Here you will find sewing terms, concepts, and techniques that are used in articles, patterns, and tutorials on The Inspired Wren. The list is by no means a complete sewing dictionary, but a reference for readers of this blog and its products. The sewing glossary will continue to grow as The Inspired Wren grows.
Bar TackSeveral small stitches taken in place to secure one fabric or piece to another, or to reinforce a stress point. Can be done by hand or on a machine using a zig-zag stitch of desired width at a length of 0.
BasteStraight-stitch with a long-length (on a machine use the longest length available) to temporarily hold layers of fabric together. Basting is easily removed once the final seam is complete.
Bury the ThreadThread a hand-held needle with the threads from the end of a visible stitch (such as top- or edge-stitching), push the needle into the work so that it remains unseen -- for example, between two layers of fabric -- pull the needle back out 2-3" inches from where it went in, clip the threads close to the fabric. Typically this is done after the stitches are knotted off, so that the tail of thread remains unseen and yet is not so short that the knot becomes undone.
Clip CornersBefore turning a project right side out, clip the seam allowance close to the stitching at an angle, away from any corners (or pivot points). Be careful not to cut the stitches! This will reduce the bulk of material in the seam allowing for a sharp corner in your final piece.
Finish Seam AllowancesTreat the raw edge of the fabric so that it does not unravel in your final piece. There are multiple methods of finishing, including: zig-zag stitch on the seam allowance then trim close to the zig-zag stitch; trim with pinking shears; or stitch with a serger.
Finger PressInstead of using a hot iron, press the fabric in place using your fingers. Usually this means folding and creasing fabric in place. Many times the directions will later call for pressing with a hot iron.
Fussy CutWhen cutting the fabric for a project, target and center the motif or design within the pattern piece (remembering seam allowance), rather than randomly cutting the fabric.
Pivot, Needle-Down PivotWhen changing stitch direction -- for example, at a corner of a project -- sew up to the point at which the direction changes, stop stitching and leave the needle down and in the fabric, then raise the pressure foot. Turn, or pivot, the fabric to the new stitch position, don't forget to lower the pressure foot, and continue stitching as normal.
The edge of fabric where it has been cut and is not yet stitched or finished; may or may not fray easily depending on the fabric. [Image]
Right Side/Wrong SideMost fabrics have a side that should be visible in the final piece and a side that should not; the visible side is referred to as the Right Side, and the reverse is the Wrong Side. When working with reversible fabrics and fabrics where front and back are not noticeably different, be sure to mark your cut project pieces on the side you decide will be the wrong side so that your project comes together without issue.
The self-finished, uncut edge of a piece of fabric; will not fray. A result of fabric manufacturing, these parallel edges are typically visibly and texturally different from the regular weave of the fabric and may contain written information identifying the fabric and/or ink color tests. Most often best not to include the selvage in a project cut, as it can wash and age differently from the main weave.
US English (British English) [Image]
TackSeveral small stitches taken in place to secure one fabric or piece to another, or to reinforce a stress point. Can be done by hand or on a machine using a zig-zag stitch with a length of 0 at the desired width. When done by machine it is generally referred to as a Bar Tack.
Wrong Side/Right SideMost fabrics have a side that should be visible in the final piece and a side that should not; the visible side is referred to as the Right Side, and the reverse is the Wrong Side. When working with reversible fabrics and fabrics where front and back are not noticeably different, be sure to mark your cut project pieces on the side you decide will be the wrong side so that your project comes together without issue.
If you're seeking a visual reference of sewing terms, be sure to visit the Glossary board from The Inspired Wren on Pinterest.
PS -- Have I used a term you don't see here? Send a quick note to theinspiredwren @ gmail . com and I'll add it to the glossary.
Ren Murphy writes for The Inspired Wren.