Sewing Terms to Know
Casing- Folded and stitched tunnel of fabric that holds elastic, cording, or boning.
Catchstitch- A hemstitch used to join an edge to the inside of a garment. It is formed with cross-shaped stitches on either side of an edge.
Chain stitch- A stitch formed by making connected loops that form a chain.
Chalk-trace- Pin through pattern markings, remove pattern leaving pins in place, and chalk mark the fabric using pins as a guide.
Clean finish- Term used to describe the way a raw edge is finished.
Collar stand- A band between the shirt and the collar on a shirt or blouse.
Compass rule- Any means of making a radius to form a circle such as a pin on one end of a string and a marking device on the other.
Constant reference point- A point that never changes.
Couching- Hand- or machine-sewn stitches that invisibly overcast a thread, yarn, or trim to attach it to fabric.
Couture- Highest-priced clothes from designer collections, characterized by custom fitting and hand sewing.
Crewel yarn- A two-ply, loosely twisted, fine-worsted yarn used in heavy embroidery
Crochet- A method of making a garment, fabric, braid, or lace with yarn and a hooked needle
Crossgrain edge- The edge perpendicular to the selvage.
Cut-on facing- A facing extending from and attached to the same piece of fabric it's facing.
Darning foot- A presser foot with a circular opening that doesn't clamp down over the fabric and is used with dropped feed dogs for free-motion stitching or mending
Dart(s)- Folded and stitched wedges of fabric that shape a garment over curves. A dart point is marked by a dot. Dart legs are lines that come to a stop at the pattern edge.
Dolman sleeve- A sleeve style where the sleeve is cut in one piece with the bodice.
Double needle- Two machine needles attached to a single shaft. that sews two parallel rows of stitches at once with two spools of thread and one bobbin. Sometimes called a twin needle.
Double-fold hem- A hem that's folded once for the hem allowance and a second time to enclose the raw edge.
Double-layer layout- A pattern layout intended for two layers of fabric, usually including a fold for cutting half pattern pieces.
Drape- The fluid way a fabric hangs in a garment.
Ease- 1. n. Difference between body measurements and garment measurements. Also defined as the amount of space in a garment that allows comfortable movement. 2. v. To slightly gather a longer piece of fabric so it can be joined to a shorter one.
Edgestitch- Straight stitching very close to the edge of a seam, trim, or outer edge. It secures seam allowances, prevents the edge from stretching, and supports the fabric.
Posted on in sewing, glossary, sewing terms, common terms, definitions
Teach Yourself to Sew
Teach Yourself to Sew is a video series for beginning sewers or anyone who wants to brush up on their skills. We demonstrate basic sewing techniques, share tips, and give step-by-step instruction for beginner sewing projects. Plus, you can ask our experts for answers to any sewing questions you have along the way. You’ll gain the confidence you need to get started in sewing, and in no time you’ll be creating gorgeous garments. If you have already mastered the art of sewing, share this series with those who want to get started, and contribute your expertise by answering questions in the forum.
Watch our latest episode now.