The Basic Must Know Sewing TermsIf you are a beginner sewer, you are probably very excited that you are embarking on a new sewing project. Most people begin with simple sewing patterns made for beginners. However, the only factor that is not made for beginners is the terminology used to understand the pattern. Using this terminology is good because it will automatically urge you to begin using the same vocabulary as professional sewers. It may be tricky to get started because you may be absolutely clueless when it comes to figuring out your sewing pattern. This is where we come in. Here, you will learn about all of the different vocabulary terms that you will see when you read your sewing patterns of purchase sewing items. Let’s begin.
Alteration – this is any type of change that you must make to the pattern or the project that you are involved in.
Appliqué – Taken from the French, this means to attach a smaller piece of fabric onto a larger piece. Many patches that are used for making designs on clothing are considered to use appliqué.
Armscye – Is the underarm part of a garment that will eventually connect to the sleeve of a garment.
Clean Finish – this is performed by folding over anywhere from ¼ to 1/8 of the fabric’s raw edge. Then you would stitch along the lower edge to create a clean finish. This is so that the garment does not fray.
Backstitching – this term is found in almost all patterns and means to sew backwards over original stitches in order to secure the string.
Stay Stitching – this is a single line of stitching.
Satin Stitch – This is a zigzag stitch that can be performed on your sewing machine.
Hem – the fabric of a sewn garment is folded underneath to create the hem.
Seam Allowance – This is the area that you give between the raw edge of the fabric and the stitching line.
Baste – When you are asked to baste in the pattern, you are being told to attach two pieces of fabric, but only temporarily. You will attach the two pieces of fabric along removable stitches.
Bias Grain – in the lengthwise and cross grain of the fabric, you will find a stitching line at a 45 degree angle on the bolt. This is the bias grain.
Ease – this means that the fibers of a fabric must be drown together tighter than they were originally. There will be no tucks or bunching when you ease the fabric.
Interfacing – this is the part of the garment that you do not see. It usually adds body and volume to the garment that the material alone would not provide.
Facing – This means that you are going to turn the fabric inside out.
Nap – this is a type of fabric like velvet that looks like different shades of a color in different lights and angles.
Knits – this type of fabric is made out of loops of threads.
Pressing – This involves an iron but it is not ironing. You pass the fabric through so that you do not lose the fabric grain.
Remnants – these are the left over pieces of fabric. They are sometimes long enough to make a small projects but can often be used as appliqués.
Selvedge – This is the part of the fabric that carries the manufacturers information that is found off the bolt.
Bolt – This is where the fabric is wrapped around and you can buy it by the yard.
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