Balance Balance refers to the “hang” of the garment.  If a garment is balanced, it will hang straight, rather than twisting or having folds. When creating patterns you need to do the following to make sure your pattern will be balanced: correctly mark the pattern grain on the pattern pieces use notches as balance points […]

Pivoting Darts

Pivoting Darts Pivoting is one of the methods of moving  (or manipulating) darts that is used with the Bodice Bock. The standard Bodice Block usually has two darts in either (i) the side seam and waist, or (ii) shoulder seam and waist.  These darts can be moved to anywhere on the edges of that block; […]

Pattern Grainline

Pattern Grainline All patterns have an arrow marked on them to show how to place it on the grainline of the fabric.  This arrow is the Pattern Grainline and needs to be align with the lengthwise grain of the fabric. This means that the arrows of the Pattern Grainline always run parallel to the selvedge […]

Lengthwise Grain (Warp)

Lengthwise Grain (Warp) The thread/grain running the length of the fabric, parallel to the selvedges. This lengthwise grain is also known as the Straight Grain or the Warp. Woven fabric is made up of criss-crossed threads.  The threads running the length are the stronger thread, while the threads running along the cut-edge of the fabric […]


Grading Pattern Grading is a technique for creating different sizes of a finished pattern. The initial pattern is created in a base size (not the smallest size), usually a size 10 or size 12. Once the pattern is perfected, the pattern is then made in the other sizes by increasing or decreasing the pattern at […]


Facing Facing is fabric applied to the inside of the garment to (i) finish off the raw edge, (ii) strengthen the seam, and (iii) help maintain the shape of the garment.  Facing is mostly used on necklines, armholes and button-stands.  Facing is used to strengthen and finish off seams. Examples Image 1 The top to […]

Empire Line

Empire Line A dress style where the bodice ends and the skirt begins just under the bust. Example Image 1 An example of a dress with an Empire Line.

Ease (Sleeves)

Ease (Sleeves) An allowance added to a curved sleeve to fit into the straighter line of the bodice armhole. What this means is that if you measured (i) the curve of the sleeve cap, and (ii) armhole curve where the sleeve is to be fitted, the sleeve cup measurement would be larger.   The extra amount […]

Direction of Grainline

Direction of Grainline Woven fabric consists of threads that are woven at 90 degrees to each other.  The line of the thread is called a “grain”.   The grain that runs the lengthwise of the fabric is called the warp (or just “lengthwise”) grain, and the horizontal threads of the fabric is called the weft […]

Dart Point

Dart Point A dart is made up of legs and a point.  The point is the apex of the dart. The Dart Point is directed towards fullness in the body; e.g. bust, hips, bottom etc. Examples Image 1 Showing the Dart Points (arrows in purple) on the Bodice Front 2-Dart Block. The Dart Points are […]