10+ Sewing Terms for Beginners
If you are new to sewing, it can be hard to follow along when you don’t know what all the terms being used mean. This post will go over 10+ terms that are most often used so you can begin sewing with less confusion and more confidence! Here are sewing terms for beginners! IF you are new to sewing make sure and check out my Facebook page where I do live video tutorials!!
10+ Sewing Terms for Beginners
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This is the line of stitches where you have sewn your 2 pieces of fabric together.
2) Seam Allowance
If you are following a pattern, there will be a specific seam allowance listed for the project you are sewing. This lets you know how far from the edge of the fabric you need to place your stitches so that the pattern is sewn correctly. This can vary, but the most common seam allowances (SA) are 1/4″ and 1/2″.
The hem is where you take the edge of the fabric, fold it under, and then sew a seam. This is done so that the fabric does not unravel and the raw edge is not visible. There are different ways that a hem can be sewn. The most commonly used technique is to fold the fabric under once, and then once again, so that the raw edge is completely hidden. If you are following a pattern, there will be specific measurements given to let you know how much fabric you need to fold under.
There will be times when you want your pieces to be sewn together but the placement could be off a bit no matter how careful you are. This is where basting comes in handy! One great example is when you are adding ruffles to something and then attaching them. The ruffles can be pesky and move as your presser foot passes over them. By basting, you can tack them down and make sure you like the look of them before completely committing to their placement. If you don’t like where they are, you can get your trusty seam ripper out and remove the basting stitches much easier because they are looser and further apart. Just set your stitch length to the longest possible setting, decrease your tension and you are ready to baste!
5) Top Stitch
If you see a stitch line across the top of anything made out of fabric, you are looking at a top stitch. This is done to give the garment etc a more finished look. It also helps hold your seam open and allows it to lay flat.
When you begin to sew, the tails of the thread can easily be unraveled. Backstitching prevents this from happening. Your machine will have some sort of knob or lever that essentially puts your machine in reverse. Don’t forget to backstitch a few stitches to ensure all that hard work you are putting in doesn’t come undone!
7) Right Sides Together
When you look at your fabric you will see that there is a right side, which is the top of the fabric, and a wrong side, which is the underside of the fabric. More often than not, you will be sewing 2 pieces of fabric together with the right sides facing. This keeps the edges of your fabric inside the piece that you are sewing.
8) Wrong Sides Together
If you are ever given instructions to sew the wrong sides together it may feel backwards for a moment! After all, you will actually be looking at the right sides of the fabric in order for the wrong sides, or the underside, to be sewn together.
9) Turn Out
If you sew a long tube or another item such as a stuffed toy, you will need to sew the pieces with right sides facing each other. You will then need to turn the item right side out. This is what the term turn our is referring to. Sometimes this can be done completely with just your hands. Other times you will need to use a tool to get the tube or small corners completely turned.
If you have seen a quilt it most likely had a binding around the edge. This is when you take a very long, thin strip of fabric and you sew along the outer edge to hide the edges of the fabric to keep it from fraying. Binding not only gives the fabric a nice finished look but it can also add a nice decorative touch to your project.
Interfacing is attached to the wrong side of your fabric to help stiffen it up. This is done when you are need to add some structure to your project. Some interfacing is fusible, which means you can iron it right to the fabric, making it easier to work with.
12) Finger Pressing
There are times when you really need to get out that iron and make a crisp, clean edge. There are also times you can get away with finger pressing, or running your finger along the seam to open it up enough to move on to the next step in your project.
Thank you so much for joining me today to learn these sewing terms for beginners! I hope these 10+ sewing terms for beginners will help as you dive into your next project.