; who knows, you might get something even nicer.

Since only one person could win, I’ll respond to the comments that caught my eye and that I know the answers to.

Deana:  Recently, I thought I wanted a pattern for a “lantern sleeve.” Googling that term gave me so many different sleeve styles that now I’m sure I have no idea what a lantern sleeve is.

You might consider getting a full sized fashion dictionary which is better suited to defining style attributes. There are several on the market. I have one that I don’t think is particularly good, maybe one of these is better.

Janelle: “Yoke” is word I hesitate to use sometimes… when is it a yoke or a “waistband”?

Very good and difficult question to answer. I think that these days, a yoke could be a separate piece that is joined to the top of a garment (be it blouse, jacket, skirt etc). Among purists though, yoke might mean that separate piece that is separated because it closes up darts. Meaning, it provides shaping. A lot of “yokes” I see these days are merely style devices rather than fitting.

Beth: The confusion between a fabric’s fiber and weave is the most common mistake I hear! (Using “silk” to refer to a slippery polyester drives me nutty.)

The ongoing joke in one Seinfeld episode I watched was about gabardine -so annoying. I agree that silk is the worst, china silk is never silk so far as I know, usually acetate. In Spanish, the word for slippery fabric is “seda” (silk) so when I’ve had to refer to the real thing, I say “seda seda” or “seda real”.

Lisa B: Facing or binding–Yes they are different. I get upset when individuals use the term interchangeably.

Here is something that may be worse, the difference between band and binding.

Sherrie: Grainline. Seems simple enough right? Not for me. I just learned yesterday, in a post Kathleen wrote quite a few years back, that the arrows at the end of the grainlines actually has a purpose…

For those who missed the post Sherrie mentions, see Pattern grainline notation. This post is probably required reading  for people who are making their own oaktag production patterns.

Karen L: The word that confuses me is “bespoke” as in tailoring.

Bespoke means “spoken for”, in other words, for one given individual.

Adela: A veces la gente no sabe bien que significa que es al plomo pues es una palabra utilizada general mente por modistas o sastres.

Translation: Adela says that people don’t know what “plomo” or lead (metal) means, a term commonly used by stitchers and tailors. I’m one of those people. Adela is from Spain so it could be particular to Spaniards. My Spanish is Latin American. Adela: Tal vez usted puede explicar lo que significa “plomo”.

Arizona: I’d be interested to read the book’s definitions of “block” and “sloper.”

They’re using the new definition. I’ve given up on imparting the old school meaning except to say that sloper is deprecated in industry (but not colleges) and you shouldn’t use it and that it retains its roots from “slop patterns”, again, derogatory.

Linda:  Godet, gore and gusset.

Wars have been started under flimsier pretexts. What is a gusset may help or muck it up still more.

Kate:  One that I always forget is which is warp and which is weft. Its sort of like learning your left and right – I will have to think of an easy rhyme to remember the difference.

See the grainline post above. Also wemember that cwoss gwain is weft to wight.

Jalene: When putting on a finished edge using “Binding” is the jig a binder or a folder?

Regardless of what this dictionary says, we will never agree so it’s best to give it up. See the post I linked to with Lisa B’s comment (re: binding). This one on industrial sewing machine attachments may also be useful.

Zabelle: Since I learned sewing in French […] I often confound spool and bobbin. I’m never sure which is which.

This is a tough one, anyone have a mnemonic? Maybe you could substitute “cone” (cone thread) for spool?

Ramona: […] so my problem term is ‘apex’… as in assume it’s at the nipple or actually finding the actual apex or the bust.

The regular dictionary definition works for our purposes.

Daina:  The two terms that always confused me were bias and selvage.

Selvage refers to the finished edge of the cloth. Bias refers to laying out pieces at a 45 degree angle, the intersection of X and Y for the greatest give.

Ellen: My pet peeve: ravel vs. unravel They both mean the same thing but unravel sounds more threatening to me.

