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Sewing Terms

One Way Printed Fabric (one directional fabric): Fabric which is printed with a pattern that is facing all the same way. This can affect the amount of fabric used, as you cannot rotate your patterns for better layout.

 Two Way Printed Fabric (non-directional fabric):Here it doesn’t matter which way you place your pattern pieces as the fabric pattern stays the same. Two-way prints can save fabric since you can manipulate turning some pattern pieces upside down.  

 Face Side (Right Side): The "front" of a piece of fabric having a distinct front and back; same as right side.

 Machine Gathering:  Sew parallel rows of basting stitches along one edge of the fabric to gather the fabric. Pull the bobbin threads so that the fabric forms small folds along the threads. Tie knots of the threads to keep gathering in place.

 Bias: Bias grain is the thread line that is at a forty-five-degree angle to the lengthwise and crosswise grain of the fabric.

 Straight Grain: The Straight Grain is printed on the tissue pieces as a straight line with arrow heads either end. This Grain line MUST be parallel to the selvedge of the fabric so that the piece will be cut on straight of grain.

 Clip: To make snips or tiny cuts into the seam allowance, up to but not through the stitching, so the seam will lie flat. On a concave curve, make triangular notches to allow for flattening the seam easily. Optional: use pinking shears.

 Casing: A casing is a fabric tunnel through which elastic or a drawstring can be threaded to pull in or draw up the fabric.

 Seam Allowance: A seam allowance is the area between the edge of fabric and the stitching line on two (or more) pieces of material being stitched together. Seam allowance in our patterns is 3/8"or otherwise stated.

 Backstitch: Backstitching is sewing in reverse and forward over the same stitches to lock the end of a line of sewing.

 Cut on Fold: Pattern pieces are placed on the fold of a piece of fabric. You will have a pattern piece that is cut out without a center seam.       

 Top stitch: A straight stitch in a color matching the fabric; used on garment edges such as necklines and hems, where it helps to keep facings in place. 

 Edge stitch: A row of stitching that appears on the very edge of a garment, normally 1/8” or less.

 Trim the seam allowance: It helps to reduces bulk along the seams, so they’ll lie flat when you turn the project RIGHT side out. Cut off most of the excess fabric in the seam allowance. Be sure to press out these areas once you’ve turned your project RIGHT side out.

 Trim the corners: Cut off the tip of the corner in the seam allowance to eliminate bulk. Make sure not to clip your stitching. After you turn your project RIGHT side out, the corner will have a neat, squared off look.

 Machine baste: A machine basting stitch is used to hold sections of your project in place until you’re ready to complete your final stitches. It is the longest stitch on the sewing machine. Machine basting stitches can be removed easily. Do not backstitch when you make machine basting stitch.

 Under-stitching: is simply stitching a line close to the edge of a facing to keep it from rolling toward the outside. It comes in especially handy when sewing around a neckline. It keeps the facing, or lining, firmly on the inside of your garment without any stitches showing on the outside.

 Facing: A facing is fabric used to finish the raw edges of a garment such as at neckline and armholes. Shaped facings are cut to match the edge they will face, and bias facings are strips of fabric cut on the bias or cross-grain and shaped to fit edge.

Interfacing: Construction fabric that is inserted between layers of fashion fabric. It adds shape and stability to the particular part of the garment such as facings, collars, cuffs, belt and so on. 
Choose interfacing that is the same weight that or slightly lighter than the main fabric. This type of interfacing can be fusible or non-fusible.

 Fusible interfacing: Interfacing that has a fabric ‘glue' on one side. Place the main fabric wrong side up on the ironing board; and then place the fusible interfacing on top, with the adhesive side facing down on to the wrong side of the main fabric. Cover the fabric and interfacing with a damp press cloth and press the iron on to the fabric.

Woven Interfacing: It has a structure as woven fabrics. It is necessary to match the grain of the interfacing with the grain on the fabric.

 Non-Woven Interfacing:  It is made from synthetic fibers fused together without grain direction. It is easy to use and can be cut in any direction. This type of interfacing can be fusible or non-fusible.

Knit Interfacing:  It is made from construction jersey fabric. Can be used on jersey fashion fabrics or fashion woven fabrics for creating a softer shape and maintain a stretch. Knit interfacing can be fusible or non-fusible.