Who knew that you have to learn a whole new vocabulary to sew? Hopefully this guide will help you with the basics…I’ve added some links to other sites to help understand the terms.
To create a temporary stitch. Basting stitches are large removable stitches (usually 1/2″ long). They can be done by hand or machine and are typically used to hold something in place temporarily (i.e. temporarily closing the seam for inserting a zipper)
Cutting on a bias means cutting at a 45′ angle the lengthwise and crosswise grain of the fabric. Bias cutting allows fabric to hang differently than cutting at 90′
A decorative straight stitch usually used to keep an edge sharp (take a close look at a collar) These stitches are usually 1/16 – 1/8″ from the edge.
A piece of fabric used to finish raw edges of the garment and turned to the inside
The “right” side of the fabric
A line drawn on the pattern to indicate the direction of pattern placement on the lengthwise grain of the fabric
The turned-under edge of a sewn item made by folding the edge of the sewn item to the inside of the item
A special fabric fused or sewn inbetween fabric layers to add stability and help hold structure. There are many different types of interfacing (from very light weight to very heavy weight)
Fabrics with nap usually have a pile and will take on different looks from different angles (velvet). Naps are important when cutting in order to achive a uniform look
The cut edge of a piece of fabric (it may fray or unravel if left in this state)
The little bit of fabric between the cut edge of the garment and the seam line (typically 1/4″ – 5/8″)
The bound edge of the fabric (off the bolt) which typically has manufacturer information on it. This edge will usually not fray