Dictionary of Japanese Sewing Terms
last update – 11 Dec 2013
This list is constantly growing as I will be updating it when I come across new terms. I have accumulated this list by painstakingly going through the dictionary so please do not reproduce this on your own personal blog. You are welcome to link to my blog but please credit it to my site. Thank you!
Download Print-Friendly PDF for reference while you are sewing Dictionary of Japanese Sewing Terms
Points to note when reading Japanese patterns
- Some books come with more than one pattern piece. They are usually named/numbered on each side, with the projects listed in a box in the corner. Sometimes this may be confusing, so you can refer to the “how to make” page in the book, and look for the words (実物大型紙 actual size pattern paper) Usually this would be followed by a number or alphabet which is corresponding pattern side you would be looking for.
- When tracing the patterns, note that seam allowances are usually not included. The seam allowance is usually 1cm for general seams and 1.5 for gathers. When the seam allowance deviates from the standard, the number will be specified next to the seam. There will always be a diagram of how the pattern pieces are laid out on the fabric for cutting, included in this diagram will be the seam allowances.
Usually, there will be also a remark next to the diagram saying 指定以外の縫い代は１cm where “指定以外” means “other than those specified” and “縫い代は１cm” means seam allowance is 1cm.
- On the pattern pieces, there will sometimes be a dotted line, with the character わ labeled on it. This means to align the dotted line on the folded edge of the fabric.
- There will also be long arrows showing the direction of the print of the cloth. Take note of the direction especially if your fabric is printed and there is a right way up.