Did you know the symbols on a pattern are just as important as the instructions?
Some patterns include a symbol key that has a description of what the symbols mean while others may not.
Today I’m going to cover 10 Japanese sewing symbols that you may come across when sewing for your doll.
They are slightly different from American pattern symbols so, it’s good to familiarize yourself with them, that way you can carry the knowledge over into your next project.
1. Stitch Line – Solid bold lines show where to sew.
2. Cut Lines – Light solid lines on the edge of the pattern indicate where to cut the pattern.
Note: Before cutting any pieces make sure to thoroughly read the instructions.
Some patterns do not include seam allowance, it will have to be included before cutting.
3. Place On Fold Line – A ½ circle signifies that the pattern needs to placed on the fold of fabric.
Another tell tell sign is when you see long dashed/broken lines.
I just discovered this thanks to gurliebot’s helpful comment.
4. Gather – The wavy lines mean gather the fabric.
5. Top Stitch – Small dashes that look like ants in an assembly line represent where to top stitch, usually visible from the front.
6. Grain Line – The arrow symbol indicates how to place the pattern pieces onto the fabric.
7. Pattern Not To Size – When a pattern piece looks like it’s split into 2 with a wavy line, it means the size of the pattern isn’t the full size.
There should be measurements listed in the directions or material area with the full measurements.
8. Place On Bias – Looks like cross arrows and indicates to place the pattern on the bias of the fabric.
9. Tucks – Diagonal lines signal where to tuck or pleat fabric.
10. Dart – Wedge shaped symbol show where to stitch and adds shape to the pattern.
You’ve Gained The Knowledge
I hope this symbol guide was helpful!
I created a Test Your Knowledge Worksheet to help you remember the symbols.