How To Understand Sewing Pattern Symbols

As you know there are many sewing pattern symbols that help you to stitch in a particular pattern, but those symbols are in the form of lines, non-lines and the combinations of these symbols make a pattern for stitching. In this article, we will decode the various symbols for understanding different sewing patterns through symbols.

How to Understand Sewing Pattern Symbols

Sewing Pattern Symbols

The different types of sewing pattern symbols are discussed below:

  • Grain Lines: The lines that have double-ended arrows are called the grain lines and they tell you to place the pattern piece parallel to the selvage and then you have to measure from top and bottom of the arrows to ensure that they are placed at equal distance from the selvage.
  • Notches: The diamonds and triangles are called as notches. The notches can be single, double, colored, or open. These notices indicate the need to mark these points in order to enable you to match the pattern while sewing.
  • Fold Lines: This is a rectangular sewing pattern and it has one open side that means the place to fold. You have to place the pattern piece on the folded edge of the fabric and also have to make sure the selvages are even on the other side and if there are chances of adding seam allowances than you do not add it any to the fold lines. While you cut on the folds it ensures that pieces are cut symmetrical and in this way you can also minimize the consumption of the fabric.
  • Button and Button Holes: These symbols indicate the positions of the button and the buttonholes. This sewing pattern looks like a long bar with vertical ends that represent the size and position of the buttonhole and a cross symbol is used for the button sewing position.
  • Darts: These look like a dotted triangle or diamond and they indicate where you have to stitch to add any shape in areas such as the waist and the bust.
  • Stitching lines: These lines are not generally found on the multi-sized patterns but are found on single sized patterns and they are represented by dotted lines. You generally do not transfer these lines onto your fabric.
  • Adjustment lines: These lines are also known as lengthening or shorten lines and these are represented by double lines which are generally accompanied by the words shorten or lengthen and these symbols are quite common in the sewing leotards and the pants where the length is of major concern.
  • Dot, squares, and different shapes: All the different shapes such as dots, squares, etc. are to be transferred on the fabric and are used for matching the pattern pieces and adding more details. You can transfer these shapes on the fabric with chalk, tailor’s tack, or removable pen.

These all symbols are used for a sewing pattern and you can now identify various patterns and stitch in a particular fashion. As we know that every symbol has a meaning of its own and is used in different ways respectively.


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