Construction basics

Knowing and mastering the basis of constructing is very important and desirable for future specialists in sewing as well as for professionals.

Casings are fabric tubes that hold elastic and drawstrings in place. Casings are usually found at waistlines, sleeves, hemlines, and necklines. A self casing is a fabric extension on the garment edge. It is folded back and stitched down.

Applied casings are made by sewing a separate piece of fabric to the garment. Applied casings are recommended when the garment fabric is bulky. The applied casing fabric should be of lighter weight fabric or bias tape. It may be sewn to the garment edge or within the garment. A good example would be a waistline casing. A strip of straight or bias fabric or tape is stitched to the garment along the casing line. Casings may be sewn with headings. A heading is an extension of fabric between the casing and the edge of the garment. Narrow headings (3 mm) give the casing a tailored finish. Wider headings form ruffles when the casing is drawn in.

Collars add design interest in the neckline area of clothes. Collar styles range from tailored lapel collars to ruffled bertha collars. There are three kinds of collars: standing collar, flat collar, and rolled collar. The following are the three basic steps to collar construction: attaching the interfacing, forming the collar, attaching the collar to the garment.

Cuffs put a finishing touch to the edges of sleeves and pants. Cuffs may be simple bands, or they can be buttoned or turned back. If a cuff on a sleeve does not button it must slide easily over the hand but not appear too loose.

A cuff has three parts: cuff, interfacing, and facing. Sewing a cuff is a three-step process: interfacing applying, cuff forming, cuff attaching.

Darts shape a flat piece of fabric to fit the curves of your body. The two basic types of darts are single pointed and double pointed. Parallel, radiating, or topstitched darts can add unique design touches. Darts are used at necklines, bustlines, elbows, waistlines so forth. Vertical darts fit fabric into the waist and shoulder. Horizontal darts fit fabric into the bust and elbow.

Darts are the second sewing step after stay stitching. Pinning, stitching, trimming and pressing are the steps in making darts.

Elastic creates a snug fit and at the same time allows easy movement. It may be sewn directly to the fabric or inserted in a casing. Braided and woven elastic are in several widths. Braided elastic narrows when stretched, it can be used in casings. Woven elastics have less “grip”. They are good for stitching on edges because they do not narrow when stretched.

Buttons can simply fasten the edges of clothes. They can also add design interest. They can be a very important part of the total look. The size of a button is measurement of its diameter. This is stated in fractions of an inch.

There are two basic types of buttons: shank and sew-through.

A shank button has a plastic or metal protrusion on the back called a shank. The shank allows space for the upper layer of fabric to rest when the closing is buttoned. Sew-through buttons have holes on the face of the button. It is a good idea to make a thread shank when attaching a sew-through button.

Button holes are slits in fabric that hold buttons that are attached to another piece of fabric. The edges of a buttonhole can be bound with fabric for a tailored look, or they can be worked with thread by machine or hand. Buttonhole should be evenly spaced and exact in length. They should be set on grain along the center-front or center-back placement line. Horizontal buttonholes extend ⅛ inch (3 mm) over the button placement line toward the folded garment edge.

Vertical buttonholes should be set ⅛ inch (3 mm) above the button placement point. The distance between the button placement line and the finished edge line should equal the button diameter. The finished edges of machine-worked buttonholes may be square, oval, or keyhole.

III Answer the questions:

1. What are casings?

2. What kinds of casing can be used in sewing?

3. How can they be sewn?

4. What kinds and styles of collars were mentioned in the text?

5. How can be cuffs attached?

6. What are the functions of darts?

7. What do we use buttons for?

8. What kinds of buttons do you know?

9. How should one make buttonholes?

IV Complete the sentences with the words from the text:

1. Casings … and elastic are found at …

2. Casings may be …

3. There are three …: standing, flat and rolled.

4. Cuffs may be … or slide over the hand.

5. Darts are the second …

6. Buttons are used to …

V Find the English equivalents to the words:

Лінія коміра, лінія талії, подовження, завернутий, резинка, ширина, звужувати, розтягувати, розріз, розташування.

VI Make up sentences with the terms:

Applied casing, waistline, a tailored finish, to attach, to sew a cuff, horizontal and vertical darts, buttonholes.

VII Give definitions to the words:

A casing, a collar, a cuff, a dart, a button hole, heading.

VIII Translate the sentences into English:

1. Куліси можуть бути 2 видів: суцільно викроєна та відрізна.

2. Чим більше тканини над кулісою, тим більші зборки при затягуванні резинки.

3. Щоб зробити комір, потрібно вставити прокладку, сформувати комір та пристрочити його до виробу.

4. Манжети можна використовувати для оздоблення рукавів та штанин.

5. Для того щоб комір, манжета чи карман зберігали форму, потрібно використовувати посилюючі матеріали.

6. Виточки допомагають з плаского матеріалу створити форму.

7. Існує багато видів виточок: одинарні, талієві, паралельні, променеві.

8. Вертикальні виточки використовують на плечах та талії, а горизонтальні підганяють одяг на грудях та ліктях.

9. Застосування резинки має свої переваги: вона утворює вільний силует одягу, а також дозволяє комфортно рухатись.

10. Залежно від розміру ґудзика необхідно розраховувати розмір петельки, а тільки потім робити розріз.

IX Speak on the topic using the following words and word-combinations:

Self and applied casings, kinds of collars, to put a finishing touch, a cuff, a dart, to fit curves, to fasten, types of buttons, buttonholes.


I Read and remember:

1. crisp – твердий, жорсткий

2. to be squeezed – затискувати, здавлювати

3. heat-fused – розплавлений під температурою

4. a thread tack – обметування

5. twill - саржа

6. an armhole – пройма

7. a lining fabric – підкладочна тканина

8. an open network fabric – сітчаста тканина

9. slippery – слизький

II Read the text and define the main idea of it: