Sewing Lexicon

New to sewing? - no worries,
                 let's get you warmed up with some common sewing terms.                                            

is done by sewing backward and forward at the beginning and end of a seam, on top of the seam stitches, to prevent the stitching from coming undone.
Baste - 
a long and loose stitch-the longest possible that your machine will do. To baste you will need to set your stitch length to its longest setting. When you baste you won’t knot the thread at the beginning of the end. A baste is usually used just to hold the fabric in place prior to sewing or is used to gather fabric.
Binding -
a long stripe of fabric, used to finish a seam or a hem. The binding is being sewn to the raw edge of the fabric. Depending on the type of fabric, there are different techniques of doing so. 

Bobbin. A sewing machine makes stitches with two threads. The top thread is passed through the needle and a bobbin holds the second thread. The threaded needle catches thread from the bobbin to form a stitch. A sewing machine won’t work without it.


Buttonholes today's sewing machines have buttonhole programs to do them for you!. Use a fusible interfacing or double layer of fabric for the area you are sewing them.


Casing/ channel –this is the tunnel of fabric, where the elastic or a sting go into to draw the fabric. This allows to pull on and off the garments easily. This channel might be done at the waist, cuffs, leg cuffs.


Cutting opposites - you cut two opposites from the same pattern block - one with the pattern facing up and one with the pattern facing down.You can also fold the fabric with the right sides together, trace the pattern on the wrong side and cut the two pieces together. For example – raglan sleeves or a pants pattern.


 The Fold Line indicates which edge of the pattern piece is aligned with the fabric fold – you should place the solid line running underneath the arrow onto the fold. Your pattern piece only embodies half of the fabric piece, so this line is very important as it ensures the creation of a whole, proportioned piece.


 Gathering - a technique, where we shorten a fabric by ‘gathering’ the length of the fabric and attaching its shorter piece. To gather you will do a basting stitch on your fabric and then, holding the threads that are at the end of your baste, gently pull the top thread while keeping the bottom thread steady. This will pull your fabric so that it starts to create a gather. Once you have it gathered as much as you want it to be, you sew it in place to make the gather permanent.
 Grain - 
Look very closely at your fabric and you will see threads that go up and down and sideways, perpendicular to each other. This is the grain of the fabric. This is an important term to know, especially when cutting a fabric! The grain refers to the direction in which a fabric is woven. If someone says, ‘cut with the grain’ it means cut parallel to the threads of the fabric, not perpendicular to it.


Hem - folding the cut edge and sewing it down to secure it. Knit fabrics do not fray and a single fold would be enough to finish the hem. Woven fabrics require double-fold before sewing it. To make hemming easier and avoid mistakes, you can iron the folded hem before sewing.


Interfacing - a type of textile sewn or glued on the inner side of a garment to make that part harder.
In some of our patterns, a little piece of interfacing is required to stabilize the area where buttons or snaps are attached. We recommend using lightweight fusible / iron-on interfacing. This type is very simple to use, as you only have to press it to the wrong side of the fabric for a few seconds. The interfacing will guarantee the longevity of the garment.
is an inner layer of fabric  inserted into clothing. Linings provide a neat finish of the raw edges oft he seams. Clothes may be fully lined, half lined or partially lined.


Notch - tiny cut, about 2mm into the fabric.
Right Sides Together (RST) - 
This means that you put your 2 pieces of fabric together so that the right sides of the fabric are touching each other on the inside and the wrong sides of the fabric are showing on the outside.
Seam Ripper - 
A sharp pointed tool that you use to rip out a seam when you make a mistake. Take the sharp point and poke it underneath a stitch to break the thread. Continue to do this on any seam that you need to take out.



Seam allowance - The seam allowance is the area between the fold or the edge of the fabric and the stitching line done to create the seam.

Serger/ Serging /Overlocking
A serger trims and overlocks the seam allowances separately or together as it stitches. Serging works on nearly any fabric and is ideal for sewing with knit fabrics. If you stitch stretch fabric with a straight stitch, the seam will rip of. The overlock stitch gives a professional finish oft he knit clothing, keeping their ability to stretch.
Top Stitch - 
To top stitch is to do a finishing stitch on top of an already sewn seam. Some areas call for a topstitch to give it a nice finished look. Topstitch is often decorative but it can be functional too. It holds facing, strengthens seams and holds them in place so they sit flatter.