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Sewing Terms to Know

Photo: Jack Deutsch

Faced waist- A waistline finish without a band.
Facing- Used to finish exposed edges as a partial lining for center front, neckline, or armhole edges.
Facing width- The width of the facing.
Fade-out pen- A fabric pen with ink that disappears 12 to 24 hours after marking
Fashion fabric- The main fabric used to make the garment.
Featherstitch- Hand stitch used to smoothly join two layers of fabric-usually not always a seam. Also a decorative hand stitch.
Feed dog(s)- Located beneath the presser foot, these "teeth" help move the fabric under the presser foot. In the raised position, they "feed" the fabric. You can drop the feed dogs to move the fabric freely in any direction by hand without feed dog involvement.
Fell stitch- Stitches works from the right side to pull a seam together invisibly. Stitches travel in fold fabric.
Finger press- A method of temporarily flattening a seam using the heat from your fingers.
Flat-felled seam- A seam where all raw edges are encased by fabric and sewn flat.
Float-stitch- Loosely tack fabric with stitches that are not pulled tight.
Free-motion embroidery- Hand-guided stitching with dropped feed dogs on hooped fabric.
French curve- A drafting tool that enables you to draw smooth curves.
French darts- Darts positioned on the garment front starting from near or at the waist and ending near the bust point.
French seam- A finished seam in which the seam allowance is incased by the seam.
Fusible- Fabric that has heat-sensitive adhesive on one side that enables it to bind to another fabric.
Fusible basting tape- A temporary adhesive tape that permanently fuses.
Fusible interfacing tape- Available in a variety of narrow widths, this tape heat fuses to fabric to stabilize a seam or edge.

Garment quadrant- Most single pattern pieces go 1/4 of the way around the body, such as a front bodice.
Godet- A triangular fabric piece set into a skirt hem to add fullness.
Gore- Vertical garment sections, usually on a skirt.
Gore seams- Seams that hold gores together.
Grading- The process of converting a pattern from one size to another
Grain- The orientation of the threads in woven fabric: lengthwise and crosswise. The lengthwise grain is parallel to the selvage and is the warp; cross-grain threads cross the grain and are perpendicular to the selvage..
Grainline- The long arrow symbol printed on a pattern that corresponds to the fabric grainline. It is always placed along the lengthwise grain.
Grosgrain ribbon- Characterized by woven ridges, grosgrain ribbon is very stable and comes in many widths.

Ham- A hard, stuffed form used to shape darts and curves during pressing.
Hand- The way a fabric feels in the hand, e.g. smooth, soft, crisp.
Hand-overcast- A handstitch that wraps around an edge like a spiral.
Hem- Finished bottom edge of a garment
Hem allowance- Hem allowance is the distance between the cutting line and the hemline. This allowance is folded inside the garment before it is sewn. Also called "hem depth," it varies with the garment style and sewing technique.
Hemline- Hemline is the lowest edge of the garment once the hem is sewn.
Hip curve- A curved ruler.
Hong Kong finish- a bias-bound edge seam finish.
Hook and loop tape- a two part fastening device that can be sewn or glued in place.
Hoop- A plastic, metal, or wooden hoop that holds fabric tight while sewing or embroidering
Horsehair braid- A netlike ribbon woven on the bias with synthetic threads. It is stretchy and takes curves easily. Often used to add support to a hem.
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Comments (8)

MaryamWasim MaryamWasim writes: NIce
Posted: 6:28 am on May 30th

needles the mediocre needles the mediocre writes: Eureka !!! I've found the motherload of sewing information ..... A million thanks...

Posted: 8:10 pm on March 7th

CarolMSR CarolMSR writes: What about "GATHER: fabric slid along basting stitches to shrink up fabric to add style and detail to garment"
Posted: 8:51 pm on July 2nd

Natasha1 Natasha1 writes: good work.
Posted: 1:21 am on September 11th

evacaroll evacaroll writes: easy to understand best to used.......
Posted: 11:56 pm on September 10th

RosaWallace RosaWallace writes: awesome.......
Posted: 5:09 am on September 10th

LunaOpal LunaOpal writes: Very helpful for me.
Posted: 4:10 am on September 10th

10860 10860 writes: Great work......
Posted: 1:16 am on September 10th

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