Sewer's Quick Guide: A Beginner’s Glossary
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Sewer's Quick Guide: A Beginner’s Glossary

A small list of words to help you take your first steps into the beautiful world of sewing. With one word a day, you'll master this craft in no time!

Read your pattern a day before and take the time to research unknown terms. Looking at it in advance will also help ensure that you have all the tools you need as a sewer when it comes time to start your project. This will decrease discouraging time lost when you are ready to jump into a project.


For reference, here are some commonly used terms to familiarize yourself to be a better sewer:


Baste: Also called “tacking”, basting refers to a simple, temporary stitch that holds material. But is removed later in the project.


Bias: The bias is a 45 degree angled line cut across the crosswise or lengthwise grain of the fabric.


Cutting line: Usually about ⅝” away from the seam (or sewing line). The cutting line is the outermost edge of the garment.


Grain: Grain refers to the crosswise and lengthwise threads or yarns. It stands perpendicular to one another in a garment weave.


Right Side: The right side of the fabric is the pretty side, or printed side. You want to be facing outward on your design.


Seam: The sewing line of a garment, where the two sides of the material are brought together.


Seam allowance: The space between the seam and the cutting line (usually about ⅝”)


Selvage: The selvage is the self-finished edge of the fabric that keeps the material from fraying.


Wrong Side: The wrong side of the fabric is the reverse of the printed. It is the part that you do not want to be seen.


Yoke: The yoke is a shaped pattern piece of a garment. It provides support for looser parts of the garment such as sleeves or a gathered skirt.


As always, don’t forget to finish up that piece with your very own custom clothing labels!

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