Good catch! Guilty as charged. I’ll try to be less threatening moving forward.

Kristle: People usually use the word couture, yet there are no couture detailing or techniques used in their construction process. Often a couture line may simply be a line of rehabbed t-shirts.

Oh my. You’re new here aren’t you? [and] Welcome!

Lauren F: Another one I am still struggling with is “slashing”. […] I think it may have something to do with adding/removing darts and such but this is a guess.

Yep, that’s it. Ellen may also find this threatening. It does sound rather heinous now that you mention it.

Lisa B #2: …the terms I struggle with are collar band vs. collar stand. I know I’ve read about them somewhere on this site, but for the life of me, I can’t remember what distinguishes them.

I can’t find it either and this is another term I’ve given up on. For starters, a collar band can also be a collar stand (separate piece) but a collar stand is not necessarily a separate piece. And if it’s just a band around a neckline, it wouldn’t be a collar.

Demetra: My trip-up word is “underlining” and “interlining” I know the difference now, but I would constantly use the wrong word.

I’ve also given up on this, I always have to make sure I know what the other person means. For the most part, underlining is a process and interlining is a product.

Miranda: Something I have a problem with; what is the difference between ruching, gathering, and shirring?

Shirring and gathering is the same thing. I’d always thought ruching amounted to small tucks. This dictionary says “pleats or gathers” which is all kinds of messy because tucks and pleats aren’t the same thing.

Anne: Some patterns recommend “knits with stretch” – does that mean you need a lycra knit with 4-way stretch, or just enough stretch to get it over your head?

Maybe they mean as opposed to knits without stretch -doh! Ibid Ellen’s ravel vs unravel.

Barbara: Muslim (religion) when what they are really talking about is muslin (fabric)

This reminds me of the question as to whether then Senator Obama, was a half breed muslin or a satinist.

Rose: Armscye!

Scye means cup so armscye refers to the cup most shaped portion of the armhole. Scye sounds much better than “arm pit”.


Thus ends my comments on comments. Your comments on my comments on comments are certainly encouraged and welcome.

Get New Posts by Email


  1. Trish Winstead says:

    Although the term “ruching” means that the gathers are placed in the middle of two areas of fabric that are not gathered, such as gathering down the middle of a wide ribbon, the term is being used these days to describe any “gathering or shirring”. It really makes me crazy. The reason for a different term is to be able to describe clearly. When everyone starts to call things by the wrong names, we are in trouble.

    May I add that the current trend for calling an outfit with (for example) a pink top and a black skirt “color blocked” is annoying. Color blocking refers to something very specific, not just more than one color in an outfit.

    Then there is the mispronunciation of things that “fashion” takes up that can also make me crazy. Ikat (ee-cot) is being pronounced as EyeCat….. grrrrrrrrrrrrr. And I bet the people saying this really have no idea how an ikat is woven or dyed. Oh well….at least they loved the fabric.

  2. Arizona says:

    “Slop patterns”. Lol. I’ve gotten used to calling them ‘blocks’ since the word makes the most sense to me.

  3. Quincunx says:

    “Bobbin” just looks like a diminutive to me, like a pet name for a smaller item, and a bobbin is smaller than a spool. Bobbin is alphabetized before spool, and the bobbin goes to the left and the spool to the right, in alphabetical order?

    I have to agree though, there were some great comments on that giveaway. Was sad to have to keep quiet and not spoil the draw.

  4. Ramona says:

    I love that you have addressed these confusing terms! I’ve learned a lot just going through these. Regarding Lisa B’s comment re Stand vs Band… I just bought a pattern by the new pattern designer Named ( I believe they are Finish. And they name their shirt front band a ‘button stand’. That was the first I had heard that term.

    I am a recreational seamstress. It has been really interesting reading your blog and seeing a more professional insight.

  5. Keith Neufeld says:

    Rather late to the game, but a possible mnemonic for spool vs bobbin: The bobbin sits where the needle goes bobbin’ in and out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.