As you may know, I am not all formal and particular with my sewing. Not saying that I don’t care about the quality of my sewing, that’s not it at all. Its more referring to things as thingy’s instead of their actual name. I don’t follow directions and instructions to the T, I do what works for me. But I wanted to include a list, not conclusive at all, of some common sewing terms for your reference. There are terms I chose not to include in it because I will probably touch on those more in depth later. I have also included a PDF beginner reference guide for you to download and use! It is just basic sewing tips for beginners. Stay tuned, the first Stitch Project is coming Monday! Applique – a cut out design applied to the surface of fabric.
Armscye – armhole or opening for a sleeve.
Backstitching – Fixing stitches at the start and end of a machine sewn seam, Simply use the button on your machine and stitch backward a few times to begin your stitch.
Basting – long stitches that hold fabric temporary in place during construction. Basting stitches are later removed. Basting stitches are also used when gathering fabric.
Bias – 45 degree diagonal direction from the grainline of the fabric.
Bobbin -the small spool in your sewing machine that holds the bottom thread. It is placed in the bobbin case.
Bolt – unit of fabric sold in fabric stores. The ends of the bolt are marked with information such as fabric content and care instructions.
Casing – a folded over edge of a garment to enclose elastic or drawstrings.
Dart – a fold in the fabric, usually wide at one end narrowing to a point, which helps the fit of a garment over the curves and shapes of the body.
Ease – added allowance in a pattern for fit, comfort and styling.
Facing -to finish the edge with a fitted and matching piece of fabric or binding. Usually used at necklines and armholes.
Gather -added fullness to a garment. Or term used when making a ruffle.
Grain – direction of the fabric that runs parallel to the selvage. The cross grain of a fabric runs perpendicular to the selvage and usually has more give.
Hem – A finished edge.
Interfacing -an additional fabric, either fusible or sew-in, placed at the back of the outer fabric or between fabric layers to stiffen and provide support.
Muslin– fabric or term used when making a first draft or trial garment.
Right side/wrong side – right side – the printed (outer side) of the fabric or garment. Wrong side – the reverse, the inside or the backside of a printed fabric.
Seam allowance -the width of the fabric from the seam and the edge of the fabric.
Selvage -the lengthwide finished edge of the fabric
Tension – the pressure being placed on your needle and bobbin thread by your machine. There are two types of tension on your sewing machine – the thread and bobbin tensions. You rarely need to adjust bobbin tension. Your sewing machine manual will show you the appropriate settings and offer you examples of what the threads should look like on the right and wrong sides of your stitching.
Top stitch – a line of stitching sewn on the right side. Can be part of the garment construction or simply decorative.