I’m teaching myself here so will put definitions of terms or techiniques here as and when I learn them:
Boning –Like the bones in a body, boning is inserted into the bodice of a garment such as a corset to give structure and shape. Whale bones were replaced by steel boning for genuine high quality corsets. Many dresses and fashion corsets use nylon or Rigilene boning which is a lot softer but can warp and doesn’t give the same effect for tight lacing.
Cotton – A woven fabric from natural fibre commonly used in clothing and crafts. See post on types of fabric.
Cotton Sateen –A type of cotton woven to produce a satin like finish.
Dart – A triangular fold sewn into a garment to help with 3-Dimensional shaping around or to the body.
Commonly used at the bust and hips.
Drop Shoulder – Style of sleeve designed to have the seam on the top of the arm / shoulder rather than further in like a raglan or set in sleeve. The front and back of the garment will usually be large, wide and rectangular.
Halter Neck – A strap which runs from the front of a bodice round the neck and joins to the front of the bodice at the opposite side. Universally flattering shape good for sweetheart necklines, vintage styling and reducing tan tan lines (on the back at least).
Mandarin Collar – A short, oriental style collar which is unfolded and stands straight up. The style originated from the Mandarins of Imperial China and is also commonly seen on military jackets.
Princess Seams – long, curved and shaping seams which follow the lines of a woman’s shape especially in bodices and tops and replace the need for darts. If a dress has princess seams then it probably won’t need a waist.
Raglan Sleeve – A sleeve in one piece which extends diagionally from the armhole to the neckline.
Toile – A practice version of a garment, usually made in cheap fabric such as calico or polycotton.