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Sewing Vocabulary - Sample Size to Sep. Zipper

Sample Size – This refers the garment size that companies use to make sample garments. For misses clothing, the standard sample size is typically a size 8.
Satin Stitch – A zig zag stitch where the stitch length is set to zero to create a tight bar stitch that is often used for surface embellishment and appliqueing.

Seam Allowance – The distance between the seam stitching line and the cut edge of fabric. The allowance varies depending on what is being sewn. Quilt block assembly is done using a 1/4” seam while most home sewing patterns specify 5/8” seam (except on hems). Some pattern companies do use non-standard allowances so be sure to always check the pattern before beginning to sew so that you assemble your item correctly.

Seam Finish – This is an all-inclusive term referring to how seams are finished to prevent fabric from raveling and to make the finished product look neat and clean. Click on the link to learn about specific types of seam finishes.

Seam Line– The place where two or more pieces of fabric are sewn together with a line of stitching.

Self Fringe – Fringe that is created from the fabric itself rather than a separate trim that is sewn on. It works best on loosely woven fabrics because the fringe is created by removing the crosswise threads to allow the lengthwise threads to hang down. To see if a fabric is suitable for self-fringing, pinch the edge of the fabric using your fingernails and tug gently to see if the threads separate easily. When the fringe is the desired length, stitch just above the end of the fringe to secure the fabric and keep it from raveling any further. This is a fun technique to use on a skirt bottom or on scarves and works wonderfully on heaven wool plaid fabrics.

Selvage – This is the narrow, tightly woven edge along both lengthwise edges of woven fabrics.

Separating Zipper – A separating zipper differs from a regular zipper by coming apart at the bottom. These types of zippers are used on jackets and sleeping bags and other applications that require the two sides to come apart.

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