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Sewing A to Z
A COMPLETE GLOSSARY OF SEWING WORDS AND TERMS
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Appliqué - 

ornamental needlework in which pieces of fabric are sewn or stuck on to a larger piece to form a picture or pattern.

Awl - 

awla small pointed tool used for piercing holes, especially in leather.

Backstitch - 

a stitch sewn one stitch length backward on the front side and two stitch lengths forward on the reverse side to form a solid line of stitching on both sides.

Baste - 

to temporarily hold a seam or trim in place until it can be permanently sewn, usually with a long running stitch made by hand or machine called a tacking stitch or basting stitch.

Batting - 

quilt batting is used in various sewing and quilting projects, is also known as wadding. It is used as a layer of insulation between fabrics, most often used in quilt making. Batting is the filling of quilts and makes them warm and heavy.

Bias Tape - 

strips of fabric that have been cut on the bias of fabric. Bias Tape is available in various widths - in both single fold and double folded forms.

Binding - 

binding refers to finishing a seam or hem of a garment, usually by rolling or pressing then stitching on an edging or trim.

Blanket Stitch - 

a stitch used to reinforce the edge of thick materials. It may also be called a whip stitch or a crochet stitch, and can be better defined as "a decorative stitch used to finish an unhemmed blanket".

Bobbin - 

a cylinder or cone holding thread, yarn, or wire, used especially in weaving and machine sewing.

Button - 

buttona small disc or knob sewn on to a garment, either to fasten it by being pushed through a slit made for the purpose or for decoration.

Buttonhole - 

a slit made in a garment to receive a button for fastening.

Chain Stitch - 

an embroidery or crochet stitch resembling a chain.

Chalk - 

hardened chalk or soapstone used to make temporary guide marks on a garment that is being altered.

Cloth - 

woven or felted fabric made from wool, cotton, or a similar fibre.

Cotton - 

a soft white fibrous substance which surrounds the seeds of the cotton plant and is made into textile fibre and thread for sewing.

Crewel - 

a thin, loosely twisted, worsted yarn used for tapestry and embroidery.

Crochet - 

a handicraft in which yarn is made up into a textured fabric by means of a hooked needle.

Cross Stitch - 

a stitch formed of two stitches crossing each other.

Cuff - 

the end part of a sleeve, where the material of the sleeve is turned back or a separate band is sewn on.

Darts - 

a sewing technique that helps fabric fit properly to the body, especially for a woman's bust. One technique that does this is the dart, which is usually two straight stitch lines that bring together a fold of fabric.

Dress Form - 

a paper, cloth, or wire representation of a woman's figure from shoulder to thighs but minus arms that is mounted on a stand and used for fitting garments.

Dressmaker - 

a person whose job is making women's clothes.

Elastic - 

elasticcord, tape, or fabric, woven with strips of rubber, which returns to its original length or shape after being stretched.

Embroidery - 

ornamentation of fabric with needlework, or decorate by sewing patterns on the fabric with thread.

Fabric - 

cloth produced by weaving or knitting textile fibres.

Fashion - 

a popular or the latest style of clothing, hair or decoration.

Fastener - 

a device, such as a clip, pin, or clasp, that attaches something firmly to something else.

Feed Dog - 

a critical component of a "drop feed" sewing machine.

Frog Closure - 

a sewing notion that can be used, like a button to close a garment. It's made by looping and interlocking the cording or fabric tube into the desired design, then securing the places where the cords touch by hand-sewing.

Garment - 

an item of clothing.

Gathering - 

a sewing technique for shortening the length of a strip of fabric so that the longer piece can be attached to a shorter piece.

Grommet - 

an eyelet placed in a hole to protect or insulate a rope or cable passed through it or to reinforce the hole.

Gusset - 

a piece of material sewn into a garment to strengthen or to enlarge a part of it.

Hand Stitch - 

to stitch or sew by hand, rather than by machine.

Hem - 

hemthe edge of a piece of cloth or clothing which has been turned under and sewn.

Hook and Eye - 

a small metal hook and loop used together as a fastener on a garment.

Hook and Loop - 

A type of fastener, either self adhesive, tock and close or hook and pile fasteners, colloquially known as Velcro.

Hoop - 

embroidery hoops and frames are tools used to keep fabric taut while working on embroidery or other forms of needlework.

Inseam - 

another term for inside leg.

Interfacing - 

an extra layer of material or an adhesive stiffener that is applied to the facing of a garment to add support. Also known as interlining.

Iron - 

a strong, hard magnetic silvery-grey metal, used as a material for construction and manufacturing, or to iron out kinks in garments.

Knit - 

make (a garment or other item) by interlocking loops of wool or other yarn with knitting needles or on a machine.

Knot - 

a fastening made by looping a piece of string, rope, or something similar on itself and tightening it.

Lace - 

lacea fine open fabric of cotton or silk, made by looping, twisting, or knitting thread in patterns and used especially for trimming garments.

Linen - 

cloth woven from flax.

Lock Stitch - 

a stitch made by a sewing machine by firmly linking together two threads or stitches.

