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Sewing Terms and Their Meanings


When I was in high school I studied Shakespeare's plays. I later engaged in a heated discussion with a friend who could not understand what I saw in Shakespeare's plays and how did I understand all those "weird" words anyway? I tried (unsuccessfully) to explain that once you understood the vocabulary and nuances of the language, it was not so difficult to comprehend the content of Shakespeare’s plays.

Like Shakespeare, sewing has its own language and once you understand it, the act of sewing becomes easier and doesn't seem so insurmountable. In addition, many words have other, more general meanings in addition to its application to sewing, so it is important to understand how the term relates to sewing. For example, what first comes to your mind when you read the word drape? Do you think of a curtain? That is certainly a correct meaning for that word, but in sewing, there is an additional meaning that refers to the way fabric hangs. It is a subtle, but important, difference to be aware of. Other words are a bit bizarre, like armscye. If you haven’t heard that term before, read the first section linked below.

Because the list of sewing terms is fairly extensive, I have chosen to break them up into smaller sections. The individual sections are linked below. As I complete additional sections, I will update this article with the relevant links.

If you would like to be updated, and are not yet subscribed to my newsletter, be sure to sign up for it using the link at the bottom of the page. You will receive weekly email updates with information about my newest content.

Align to Asymmetrical
Backstitch to Binding
Blanket Stitch to Buttonhole
Casing to Cutting Line
Darn to Draping
Ease to Fusible
Gather to Gusset
Ham to Horsehair Braid
In-seam Pocket to Knife Pleat
Lapel to Muslin
Nap to Overlock
Pad Stitch to Prick Stich
Quilting to Running Stitch
Sample Size to Separating Zipper
Serge to Sloper
Snips to Sweep
Tack to Two Piece Sleeve
Under Bust Measurement to Zigzag

Recommended Reading:



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Content copyright © 2014 by Tamara Bostwick. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Tamara Bostwick. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Tamara Bostwick for details.

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Introduction to Gathering Fabric

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