Sewing Terminology

Front Shoulder Yokes

A detail seen in a lot of 1930s and 1940s dresses usually with gathers or pleat details. In the 1940s shoulder yokes with padding were common.

 

Princess Seam

Long rounded seams that curve above the bust on women's garments.

 

Inverted Pleat (on skirt)

A reversed box pleat so the fullness is turned inwards towards the body.

 

Kimono Sleeve

Started to appear in the 1940s and became more popular into the 1950s. A sleeve made one with the bodice.

 

Kimono Sleeve with Gusset on a 1950s Dress Pattern

Gusset

A triangular piece of fabric added to the underarm of a garment to add form and fit while allowing for mobility for the arm

 

Long Lined Bodice

Bodice on a garment that is long but not quite with a drop waist.

 

Godet Panel on a Vintage Dress

Godet Panel

An extra piece of fabric inserted into a skirt or dress to add extra flare.

 

Boat Neckline on a 1940s Dress

Boat Neckline

A wide neckline that follows the curve of the collarbone and ends in points on the shoulder seams.

 

Draped Sleeves

Fabric draped to create folds around the arm

 

Gored Skirt

A skirt, usually a-line shaped, made of several pieces of triangular pieces sewn together.

 

Patch Pockets on a 1950s Dress

Patch Pockets

A pocket made of a separate piece of cloth and attached to the outside of a garment.

 

Shoulder & Sleeve Tucks

A tuck is a fold or pleat sewn flat onto a garment. This 1940s blouse pattern features tucks on the shoulders and on sleeves to create a ruffle effect.

 

Sweetheart Neckline

A neckline on a garment that is low on the bust and resembles a heart shape at the bust, popularized in the 1940s and 1950s. And made a comeback in the late 80s to 90s.

 

Wide Lapel Collar

Folded fabric on garment usually seen on coats and dinner jackets seen here on a 1950s formal dress pattern.