Needle - 

a very fine slender piece of polished metal with a point at one end and a hole or eye for thread at the other, used in sewing.

Needlepoint - 

closely stitched embroidery worked over canvas.

Notions - 

items that are sewn or otherwise attached to a finished article, such as buttons, snaps, and collar stays, but the term also includes small tools such as thread, pins, marking pens, and seam rippers.

Overhand Stitch - 

a stitch passing over an edge vertically

Overlock Stitch - 

a kind of stitch that sews over the edge of one or two pieces of cloth for edging, hemming, or seaming.

Patchwork - 

needlework in which small pieces of cloth in different designs, colours, or textures are sewn together.

Patterns - 

a pattern is the template from which the parts of a garment are traced onto fabric before being cut out and assembled.

Pin - 

a small thin piece of metal with a point at one end, especially used for temporarily holding pieces of cloth together

Pin Cushion - 

Pin Cushiona small pad for holding pins in place

Pinking Shears - 

shears with a serrated blade, used to cut a zigzag edge in fabric to prevent it fraying.

Pleat - 

a double or multiple fold in a garment or other item made of cloth, held by stitching the top or side.

Pocket - 

a small bag sewn into or on clothing so as to form part of it, used for carrying small articles.

Quilt - 

a bed covering made of padding enclosed between layers of fabric and kept in place by lines of stitching, typically applied in a decorative design.

Ribbon - 

a long, narrow strip of fabric, used for clothing, tying something, or for decoration.

Rotary Cutter - 

a tool generally used by sewers, quilters and patternmakers. It consists of a handle with a circular blade to cut fabric.

Ruffles - 

an ornamental gathered frill of lace or other cloth on a garment, especially around the wrist or neck.

Ruler - 

a straight strip or plastic, wood, metal, marked at regular intervals and used to draw straight lines or measure distances.

Running Stitch - 

a simple needlework stitch consisting of a line of small even stitches which run back and forth through the cloth without overlapping.

Scissors - 

an instrument used for cutting cloth, paper, and other material

Seam - 

a line where two pieces of fabric are sewn together in a garment or other article.

Seam Allowance - 

saem allowancethe area between the edge and the stitching line on two (or more) pieces of material being stitched together. Can also be called an "inlay".

Seam Ripper - 

a small tool used for unpicking stitches, also known as a Quick-n-Pic.

Seamstress - 

a woman who sews, especially one who earns her living by sewing.

Selvage - 

an edge produced on woven fabric during manufacture that prevents it from unravelling.

Serger - 

a sewing machine used for overcasting to prevent material from fraying at the edge.

Sewing - 

join, fasten, or repair something by making stitches with a needle and thread or a sewing machine.

Sewing Machine - 

a machine with a mechanically driven needle for sewing or stitching cloth.

Silk - 

a fine, strong, soft lustrous fibre produced by silkworms in making cocoons and collected to make thread and fabric.

Smocking - 

decoration on a garment created by gathering a section of the material into tight pleats and holding them together with parallel stitches in an ornamental pattern.

Snap Fastener - 

another term for a press stud, a snap is a pair of interlocking discs, used in place of buttons to fasten clothing.

Spool - 

a cylinder with a hole through the middle around which sewing thread is wound.

Stitch - 

a loop of thread or yarn resulting from a single pass or movement of the needle in sewing, knitting, or crocheting.

Tack - 

a long stitch used to fasten fabrics together temporarily, prior to permanent sewing.

Tailor - 

a person whose occupation is making fitted clothes such as suits, trousers, and jackets to fit individual customers.

Tape Measure - 

tape measurea length of tape or thin flexible metal, marked at graded intervals for measuring.

Tat - 

make (a decorative mat or edging) by tying knots in thread and using a small shuttle to form lace.

Textile - 

a type of cloth or woven fabric.

Thimble - 

a small metal or plastic cap with a closed end, worn to protect the finger and push the needle in sewing.

Thread - 

a long, thin strand of cotton, nylon, or other fibres used in sewing or weaving.

Top Stitch - 

make a row of continuous stitches on the top or right side of a garment or other article as a decorative feature.

Trim - 

decorate (something), typically with contrasting items or pieces of material.

Twill Tape - 

a flat twill-woven ribbon of cotton, linen, polyester, or wool.

Upholstery Needle - 

any of several very heavy sewing needles used by upholsterers.

Weave (or woven) - 

form (fabric or a fabric item) by interlacing long threads passing in one direction with others at a right angle to them.

Yarn - 

spun thread used for knitting, weaving, or sewing.

Yoke - 

a shaped pattern piece which forms part of a garment, usually fitting around the neck and shoulders, or around the hips to provide support for looser parts of the garment, such as a gathered skirt or the body of a shirt.

Zig Zag Stitch - 

a back-and-forth stitch used where a straight stitch will not suffice, such as in reinforcing buttonholes, in stitching stretchable fabrics, and in temporarily joining two work pieces edge-to-edge.

Zip - 

a device consisting of two flexible strips of metal or plastic with interlocking projections closed or opened by pulling a slide along them, used to fasten garments, bags, and other items.

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