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Shortcut Sewing: Glossary

Many terms used in the guide may be unfamiliar to you. This small glossary will clarify their meanings.

All-in-one facing. A facing that finishes the edges of the neckline and armscye all in one piece. A combination facing.

Apply. Stitch or glue.

Armscye. Armhole.

Backing. Layer of fabric applied to the wrong side of the fashion fabric before the seams are sewn. Underlining or mounting.

Backtack. Backstitch.

Bagging. A method of lining a coat or jacket by machine.

Bias. Any cut which isn't on the lengthwise or crosswise grain.

Bight. Width of zigzag stitch.

Bluffed edge. A finished edge which has not been topstitched.

Bobbin stitching. Pulling the thread from the bobbin to thread the needle and machine. Sometimes called continuous-thread stitching.

Butt. Match the edges or folds so that they meet or abut.

Button stand. The distance between the center of the button and the finished edge of the garment. The underlap.

Buttonhole stand. The distance between center front and the finished edge of the garment. The overlap.

Chain stitching. Stitching from one garment section to another without cutting the threads.

Clean finish. A method of finishing hems and seams in which the edge is turned under and stitched.

Clearance above the eye. Flattened area above the eye of the machine. The needle scarf.

Close. Finish stitching a seam by hand or machine.

Coil. A narrow, lightweight, filament coil that se cures a zipper. The zipper teeth.

Combination facing. A facing that finishes the edges of the neckline and armscye all in one piece. An all- in-one facing.

Complete. Stitch, press, understitch, trim, clip, and underpress—anything that needs to be done to a garment section before it's joined to another section.

Complete pattern. A pattern for the entire garment to be cut out on a single layer of fabric. Course. “Crossgrain” of knit fabric.

Crimping. A method of easing more fabric into the line of stitching.

Crossgrain. The woof or filling, which runs from selvage to selvage or the course of knitted fabrics. Crotch. The point on a pair of trousers at which the legs join. The fork.

Crowding. Crimping.

Demarcation line. A ridge or shadow that shows on the right side of the garment.

Ease basting. A method of easing fabric using a tight bobbin tension.

Edgestitch. Stitching 1/16” (1.6 mm) from the edge of the garment section.

Enclosed seams. Seams at finished edges which are concealed between the facing and fashion fabric. Face. (a) The right side of the fabric. (b) To finish the garment edge with a facing.

Fashion fabric. The fabric from which the garment is constructed.

Fell. (a) To join two pieces of fabric with the edges folded together so that they are enclosed. (b) To sew the edges down with an overcasting stitch made by hand.

Findings. Linings, zippers, buttons, thread, snaps, etc.

Finish. (a) Any method for completing the raw edges of seams, hems or facings. (b) To apply the appropriate finish to the raw edges of seams, hems or facings.

Flagging. The clinging of the fabric, as the needle moves up and down, when the fabric isn’t held firmly or when the needle is the wrong size.

Flat finish. Any finish that's flat—cut edge, zig zagged, overlocked, overcast, singed, or taped. Fiat lining. A method of underlining.

Fork. The point on a pair of trousers where the legs join. The crotch.

Glue—baste. Gluing with a washable glue stick to temporarily position a section or sections. Grainline. The lengthwise grain, parallel to the selvages.

Groove of the seam. The indentation of the seamline on the right side of the garment. The well of the seam.

Hemline. The line on which the hem is finished. Inside. The part of the garment which is toward the body.

Interlining. Layer of fabric applied to the wrong side of the lining for warmth.

Jigger. A button sewn on the inside of a double- breasted coat. It usually has a long shank. Key. (a) A guideline on two sections. (b) To match. Knock-off. An adaptation of a ready-made garment. Manufacturers of less expensive lines make knock offs of more expensive garments.

Lashing. The hand or machine stitches inside a jacket or coat that hold the facings or linings in position.

Legs of the dart. The stitching lines of the dart. Lengthwise grain. The warp of the fabric which is parallel to the selvages.

Notch. (a) A small slit cut into the seam allowances of the garment to indicate match points and foldlines and to locate darts, tucks, or pleats. (b) The indentation where the collar joins the lapel.

Open lay. A single layer of fabric; the fabric is opened out to its full width.

Outside. The part of the fabric or garment which will be seen when the garment is worn. Pick-up line. The foldline of the dart.

Pivot. Insert the needle into the fabric, raise the presser foot, turn the fabric section, and lower the presser.

Placket. Any finished opening in a garment. Ply. A layer of fabric or strand of thread. Pretrim. Cut away part of the seam allowances be fore stitching the seam.

Pseudosuede. Nonwoven fabrics that look like suede, such as Ultrasuede, Suede 2 FM, Amara, Feather- suede, and Bellesieme.

Raw edge. Unfinished edge of the garment section. Rtw. Ready-to-wear.

Sandwich. Place between two layers.

Seam allowance. The width of the fabric between the stitching line and the cutting line.

Seamline. The stitching line.

Secure. Fasten the threads with a knot, backtack, spot tack, or small stitches.

Self. The same fabric as the rest of the garment.

Selvage. Finished edges on woven fabric along the lengthwise grain.

Set. Stitch.

Sew. Sew by hand.

Sightilne. Any point on the presser foot, throat plate, or machine bed which can be used as a guide for feeding the material.

Slash. Clip into the fabric.

Spi. Stitches per inch.

Square. Draw a line at right angles to another line.

Staystitch. Stitching with a regular stitch just inside the seamline.

Stitch. Sew by machine.

Stroke. The length of material that can be stitched without stopping.

Swelled edges. An effect created by topstitching an even distance from the finished edge, e.g., ¼” (6.4 mm), /8” (9.5 mm) or ½” (12.7mm).

Tack. Backstitch.

Teeth. Metal or coil hooks that fasten a zipper. Test. Try on a scrap of the garment fabric. Topstitch. Stitching from the right side of the garment.

Trim. Cut away excess fabric.

Turn-of-the-cloth. The fabric which is “lost” when a seam is turned right-side-out or when an edge is folded.

Underlining. Layer of fabric applied to the wrong side of the fashion fabric before the seams are sewn. Backing or mounting.

Understitch. Stitching from the wrong side of the garment 1 (1.6 mm) from the seamline at the finished edge, usually through the facing and seam allowances.

Vent. Faced or lined slash for ease such as a sleeve placket.

Wales. The lengthwise “grain” of knitted fabrics.

Well of the seam. Groove of the seam.

YSL. Yves Saint Laurent, the designer.

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Tuesday, 2009-10-06 6:14