Did you get lost in translation? This is a glossary to help you understand terms about sewing and cosplay on


Armscye is the armhole opening in a garment or pattern where the sleeve is attached. It’s the tailoring term for the armhole shape on a pattern.


Basting stitch
A basting stitch is a temporary straight stitch used to secure layers while a final stitch is sewn. It’s a loose long stitch made to be easily removed after sewing is complete. A basting stitch can be achieved on a sewing machine by using the longest stitch setting.

Bias cut, cut on the bias
The bias refers to your fabric at a 45-degree angle from the vertical and horizontal direction of the threads (lengthwise and crosswise grains). Cutting on the bias refers to cutting fabric at a 45-degree angle — a.k.a from corner to corner. Some advantages for cutting on the bias: natural drape, better fluidity, more stretch, less fraying, and can give a slimmer silhouette.

The bodice is a close-fitting garment that covers the front and back sides. This garment typically ends at the natural waistline and can sometimes extend to the hips depending on the style of the garment.

Burrito Method
A quick technique to sew a lining into a sleeveless bodice.


Cord, Cording
Cording is a trim that resembles a string or rope. It’s used to embellish home decor, garments, and accessories. Most notably in piping. Typically, cording is made of cotton, but can also be produced from synthetic fibers.


Facing is a layer of material that typically covers the inside of the garment to provide contrast, decoration or reinforce the strength.


Grain is the direction the threads run. You may also hear this called a grain line. There is a straight grain (warp) that runs parallel to the selvage edge and a cross-grain (weft) running perpendicular to the selvage edge. These grains are weaved to create fabric.


A layer of material on the interior surface of something.


Neoprene is a synthetic fabric in the knit family. It’s most known for use in scuba diving and wet suits. You may also see it referred to as a scuba knit.


Piping is a trim or embellishment that consists of a strip of fabric folded long ways to create a “pipe” at the fold. The fabric is typically folded over some type of cording to create a piped effect. You can usually find piping in home decor such as in the seams of cushions and pillows. However, piping can be added to any seam!

Princess Seam
A princess seam are curved seams added to the bodice for shaping a garment to fit the midsection of the body. These seams typically run from the arm or shoulder to the waistline and can extend to the hips depending on the style of the garment. You will see them on the front and back sides.


Right Side
The right side describes the side of the fabric that is meant to be seen otherwise known as the outside or front side of the fabric.


Scuba Knit
Scuba Knit is lofty, stretchy, and part of the double knit fabric family. It’s mostly associated with wet suits and can also be referred to as neoprene.

A finished edge that keeps the fabric from fraying. Often times these edges are white and the fabric designer and/or company print information on them. You can see selvage edges on bolts of fabric at stores. Fabric is usually folded in half lengthwise and then wound around the bolt leaving the selvage edge visible. Your fabric is cut perpendicular to the selvage leaving you with a selvage edge along both the lengthwise sides of the fabric.


A topstitch is stitching seen from the outside of the garment. It is achieved by stitching directly on the right side of the fabric. Sometimes it is added for decorative purposes but is also used to secure different areas of fabric such as hems, necklines, facings, etc.

Truing, trued
Truing is checking adjoining pattern pieces to make sure they fit together correctly and also smoothing less than perfect curved and straight lines. More info on truing.


Understitching is a stitching line close to the edge of a lining/facing to keep it from puffing and rolling toward the outside. Understitching is done directly on top of the lining fabric catching the seam allowance underneath, but not the top fabric.


Wrong side
The wrong side refers to the side of the fabric that is not meant to be seen. In other words, the inside or back of the fabric.