The other day I got setup to start working on making that red pants suit I mentioned in a previous post. As a quick recap, I am going to try to make an outfit using a pattern (Butterick B6030 ‘Lifestyle Wardrobe’ Misses jacket, top, skirt and pants).

This will be my first attempt at making clothes using a pattern. In the past I’ve made hand-sewn clothes for myself, but I’ve never use patterns.

Last year I purchased a sewing machine with the intention of using it to make clothes for myself to wear. I only made a few things before I abandoned the machine. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to make more time for some sewing projects in 2016, starting with the red pants suit.

Progress report…

I haven’t gotten very far with the red pants suit project on account of having no idea how to use the pattern. Earlier tonight I settled down on the couch to try to make some headway with figuring things out. I’m not sure I’ve actually managed to figure anything out; but I did learn a few things.

Here are some of the questions I found myself asking while reading documentation for the pattern, and the answers I was able to find on the internet.

Butterick B6030 misses jacket top skirt and pants pattern

What is nap in sewing?

I kept coming across references to “nap” in the material so I finally had to go and look it up. This is what I found when I googled “what is a nap in sewing?”

Nap is a type of fabric that has texture to it and some kind of pile. Fabrics consider to be with nap would be velvet, velour, corduroy, and suede. If your fabric has nap, youre going to want to be careful in laying out your pattern pieces so that the grain line is all going in one consistent direction. (associated link)

What is a selvage in sewing?

Another unfamiliar term which I came across was selvage. Looking that up, I discovered that a selvage is the finished edge of fabric.

A selvage is the finished edge of fabric, and it is tightly woven which means it does not fray. It runs the entire length of the fabric bolt. Selvages are very handy! Information is usually printed right along that edge. (source)

The other term I had to look up tonight was grainline. And this is what I found when I did a google search on the question what is grainline in sewing?

On woven fabrics, the grain line is the warp (the longwise threads which are stretched on the loom), i.e. the longwise direction a fabric. The weft are the threads woven across the warp. On Burda sewing pattern pieces the word grain line (“Fadenlauf” in German) is printed on a suitable straight line or edge. (source)

Hopefully tomorrow when I get around to trying to work on the red pants suit again I will be able to get a little further now that I have a better idea what they’re talking about when they say “with nap”, or “without nap”, and what’s meant by selvage to selvage, and to what grainline refers.


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