What does “self” mean?

Exactly what does ‘self’ mean with respect to pattern making?

This term refers to fabrication groupings which are traditionally marked on each individual pattern piece. Self or Shell mean the same thing (these terms are interchangeable). Self refers to the specific main fabrication of a product. If you’re making a pair of jeans, the denim is the self or shell. If you were making a letterman’s jacket, the body -minus the contrasting leather sleeves- would be the self or shell.

In pattern making, pattern pieces are color coded according to their fabrication grouping. This way, when someone is using the pattern, it can be sorted quickly. When doing up your cutter’s must or direction card, the pieces needed to be sorted according to fabrication.

Traditionally, all of the shell/self pieces are marked in black ink. All the lining pieces are blue, the contrast or trim are green or purple. Interfacing or canvas is red. If you’re color coding your patterns correctly, you don’t need to actually write the word “self” or “lining” or “interfacing” because the corresponding color conveys that meaning. However, in California, they’re a little lax on the color coding thing. You might have to write the words along with using the correct color. Not many of the colleges seem the get the color coding thing right these days or even teach it to the students.

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  1. Christy B. says:

    My school taught me color coding! I always write it too just in case… do people outside of my university call the contrast pieces “combo”? We always had combo 1- green, combo 2- purple… Now I just call it contrast like everyone else but I’m still curious.

  2. Kathleen says:

    Somebody emailed me asking:
    Another stupid-newbie question: What are line

    …and this reminds me to remind you to also use the search feature on the blog (upper right hand corner) because it never would have occurred to me to put “line sheets” under glossary and as it is, there is an entry What is a line sheet already but I put it under sales and marketing. Just now I re-tagged it with “glossary” but if you’re looking for something, don’t assume that if it’s not under the glossary category that it is not defined or explained elsewhere.

    I’m sorry if that’s not good enough but if I’d known I was going to be a blogger or writer, I might have taken a class in library science. As it is, I didn’t so I didn’t and now you’re stuck with the result of what I am now.

  3. Antje says:

    Thanks for your explanation. I assume self lined means, the garment is lined with the same outer fabric or self.

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