Sewing Vocabulary - Gather to Gusset

Sewing Vocabulary - Gather to Gusset
Gathering – Gathering is the process by which a longer piece of fabric is made to fit to a shorter one to create ruffles or to ease the fitting of rounded pieces such as on sleeve caps. To gather, sew two parallel lines 1/4" apart using a longer basting stitch and leave the thread tails long. Tug one end of the bobbin threads to gently pull up the fabric. Distribute the gathers evenly and sew down with a regular seam to fix the gathers in place. I like to sew one row of gathering stitches inside the seam and one row outside the seam and sew the permanent seam in between. So, I typically sew one line at 1/2" away from the edge and the other at 3/4” so that the 5/8” seam falls in between.

Gathers - A series of small tucks of fabric, controlled and held in place by stitches and providing visible fullness.

Give – This term refers to how much elasticity there is in a fabric.

Godet – A godet is a panel of fabric that is inserted into a seam to create a flare, most commonly seen on skirts or dresses. Click here to see how to draft a skirt pattern with godets.

Gore – A gore is a tapered panel used to make a specific style of skirt. The tapering of the panel creates a flare at the bottom. You will see references to 8-gore or 16-gore skirts; the number refers to the number of panels used in the skirt. This website explains how to draft a gored skirt to your measurement.
Late medieval shirt with gussets.

Grading (seams) – Sewing pattern instructions frequently refer to grading seams. This simply means trimming each layer of the seam in graduated widths which helps to reduce bulk. When grading garment seams, the narrowest seam allowance should be closest to the body. To see a video demonstrating seam grading, go here.

Grain – This refers to the direction of the threads in woven fabric. There are three types of grain: lengthwise (runs the length of the fabric), crosswise (runs across the width) and bias (runs diagonally across the fabric).

Grain line – A line printed on patterns to indicate how they should be laid on fabric before cutting.

Grommet – Grommets are metal rings used to reinforce holes in fabric and leather.

Gusset – A gusset is an extra piece of fabric added into a seam to add shape and fullness to a garment. In the image to the right, you can see how the triangular gussets at the hem and under the arm allow more movement without adding large amounts of fabric to the overall garment.

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Recommended Reading:
Power Sewing Step-by-Step
Power Sewing is clearly written with detailed photos; it guides the reader through every facet of garment construction with ease.

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