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Article: Sewing Terminology: A Beginner's Glossary

Sewing Terminology: A Beginner's Glossary

Sewing Terminology: A Beginner's Glossary

Welcome to the world of sewing! As a beginner, you might feel overwhelmed by the plethora of terms and jargon used in sewing tutorials, patterns, and guides. To help you get started, we've compiled a comprehensive glossary of essential sewing terms. Understanding these basics will make your sewing journey smoother and more enjoyable. Let's dive in!


Appliqué: A technique where one piece of fabric is sewn onto another for decorative purposes.

Armscye: The armhole opening in a garment.


Backstitch: A strong stitch used at the beginning and end of a seam to prevent unraveling.

Bias: The diagonal direction of the fabric, at a 45-degree angle to the grainline. Fabric cut on the bias has more stretch.

Basting: Temporary long stitches used to hold fabric pieces together before permanent stitching.


Casing: A folded-over edge of fabric that can hold elastic or a drawstring.

Clip: Small cuts made into the seam allowance to allow curves to lie flat.


Dart: A folded and stitched wedge of fabric that shapes garments over curves.

Double-fold Hem: A hem where the fabric edge is folded twice before stitching, creating a clean finish.


Ease: Extra fabric allowed in a pattern for comfort and movement.

Edge Stitching: A row of stitches sewn very close to the edge of the fabric.


Facing: Fabric sewn on the inside of a garment to finish the edges of necklines, armholes, and hems.

Fusible Interfacing: A material that is ironed onto the fabric to add stiffness and support.


Grainline: The direction parallel to the selvage of the fabric. Patterns are usually aligned with the grainline for proper drape and fit.


Hem: The finished edge of a garment, often folded under and sewn.


Interfacing: A material used to add structure to fabric, often applied to collars, cuffs, and button plackets.


Knit Fabric: A fabric made from interlocking loops of yarn, known for its stretch.


Lining: An inner layer of fabric sewn into a garment to provide a finished look and added comfort.


Muslin: A test garment made from inexpensive fabric to check the fit and design before sewing with the final fabric.


Notch: Small cuts or markings on the edge of fabric pieces to indicate where they should be joined.


Pattern: A template used as a guide to cut and sew fabric pieces together.

Pleat: A fold in fabric that is sewn into place to add fullness or decoration.


Right Side: The front or outer side of the fabric, often smoother and more finished.

Running Stitch: A basic stitch used for seams and gathering, where the needle weaves in and out of the fabric.


Seam: The line where two pieces of fabric are sewn together.

Seam Allowance: The extra fabric between the seam and the edge of the fabric.

Selvage: The tightly woven edge of fabric that prevents it from fraying.

Staystitching: A row of stitches sewn inside the seam allowance to prevent stretching.


Topstitching: Decorative or functional stitching on the outside of a garment, often near a seam.


Understitching: A technique where the seam allowance is sewn to the facing to prevent it from rolling to the outside.


Wrong Side: The back or inner side of the fabric, usually less finished.

Understanding these terms will greatly enhance your sewing experience, making instructions easier to follow and projects more enjoyable. As you continue to sew, you'll become more familiar with these and other terms, building your confidence and skills along the way. Happy sewing!

1 comment

I sew l am 75 yes young love your new approach to sewing.
Would like to update skills.
Do you sell patterns or just take a standard pattern reinvent.
I love the colors and some styles.
I live in Bham AL. Wish l lives in your area to partake of your events.


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