Since we are starting a series of sewing tutorials soon, I thought it might be a good idea to go over some basic sewing terms. There are a lot of sewing terms out there, and this is just a short list of the ones that I use most.
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Used at the beginning and the end of a seam, a couple of extra stitches are sewn back and forth to anchor the seam. (Can also be known as back tacking.)
2. Baste or basting
Temporary, long stitches done by hand or machine to hold fabric in place for final stitching.
3. Bias Edge
True bias is a cut made on an angle 45 degrees to the selvage. This is the stretchiest part on the fabric.
Cut little notches in the seam allowance to allow it to go around corners better. Used most often when sewing cording onto a pillow.
A narrow strip of fabric wrapped and sewn around a cord. Used as a decorative element added to pillows, valances and other soft furnishings. (Also known as piping or welt.)
6. Finger Press
Using your fingers and pressure to open up a seam.
7. Right Side/Wrong Side
8. Seam Allowance
The fabric between the cut edge of the fabric and the line of stitching. For most of my projects I use a 1/2″ seam allowance. If I am inserting a zipper I use a 3/4″ seam allowance.
The factory edges of a fabric that run lengthwise on both sides of the fabric.
10. Serge Stitch
An edge or seam sewn on a serger. Great for keeping the edges of a fabric from fraying.
So, that is my list of basic sewing terms. Of the many I didn’t talk about here, which ones would you add?
If you would like to see learn more about sewing, see my other sewing tutorials.
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