A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A is for Applique

Applique is a decoration or trimming cut from one fabric piece and stitched to another to add dimension. There are many different techniques to apply an applique, in this video I use a fusible adhesive backing, but you can pin the applique in place or use fusible hemming tape instead.

B is for Bias Binding

Applique is a decoration or trimming cut from one fabric piece and stitched to another to add dimension. There are many different techniques to apply an applique, in this video I use a fusible adhesive backing, but you can pin the applique in place or use fusible hemming tape instead.

C is for Cutting tools

There are lots of different cutting tools used for all manner of things. Here are just a few.

D is for Darts

A dart is a tapered fold in a garment/pattern to allow for fullness usually in the bust, waist and back areas which helps to shape garment to body contours. Most darts are straight and have either one or two points, like bust darts or waist darts, though there are also curved darts, double-ended darts, and French darts.

E is for Edgestitching

Edgestitching is a row of stitching on the edge of a garment, usually 3mm (⅛”) from the edge. Similar to topstitching, it provides a crisp edge for facings, collars, pockets or any situation where you want a tight, professional finish along a seamed edge. It helps to keep the fabric layers together and to keep the edges flat.

F is for French seam

A French seam is a seam finish that encloses the raw edges so that the reverse side is neat, its ideal for sheer fabrics where seams are on show.. To create, stitch a 1 cm (3/8”) seam with WRONG sides together. Trim to 3 mm (1/8”), turn through and press with seam on fold and RIGHT sides together. Stitch again taking 6 mm (1/4”) seam. Press again. 

G is for Gathering

This is a technique for gathering longer lengths of fabric into a smaller lengths. It’s used to create fullness or to allow several pieces of fabric of different lengths to fit together. This is done by stitching one or two rows of long basting stitch and leaving long threads at either end. You then pull on the threads to gather the fabric.

H is for Hem

A hem is when the fabric is turned up on the edge of a garment to provide a neat finished edge. There are different types of hemming techniques including single or double hem, rolled hem and blind stitch hem. Here are just a few.

I is for Interfacing

Interfacing is a lightweight fabric sewn in between layers of a garment to help hold it’s structure. It comes in two types: sewn in or iron on (fusible). It can be woven, non-woven or knit and comes in many different weights and colours.

J is for Jump tool

J is for Jump tool, otherwise known as a bulky seam aid. If you have problems going over thick seams with your sewing machine, this handy little tool is a must. Pop it under the back of your presser foot to keep it horizontal and it will help you over thick seams and layers and prevent uneven stitches or broken needles.

K is for Knife pleats

Knife pleats are a pleat type where the edges of the folds are all facing in the same direction. The knife pleats can be really small and numerous or larger and just placed strategically. Knife pleats are often permanently pressed into the fabric so they maintain their crisp edge the entire way along. They can also be stitched just at the top in order to stay in place. Knife pleats purpose is to add fullness and shape to garments as well as add some interest to an otherwise plain item.

L is for Lining

A lining is a layer of fabric on the inside of a garment to hide construction seams and details, add warmth and make it more comfortable to wear and easier to put on.

M is for Mitering

A mitered corner is a neat way of finishing the corner of a fabric edge in such a way that there is no bulk in the corners when the fabric is turned under to finish the edges.

N is for Notch

Notches are triangular or diamond shaped marks on the cutting lines of paper patterns which are used to match seams together.

O is for Overlocker

An over-locker is a purpose made sewing machine that cuts the edge of the fabric whilst sewing and overlocking the raw edges. It can be 3-8 thread and can be used for a variety of creative stitching, although its most well known for seam neatening. They are also known as sergers.

P is for Patch Pocket

Patch Pockets are created by attaching pre-cut pieces of material and sewing them, like a patch, to the outside of a garment, instead of constructing inset pockets. Patch pockets often have a flap at the top and become a feature of the design of a garment.

Q is for Quilt

A quilt is a multi-layered textile, traditionally composed of two or more layers of fabric or fiber. A quilt would have a decorative side,a layer of batting or wadding, and a backing layer of fabric.

R is for Rolled hem

The rolled hem is a hemming technique that finishes all of the seam allowances inside the hem. It is suitable for use on light to medium weight fabrics and works well on sheer fabrics due to the size and neat finish of the hem. 

S is for Seam ripper

A seam ripper is a cutting tool that is used to undo seam stitching. The tool slides between sewn stitches and gently cuts the thread without tearing the surrounding fabric

T is for Topstitching

Topstitching is a row of stitching that should be visible on the finished garment. Top stitching can be decorative and/or functional as it also serves to hold facings in place.

U is for Understitching

Understitching is a row of stitching through the seam allowances and facings. It’s sewn very close to the seam that attaches the facing to the main garment. It is used to stop linings or facings from rolling out.

V is for Views

Views are found on paper patterns and refers to the variations in style of the garment. Your sewing pattern will contain one or more line drawings, which aim to provide a simplified idea of what the garment looks like when sewn. There will usually be a drawing for each version of the sewing pattern, such as long or short sleeved versions or different length versions, which will help you decide which version is right for you.

W is for Warp and Weft

The warp is a term used describing the way the threads run lengthways through a woven fabric. Also known as ‘lengthwise grain’.The Weft is a term used describing the way the threads run at right angles to the length of a woven fabric. Also known as ‘cross grain’.

X is for X-stitch (or cross stitch)

Cross stitching is a form of sewing and a popular form of counted-thread embroidery in which X-shaped stitches in a tiled, raster like pattern are used to form a picture.

Y is for Yoke

The yoke is the part of a garment that fits over the shoulders and to which the main part of the garment is attached. You’ll see yokes on skirts and shoulders, especially on button down shirts. The burrito technique is a way to sew yokes on shirts where you roll the material up and sew everything inside a tube to make a clean finish.

Z is for Zigzag stitch

The zigzag stitch is a stitch that goes diagonally side to side to produce a decorative finish to a seam or join two layers next to each other.